June 25, 2005


The two day long foreign secretary level meeting between Bangladesh and India could not resolve the following:

* The Indian side did not consider Bangladesh’s argument to prohibit construction of any installation within 150 yards of the border, and emphasised the unilateral need for border fencing within and up to 150 yards of the international border.

* The way to reduce the wide trade gap because of differences in removal of para-tariff and non-tariff barriers to Bangladesh’s exports to India.

* In water sharing the threatening Indian river-linking project is not endorsed by Indian think-tanks and the Bangladesh FS said "Bangladesh's protest should not be seen as anti-India but only as an expression of our view on the question of our survival".

* The Indian media criticized Bangladesh of its denial mode that there are no known Indian insurgent's hideouts in the country. The Border Security Force had provided a list of hotels that allegedly shelters ULFA guerillas and a list of their bank accounts in Bangladeshi banks. However Bangladesh media could not find any such name of hotel in the country and the banks did not have branches in the areas which had been listed. So this article in the Statesmen suggests the need for good homework as well as for diplomacy and rectitude in such matters.

However there was no agreement taking steps regarding Bangladeshi miscreants being provided consular access in India.

Still the press says the talks were positive.


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