South Asia and Beyond

Jaishankar In Dhaka

India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar begins a round of talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Abdul Momen in Dhaka today ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first external visit post-Covid, later this month. They are expected to review the MoUs likely to be signed during the Modi visit and arrangements being made to mark 50 years since Bangladesh’s liberation from Pakistan.

Bilateral relations have seen an upswing in the wake of India’s supply of Covid vaccines and easing immigration procedures for those coming by rail. No breakthrough is expected on that one issue which bothers Dhaka the most: the sharing of Teesta waters. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may appreciate Modi’s situation given elections in West Bengal. But the sense in Dhaka, which the local media have dwelt on, is that Delhi has not gone the extra mile in response to the trade and connectivity concessions by Bangladesh.