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PM Modi promises to deal Teesta issue from a humanitarian perspective

PTI 08 Jun 2015, 8:00:11 AM IST

Dhaka: Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised that the long-pending Teesta water sharing pact should not be made into a political issue and be dealt from a humanitarian perspective.

"I am of the view that birds, air and water these three do not need to have visas at all," he said yesterday.

In a public address organised by the Dhaka University, Modi said he was positive about finding a solution to the issue.

"We have had discussions about it. I am of the view that birds, air and water - these three do not have to have visas at all. I think water cannot be a political issue. In fact this we can decide taking a humanitarian approach," the Prime Minister said.

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"On the basis of humanitarian approach, we should try and find a solution and I am sure we will be able to do that together and will be able to find ways to resolve it. Constant efforts must be made and we should not lose confidence. Definitely outcome will be there," the Prime Minister added.  

The issue had figured prominently during the delegation level talks Modi had with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday.

The Teesta deal was set to be inked during the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Bangladesh in September 2011 but was postponed at the last minute due to objections by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who had also dropped out of the Prime Ministerial delegation.  

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.

Expressing satisfaction over his talks with Hasina after which a total of 22 pacts were signed, Modi said there are issues which need to be resolved.

"Still a lot has to be done. My country has 1.25 billion people. There are so many states. I have to take them forward together. And when I move forward with Bangladesh, my states will also have to be moved forward," Modi said in an apparent indication that Mamata Banerjee will have to be on board in finding a solution to the Teesta issue.

The Prime Minister also talked about incidents of shooting on the border, saying both the countries must ensure that such incidents do not take place.