Dhaka, Bangladesh
Chances ahead to pull out all the stops

NRC, Teesta, Rohingya: a pain in the neck

Chances ahead to pull out all the stops

News Report
Two big forums are ahead where the government is learnt to be preparing to put on the table again a few nagging problems Bangladesh is confronted with. Rohingya is the most troubling one.
Also another burning one is the National Register of Citizens or NRC and its threatened replication in the whole of India. The stalled Teesta water-sharing treaty with the neighbouring country is also on Bangladesh's priority list for solution.
But for a chance breakthrough in the meantime, Bangladesh has opportunities to pull out all the stops available during forthcoming two major forums-the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session at the UN headquarters in New York, USA, this month and the World Economic Forum meet in Delhi, India, next month.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to attend both the forums on the mainline and sidelines of which she has the chances of holding bilateral summit parleys and making a reference to these burning ones of the pending problems, analysts say.
Coming first the crisis stemming from the Rohingyas rendered stateless by neighbouring Myanmar and crammed in camps at Bangladesh's southeastern tip. The Prime Minister had mooted a five-point formula of secure and permanent repatriation of the over a million displaced people back in their native place in Rakhine state of Myanmar. That's still pending.
The China-mediated 'bilateral solution' and the latest bid for 'trilateral solution' have yet to see success. If something miraculous doesn't happen in few days ahead, the Rohingy issue could surface during the UNGA discourses.
"Of course preparation is being taken to take the problem up with the global forum," one foreign-policy analyst close to government circles said.
However, indications are rife that China could play another card to leapfrog any such international or multilateral bids interposing and sit Bangladesh and Myanmar with Chinese President Xi Jinping across the table on the sidelines of the UNGA meet for a trilateral solution of the refugee crisis.
Any surprise before the UN general discourses get off in the third week of September with many other tricky issues of the planet on the table is anybody's guess.
To come thereafter a meet of the World Economic Forum--the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation-in New Delhi.
The Forum strives to model world-class corporate governance, where values are as important as rules. Legitimacy, accountability, transparency and concerted action are the guiding principles of the Forum.
On the sidelines, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to have a parley with her Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, where all outstanding bilateral problems, and also the Rohingya-repatriation matter, are expected to be discussed. And the premier expects positive developments over the Teesta issue even before then.
During the bilateral talks, she is also likely to secure assurances from the highest level that are needed to dispel apprehensions surrounding any NRC fallout.
She expressed her hope in parliament Wednesday about a positive response from India over different unresolved issues, including the Teesta water-sharing one, before her India visit early October.
We're optimistic that the unresolved issues between the two countries will be sorted out soon. We hope we'll get positive results over the aforesaid issues before my visit to India," she said in response to a starred question from opposition Jatiya Party MP Mujibul Haque (Kishoreganj-3).
The Prime Minister is scheduled to visit India on October 3-6 to attend the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum in New Delhi on October 3-4 with the theme 'Innovating for India; Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World'.
Sheikh Hasina and her India counterpart Narendra Modi are scheduled to sit for a bilateral meeting on October 5.
Hasina also said she will talk to Narendra Modi over the issue of water sharing of common rivers, including the Teesta, during her visit to India.
Bangladesh, she said, has very healthy ties with India. New doors have opened in newer areas of mutual cooperation and development.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh and India had already signed agreements on security, trade, power, energy, communications, development assistance, environment, education, infrastructure development, culture and health.
Besides, cooperation has been enhanced on different other issues, including blue economy, peaceful use of nuclear energy, aerospace research and cyber-security, she added.
About the Teesta water-sharing deal, Hasina said her government's diplomatic efforts are on to sign the agreement. "The issue is being placed before the highest political levels of the two countries."
She adds: "It hasn't been possible to sign the agreement yet due to internal politics of India. However, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Bangladesh gave assurance to resolve the Teesta water-sharing problem with the assistance of the Indian state governments concerned."
(Inputs taken from UNB, media reports)

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