Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said India should show “more broadness” in sharing the water of the Teesta and other rivers, calling the country a “tested friend” of Bangladesh.
In an interview with Indian agency Asian News International ahead of her New Delhi visit, Hasina said the long standing problem should be solved because India would also benefit from it.
She pointed out that her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi is “very eager” to solve the problem. The problem, however, is “in India”, she added, referring to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s objection to sharing Teesta water with Bangladesh.
“It is very sad. We are downstream and water is coming from India. So India should show more broadness. Because both the countries will be beneficiaries.”
“Sometimes our people suffer a lot because of this need for water. Especially Teesta. We could not go for harvest and so many problems take place.”
Asked whether she feels the minorities in Bangladesh is as secure and as robust as the majority community in the wake of attacks targeting Hindus, Hasina said as long as the Awami League is in power, Bangladesh gives importance to protecting its minorities.
“But some incidents sometimes take place. We immediately take action. It sometimes happens.
“It’s a very unwanted situation but you know very well it is not only Bangladesh. even in India also sometimes minorities suffered,” she noted.
“So I think that both the countries should show their magnanimity and our part, you know Bangladesh is a secular country. We have many religions and religious harmony here.”
She said India and Bangladesh should cooperate to solve these problems related to religious hatred.
Speaking about attacks on and threats against secular online activists, bloggers and people from religious minorities, Hasina said extremism is “everywhere, even in India or other countries”.
“Sometimes they write and then immediately [the attackers] come. We’ve been trying our best to control it. We never support that. Everybody has the right to [practise] their religion properly, and one should not say such a thing that will hurt the other religion. This is not good. And any celebration, any, we celebrate all together.”