Bangladesh’s main opposition BNP chief and ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on Friday said her party wanted all deals with India, including the proposed transit agreement, be made public to enhance mutual trust between the two countries.
“Discussions on outstanding bilateral issues, including transit, will remove the deficit of trust between the two neighbours,” a party spokesman quoted Ms. Zia as saying, as External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna called on her during his three-day Bangladesh tour.
Briefing the media after the 35-minute Krishna-Zia talks, BNP Vice President and former Foreign Secretary Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury said Ms. Zia stressed on “continued dialogue” between the two countries on outstanding bilateral issues for mutual benefits.
Asked if the transit issue was discussed during the meeting, Mr. Chowdhury said it was not discussed in detail, but Ms. Zia told Mr. Krishna that any proposed deal, including transit agreement, should be made public.
Mr. Krishna is said to have advised Ms. Zia to raise the issue with Bangladesh government for elaborate discussions.
Transit through Bangladesh, for India in particular, remained contentious issue as BNP and its rightwing allies were opposed to the facility for “security and economic concerns.”
They feared the facility could prompt India to transport military hardware to its northeastern states.
But, earlier delivering a talk at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS), Krishna said India wanted to use transit through Bangladeshi territories for “peaceful purposes” alone and added that New Delhi had no intention to use it for weapon and military transports.