Indian prime minister Narendra Modi had the discretion to strike a deal on Teesta water-sharing, but, The Economist writes, he might find it awkward to make such gesture to Bangladesh premier Sheikh Hasina.
On the other hand, the British magazine says, Hasina, for her part, is ignoring domestic suspicion of India to sign the security pact.
“There was no progress on what mattered most to Sheikh Hasina: a treaty on how to share the water of the 53 rivers that flow from India to Bangladesh,” The Economist observed on failure to sign Teesta deal, in an article “Water tortured: The romance between Bangladesh and India is star-crossed”.
The influential British magazine came up with the article in its latest issue appeared on 14 April.
“Even if the water of the Teesta was his to give, Mr Modi might find it awkward to become too chummy with Sheika Hasina.”
The magazine also focussed on the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s accusation of selling out against Hasina and promise to scrap it if the party comes to power.
“The Teesta is another handy stick with which the BNP can beat the government,” the article pointed out.
The Economist referred to Bangladesh’s geographical location between India and South-East Asia with a long littoral and China’s trade and defence cooperation with the country, especially Dhaka’s purchase of two Chinese submarines and president Xi Jinping’s loan offers of billions of dollars.
“India is responding with a charm offensive of its own,” the magazine said dwelling on the agreements and MoUs. The Economist specifically pointed to “no progress” in water-sharing.
The magazine mentioned that Sheikh Hasina went home shrugging: “We sought water, but got electricity.”