Bangladeshi media hails Modi trip but concerned over Teesta impasse

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Dhaka, Jun 7: Bangladesh's mainstream media today gave front page coverage to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden visit here, hailing it as the "dawn of a new era" in bilateral ties while lamenting the lack of "definite progress" on the contentious Teesta water sharing issue.

"The New Horizon in relations", read the headlines of mass circulation 'Prothom Alo' newspaper, with the report highlighting that the visit had yielded 22 agreements and MoUs to take bilateral ties to a new height.

Modi with Bangladesh PM

In its main editorial, the newspaper said, "for different reasons, the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be remembered...the visit is going to resolve the border dispute and enclaves which was pending unresolved for nearly seven decades."

The widely circulated 'Samokal' carried the headline "Friendship in new height" and highlighted Modi's comments in which he paid tributes to Bangladesh's founder and his counterpart Sheikh Hasina's father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

It also highlighted the Bangladesh premier's priorities for enhanced connectivity. Leading English newspaper, 'The Daily Star', carried the headline, "Dawn of a new era", with its subtitles saying, "Hasina, Modi, pledge mutual growth; land deal documents exchanged; 22 deals signed; USD 2 billion fresh Indian credit."

In an editorial titled, "No breakthrough on Teesta", the newspaper, said, "we did not expect the (Teesta) deal to come through on this visit but had certainly hoped for some definite progress in the regard."

The Financial Express newspaper in its headlines said, "Modi assures fair solution to Teesta, Feni river waters". The headline was followed by a sub-heading which read, "Everything to be done to bridge trade deficit, he says".

Modi, after holding talks with Hasina yesterday, had expressed confidence to have a "fair solution" to the Teesta and Feni river water sharing issues with Bangladesh "with the support of state governments in India".

The Teesta water is crucial for Bangladesh, especially in the leanest period from December to March when the water flow often temporarily comes down to less than 1,000 cusecs from 5,000 cusecs every year.

The New Age, widely known for its anti-government stance and bias towards ex-premier Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), carried the visit as its main report, saying "Modi gets transit boost; He pledges fair share of Teesta water, Hasina for fulfilment of commitments."

PTI

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