Indian dependency on Bangladesh has increased due to Feni River MoU, says foreign minister
India has been illegally withdrawing water from Feni River for a long time, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen said on Wednesday, stressing that through the signing of memorandum of understanding on this issue, the matter has now come under the law.
He added that giving somebody something is pleasurable and that by allowing India to withdraw 1.82 cusec water its dependency on Bangladesh has increased.
Dr Momen also stated that Dhaka has achieved many things from the visit of the Prime Minister to India.
“There is a significant wrong perception about the giving water from Feni River. And, you media are promoting this,” the foreign minister told reporters when asked about the MoU allowing India to withdraw water from Feni river that has drawn criticisms from experts and common people.
“For instance, 1.82 cusec ... a little water ... this little amount of water will be provided for a town to be used as drinking water. For a long time, they have been taking the drinking water. Water is coming from up and we are in the down. They are taking the water,” he said.
“Now this has come under a framework ... law. This has benefited us. We now have the power to stop the withdrawal they used to do illegally. So, this is win-win for us,” said Dr Momen.
“There is also pleasure in giving somebody something, and [Indian] dependency has increased. You should also see that their dependency on us has increased,” he added.
The foreign minister was speaking after attending a seminar on ‘Success of Bangladesh Diplomacy during the last decade’ organised by a diplomatic magazine at a local hotel.
When asked if the issue related to Teesta water sharing agreement that was supposed to be signed in September 2011 was discussed during the meeting between the two prime ministers on October 5, he said that all the issues were raised by PM Hasina, including water sharing.
Water resources secretaries of both the countries met recently after a long period and a minister-level meeting is expected in the future when all the problems will be solved, said the minister.
A condition on agreeing in principle about a framework involving some common rivers has been created, he added.
To a question on the relationship between Dhaka and New Delhi, Dr Momen said: “The relationship with India is very warm. Such a good relationship has never been before. But, different countries see different issues differently. Many want to keep their leverage and we also want them to keep the leverage. Let [India] keep good relations with everybody. Thus, it becomes easy for our jobs to get done. Being quiet does not mean they don’t help us. They are helping us though they are quiet. Therefore, we are not concerned about that.”
About the achievements from the prime minister’s visit, Dr Momen said: “Of course, we have got many things.”
In this regard, he mentioned exporting gas, inauguration of a skill development skill centre, and agreement on better use of Indian line of credit.