It was expected that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka in September 2011 would transform India–Bangladesh relations.
The Himalayan river system, which is made up of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers, has a combined drainage area that covers the countries of China, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Bangladesh has made clear that the security situation in that country is under control and it is the BNP that has to overcome its mental block to make a new beginning.
India should grasp the opportunities which are discernible in the political horizon in Bangladesh and deepen relations through engagement at the track two tier involving India’s political parties as well as by involving West Bengal as a major partner.
India and Bangladesh need to work together in the field of health and medical research to devise expedient measures to contain the menace of arsenic poisoning of ground water.
The goodwill built up during Khaleda Zia’s recent India visit needs to be capitalised upon judiciously, by keeping a manifestly even-handed stance on the internal politics of Bangladesh.
Indian leaders may have to convincingly convey to Begum Zia and her BNP party delegation their commitment towards the economic development of Bangladesh, continuation of Indian aid, and intent to address the balance of trade issue irrespective of the party in power there.
That cooperation between neighbours can pave the way for resolving issues relating to the management of shared borders is amply demonstrated by the outcomes of various bilateral interactions that took place between India and Bangladesh in recent months.
Ershad’s recent visit to India seems to have whetted his political ambition. In the last election he was hoping for the post of president, a ceremonial position in Bangladeshi political set-up; now he has stated openly that he wants to be prime minister after the next elections.