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Will civil nuke deals appease Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina?

Will civil nuke deals appease Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina?
The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi welcomes the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Ms. Sheikh Hasina, on her arrival, at Air Force Station Palam, in New Delhi on April 07, 2017.

New Delhi: Bangladesh Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina arrived here on Friday on a four-day visit during which she will hold wide-ranging talks with PM Narendra Modi, who was at the airport to receive her as a special gesture.

During Hasina’s visit, which is her first after Modi assumed office in 2014, the two sides will be signing at least 25 pacts in various key sectors including civil nuclear cooperation and defence but any agreement on the Teesta water sharing is unlikely to be inked.

Modi and Hasina, who is staying at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, will hold comprehensive discussions on Saturday. India is also set to announce a line of credit of $500 million to Bangladesh for military supplies. Apart from a “courtesy call on” by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Hasina’s schedule on Friday included events at the Bangladesh High Commission.

Officials here have said, ‘it will be a visit without water’, indicating that a pact on Teesta river waters is not on the cards. “The Central government will not go ahead with the agreement on Teesta without taking West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on board and she has been opposing it stridently citing water crisis in the state.” However, the two sides are looking at the inking of a framework agreement on civil nuclear energy which will provide for extensive cooperation in the sector including setting up of nuclear reactors in Bangladesh by India.

“It will be a very very special visit. We hope the visit will take the ties between the two countries to new level,” Joint Secretary in the Bangladesh-Myanmar division of the external affairs ministry Sripriya Ranganathan said. On Teesta pact, she said, “Teesta agreement remains a work in progress…We have not reached a closure on it.”