India, Bangladesh sign 22 agreements

She last visited the country in January 2010.

India announced a credit line of $4.5 billion for development projects in Bangladesh, as the South Asian neighbors try to deepen their ties.

At the airport, the Prime Minister welcomed Hasina, who is on four-day visit to India from Friday, with a bouquet as she alighted from the aircraft.

We are a long-standing and trusted development partner of Bangladesh, ' Modi said at a press briefing after the sides signed as many as 22 agreements in key sectors including civil nuclear energy.

Noting that 1,661 Indian soldiers had laid down their lives in the Bangladesh Liberation War, Modi said the Indian army's struggle in this can not be forgotten. He said the move reflected India's friendly and cordial relations with the neighbouring country. "But there is a mentality in South Asia against this mindset", he said.

Politically, Hasina can not accept such a solution, Bangladesh officials said, because it would amount to accepting defeat on the Teesta pact. Admitting that the pact was "important" for India-Bangladesh ties, Modi assured India's commitment to the issue. He also appreciated Bangladesh's efforts to contain religious extremism.

The treaty calls for 50:50 sharing of the waters of River Teesta between West Bengal and Bangladesh during the lean season. On Monday, she will join a reception to be hosted by India Foundation in her honour and attend a business meeting being organised by India's apex chambers of commerce.

In her response, Hasina said, "I appreciate naming a road after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman". They solemnly acknowledged the atrocities and called upon the global community to recognise and preserve the memory of those who lost their lives and those who suffered during the genocide.

On the occasion, Hasina also honoured Lance Naik Albert Ekka, Major Anup Singh Gahlaut, Subedhar Malkiat Singh, Havildar Sungandh Singh, Lt Samir Das and Lance Naik Mohan Chandra, who laid down their lives in the 1971 war.

"The training of 1500 Bangladesh civil servants in India has nearly concluded. The supply of another 500 MW has already been committed from the existing inter-connection".

He also said, "Connectivity is crucial".

It brought cheers for a moment when smiling West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee entered the room at Hyderabad House on Saturday afternoon where over 100 journalists were waiting to listen to the prime ministers of Bangladesh and India after their bilateral talks.

The leaders also inaugurated a new railway link between Radhikapur and Birol on which goods trains will run.

He said in-land water-ways routes are being optimized and steps are being taken to put into operation the Coastal Shipping Agreement.

  • Essie Rivera