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Manomahan visit to Bangladesh and a story of a nightmare

| by Swadesh Roy

(September 12, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) It was the night of 5th September. It was only before ten to twenty hours; Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will come to Bangladesh for an official visit. That visit was a high- hope and long expected visit. Every concerned people of India and Bangladesh were thinking that it will be a historical visit and two countries will start a new era of their relation.

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (R) introduces Bangladesh's opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia to his delegates in Dhaka September 7, 2011. - REUTERS PHOTOS
At the last moment it was proven that, everything in the world cannot be happened in routinely. Something is happened sometimes which is painful. It was at noon of 5th September, Bangladesh came to know that, chief Minister of Indian sate Paschinmbanga Miss Mamata Banerjee was not coming to Bangladesh as a delegate member of Manmohan Singh’s visit. Even the water resource minister of India was not coming also. Having got this news, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheik Hasina called an emergency meeting with her senior cabinet colleagues and advisors. Two of her advisers, Mr. Mashiur Rahaman and Mr. Gahor Rizvee were involved in that negotiation process with India. Besides, foreign Ministry was also involved. All of them were worried to hear this news that, chief minister of Paschimbanga and water resource minister of central government are not coming with the delegations. Absent from this visit of those two Ministers shows that, Testa (a common river of India and Bangladesh) river water shearing treaty was uncertain. However, it is true that, if Bangladesh and India want to start a new relationship, they have to reach a solution in Teasta river water sharing . So, because of the absence of these two ministers in the delegation puts the fate of this treaty uncertain. Chief minister of pascimbanga is highly connected to this treaty, because according to Indian constitution their central government cannot sign to any treaty with other country without the concerned state. Teasta river water is a concerned matter of paschimbanga. Therefore absence of Mamata makes clear that, water of Testa river sharing treaty will not be signed. However, from the meeting of Sheik Hasina, foreign Minister of Bangladesh contacted with her counter part of India and she confirmed that, India will sign Testa river water sharing treaty at the time of Manmohan’s Visit. Getting this confirmation, Prime Minister of Bangladesh ended her meeting and went to take rest. It was then 10 PM of 5th September. After the meeting was over, most of the ministers left the residence of Prime Minister of Bangladesh and Prime Minister went to her prayer. However, two concerned advisers did not leave the residence of the Prime Minister and some senior ministers were also at that residence. In the meantime, those two advisers came to know that, ultimately Testa river water sharing treaty will not be signed in this visit time of Manmohan. So they fell in confusion what would do. They were thinking two sides of it. They were thinking, it is an important matter, so it is necessary to inform Prime Minister immediately. On the other hand they were thinking that, night was growing old, it is more than 11.30 pm. This news will hamper the sleep of the Prime Minister ; so it is better to inform it in the morning. At that time the senior most minister of the cabinet Mr. Abul Mal Abdul Muhith, finance minister of Bangladesh came there. Then two advisers rushed to him and informed him the latest situation. Hearing this news, finance minister said ‘you have to inform it immediately to the Prime minister.’ According to the advice of the finance minister, adviser of the Prime Minister Mashiur Rahaman rang to the Prime Minister but she did not receive his call; then another adviser called her but she did not receive. Then two advisers requested to the finance minister that, he is the senior most so his call will be received by Prime Minister. Finance minister did it but Prime Minister did not receive his call also. Then they were felling totally hopeless. What they would do? In the meantime, Prime Minister came to this area for a walk and seeing them she became astonished. She asked why they were waiting. Were they calling her from here? She told them she was in the prayer while they were calling. After finishing prayer, she has seen the missed call but she thought that, they were calling from their home. She thought that she would ring back tomorrow, because it is already midnight. Then two advisers asked to the finance minister, ‘you tell her why we are waiting here.’ Finance minister told her the matter in detail. Hearing this, Prime Minister became tense and with an off mode she called her foreign minister to rush to her immediately. It was midnight, road was traffic free. Foreign minister came within a few minutes. Prime Minister told her that, India will not sign Testa river sharing treaty so we will not sign transit agreement. You stop the process of that agreement.

A general view of the Teesta river is pictured at Sevok, some 20 kms from Siliguri, on September 8, 2011. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan's visit to Bangladesh September 6 has been clouded by the uncertainty over the signing of an accord on sharing of waters of the Teesta River following strong reservations expressed by India's West Bengal state Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, reports said. - Getty Image
The night was over and Prime Minister of India visited Bangladesh but that visit will not be called in future a historical visit. It would be a historical visit but ultimately it became a common visit. It left the remark that, what was done by Bangladesh was not returned by India. There is only example which is to make a treaty with united liberation front of Assam (ULFA). Is it not true that, it has been possible only for Bangladesh and the leadership of Sheik Hasina? Bangladesh handed over the entire terrorists (who are the leader of ULFA) to India, so they are able to do it.

[ Swadesh Roy, Executive Editor, The daily Janakantha, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He can be reached at swadeshroy@gmial.com ]

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