With India unable to sign an accord on the Teesta water with Bangladesh due to objections from West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, external affairs minister SM Krishna on Thursday said the government was working “towards arriving at solutions that are acceptable to all concerned”.
“We are keen to arrive at fair and equitable arrangements for sharing of our common rivers. We have experience of this before, as in the Ganga Water Treaty of 1996,” Krishna said in a suo moto statement in the Lok Sabha on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's two-day visit to Dhaka that ended on Wednesday.
"We, however, recognise that water is a sensitive issue in both countries. The government will work towards arriving at solutions that are acceptable to all concerned,” he added.
While returning from Dhaka, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that "provincial sentiments cannot be wished away" and the government would continue to work with Mamata Banerjee, whose opposition to the Teesta water accord with Bangladesh prompted her to drop out of the Prime Minister's delegation for his visit to Dhaka.
Manmohan Singh said the officials concerned had to be told to brief Mamata Banerjee and to seek her guidance on the Teesta issue.
Alluding to a land border deal India signed with Bangladesh Tuesday, Krishna said: “Our efforts to resolve the border issues with Bangladesh reflect our desire to make our borders with the neighbours borders of peace, stability and amity."
The border deal was among the ten agreements India signed with Bangladesh that dealt with diverse areas, including developmental cooperation and Sundarbans tiger conservation.
Underlining that "a strong, stable and prosperous Bangladesh" was in India's interest, Krishna said the Prime Minister's visit enabled India "to put across our vision of an equal and mutually beneficial relationship with Bangladesh to the widest cross-section of its people".
“It is essential for us to develop and nurture a comprehensive partnership with that country," he said.
“We are committed to building a strong India-Bangladesh partnership, including assistance in developmental efforts and enhanced bilateral cooperation to our mutual benefit," he added.