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Dawn of new era: Bangladesh dailies on PM Modi visit

IANS 07 Jun 2015, 13:51:28 IST

Dhaka:  Highlighting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit as "the dawn of a new era" and echoing his description of the signing of the Land Boundary Agreement protocol as a "historic moment" in bilateral ties, newspapers in Bangladesh on Sunday said the neighbours have reached a crucial juncture of cooperation.

Modi's visit, that began Saturday with the inking of the much-awaited LBA as also the formal flagging off of the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati bus services, was the flier in all the newspapers, which carried multiple reports on the prime minister's speech and the various programmes he attended during the day.

The highest circulating Bengali daily Prothom Alo said: "There is no doubt that the resolution of the LBA marks a crucial juncture in the cooperation between the two close neighbours... a new door of cooperation has opened."

The paper recalled the various twists and turns over the past 40 years regarding the LBA, and regarded the Sheikh Hasina government's policy of not giving shelter to militants operating in India's northeastern states as a "crucial factor" that helped in the resolution of the LBA issue.

Quoting liberally from Modi's speech after the signing of 22 agreements between the two nations, the paper said: "After the LBA resolution, he termed his Bangladesh trip as a 'historic moment'. According to him, the unanimous ratification of the LBA agreement in Indian parliament reflects the consensus in his country about relations with Bangladesh.

"The boundary agreement will secure the border of the two countries. It will make life stable for the people in the border areas."

In a front page lead news headlined "Dawn of a new era", English daily The Daily Star said: "Bangladesh and India opened a new chapter of hopes in their relations, fraught with dubious politics, myopic diplomacy and tardy bureaucracy over the decades."

"Top leaders of the two countries translated their goodwill in actions by signing a host of treaties and agreements to pave the way for regional connectivity, economic development and increasing people to people contact."

Referring to the non-inking of the Teesta river water sharing treaty, the newspaper said: "In his speech, Modi also addressed Bangladesh's longstanding concern over sharing of the Teesta water."

Blaming West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for standing as an obstacle to signing the deal, the paper said: "There was no lack of sincerity on Modi's part."