India on Monday decided to build on the goodwill of the Sheikh Hasina regime, hoping that raising Bangladesh’s economic status will help it address its security concerns.
The two sides signed five agreements — on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, on transfer of sentenced persons and on combating international terrorism, organised crime and illicit drug trafficking besides memorandums of understanding on cooperation in the power sector and on cultural exchanges.
These were signed after an hour-long meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart.
Hasina told Singh she wouldn’t allow Bangladeshi soil to be used for terrorist activities against India. Her government has cracked down on Northeast insurgents sheltering in Bangaldesh and handed over senior rebel leaders to India.
The sharing of river waters and maritime boundary, which affects India’s oil exploration and for which Dhaka has moved the UN, also came up.
India gave Bangladesh a $1 billion line of credit, the biggest it has given to any country. New Delhi agreed to release power to Dhaka through the eastern grid, a move expected to go a long way in addressing Bangladesh’s electricity woes.
Hasina also met President Pratibha Patil, Union ministers Pranab Mukherjee and SM Krishna, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj.