Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud has rejected any notion of “mistrust” of India and said “it is a matter of time” now before the Teesta water-sharing deal is inked.
“It must happen,” he said speaking at a conference on Bangladesh-India cooperation in Dhaka on Sunday.
Mahmud said once signed, this would be an area of “very big cooperation” between India and Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Itihas Sammilani organised the conference with the Kolkata-based Center for East and Northeast Regional Studies at the Bangla Academy.
Ministers, academics, security analysts and former diplomats from both countries attended.
The Teesta water deal could not be signed despite all preparations due to the resistance of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in 2011 during the tenure of the Congress-led UPA government.
Current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised a new hope after he settled the decades-old land boundary issue with Bangladesh within a year of assuming office.
During his visit in June last year, he said, a “fair solution” to the Teesta issue was “possible”.
Mamata Banerjee also visited Bangladesh in February last year, urging everyone to “keep faith” in her this time.
The water resources minister said all processes had been completed and Prime Minister Modi, during his visit to Dhaka last year, had reiterated the deal would be signed.
“So there is no mistrust. It is a matter of time now,” he said.
This would also take us to a position from where “we can jointly manage all of our rivers”, he said, stressing on “basin-wise” river management.