India offers $4.5-bn credit to Bangladesh

During talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, India also commits $500 mn credit to Bangladesh military.

IMAGE:Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina release the Hindi translation of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's book Unfinished Memoirs.

He was addressing a gathering along with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina at the Manekshaw Centre to pay tribute to the Indian soldiers killed in the 1971 war for Bangladesh. "India and Bangladesh are its victims".

Modi also spoke on the agreement on greater defence cooperation between the two countries.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said there is a "mindset" in South Asia which encourages and patronises terrorism.

"People of South Asia will be the beneficiary of our friendly relations", she said, adding that sub-regional cooperation was "very, very important for development".

A joint statement issued later said: "The two Prime Ministers also expressed their appreciation for the growing bilateral cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy, especially in training and capacity building".

However, the two leaders could not come to a consensus on the Teesta water-sharing agreement. The discussions covered trade in electricity from Nepal and Bhutan, she said. "This brings our resource allocation for Bangladesh to more than 8 billion dollars over the past six years, " he added.

Hasina said her country was indebted to India for its role in the birth of Bangladesh. Indian companies will also ink an agreement for supplying high-speed diesel.

There was no breakthrough, however, in a long-standing dispute about the sharing of water from the Teesta River which flows through both nations although Modi vowed to find a solution to the issue seen as vital for Bangladesh farmers.

The new bus service, which was flagged off from the West Bengal secretariat in Howrah, will ply between Kolkata and Bangladesh capital Dhaka, via Khulna.

She further said that both the leaders have reiterated strong commitment to make the borders peaceful and free from criminal activities. This is her first bilateral visit to India in seven years after her visit in 2010. People from Bangladesh, who travel for education, treatment and pilgrimage will benefit the most.

  • Zachary Reyes