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What the Indian media said about Shringla's Dhaka visit

  • Published at 09:02 pm August 19th, 2020
What the Indian media said about Shringla's Dhaka visit
Indian newspaper distributors sort newspapers displaying front page news on the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, at a roadside stall in Amritsar on April 22, 2019 AFP

There has been a hype surrounding Shringla’s visit in the Indian media where the Teesta issue and Bangladesh-China relations are being discussed

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s second official visit to Bangladesh has generated a lot of interest in both countries with the media reporting details related to the two-day trip. 

There has been a hype surrounding Shringla’s visit in the Indian media where the Teesta issue and Bangladesh-China relations are being discussed. The Indian media is also claiming that relations with Dhaka and New Delhi have deteriorated in recent times.

However, the foreign secretary has called his Dhaka tour “very satisfactory” after he wrapped up the two-day visit on Wednesday.

“Cooperation in building an airport in Bangladesh was announced earlier. This time, China is also helping with $1 billion for the Teesta irrigation project. After that, Delhi could no longer remain silent.” 

This was the opening part of a report in the Indian Bangla daily Aajkaal on the visit of Shringla to Dhaka on August 16. 

Also Read - Very satisfactory visit, says Shringla

The report, titled “China's help in Teesta project, India's foreign secretary in Dhaka soon,” further said, “At the end of March, there was a lockdown in the country to resist coronavirus. Then Shringla is going on this first foreign tour. He will hold talks with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina today. Sheikh Hasina will also hold a meeting with a foreign guest for the first time since the lockdown.” 

Another popular Bangla daily Anandabazar wrote under the headline “Foreign secretary in a surprise meeting with Hasina” that Shringla paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during a two-day surprise visit to Bangladesh. 

“The foreign secretary had brought ‘special message’ from Delhi on mutual cooperation between the two countries,” Anandabazar quoted Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Riva Gangopadhyay Das as saying. 

Zee News headlined “Foreign secretary to visit Dhaka, discuss Teesta with Sheikh Hasina."

The multi-lingual popular Indian media writes that “the tension between New Delhi and Dhaka over Teesta water sharing is nothing new. In the meantime, Beijing has recently announced a huge amount of aid to Dhaka in the Teesta project. In such an atmosphere, the informed sources think that this hasty visit is only to strengthen the bilateral agreements between India and Bangladesh and to get a glimpse of the overall situation.”

“China’s Teesta plans: Foreign Secretary likely to visit Bangladesh today” was the headline of the English-language daily The Hindu.

According to the newspaper, “Bangladesh is likely to receive $1billion assistance from China for an irrigation project on the Teesta which has been at the centre of a water-sharing negotiations with India.”

The headline indicates that Shringla came to Bangladesh targeting Chinese investment in the Teesta project.

“Foreign secretary meets Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina in bid to counter China's influence” - the Asian Age wrote, adding that “both countries are moving towards convening a Joint Consultative Commission at the foreign ministerial level to oversee the bilateral relationship, especially projects being carried out for the welfare of Bangladesh with Indian assistance.”

“Old Dhaka hand Shringla rushes to the rescue as India tries to placate friend Bangladesh,” under this headline News18 wrote, “this is seen as a significant move, considering New Delhi has been concerned over Dhaka’s sudden leaning to China for investment much like other neighbours of India. The latest trigger being a possible loan from the Chinese for a project related to the Teesta River.” 

Also Read - 'Delhi will share Covid-19 vaccine with Dhaka when ready'

“India and Bangladesh have been unable to sign a Teesta river water sharing treaty for eight years now – both PM Manmohan Singh and PM Modi have been stopped due to objections from West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee over the treaty.”

“Though no specific information was shared with regards to any possible movement over the Teesta treaty, however, the consultative commission’s mandate appears to oversee all such hiccups.”

Asked about this news, Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen said Dhaka and Delhi had discussed a number of false and negative news items in various news portals. 

"I have drawn their attention to that," he said. 

“We have agreed that we have the mainstream media, that the current state of our relationship is better, we will try to convey this message through discussions with you,” Masud told the reporters.

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