Former Bangladesh President hopes for early settlement of issues

The former Bangladesh President, H.M. Ershad, on Friday said his country's relations with India were progressing well and hoped for an early settlement of issues, including the proposed Tipaimukh dam, on which Dhaka had reservations, and the Teesta river water-sharing dispute.

Lieutenant-General (retired) Ershad, who is here to attend the golden jubilee celebrations of the National Defence College, told The Hindu that bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh were good and that he was impressed with the transformation of Delhi, a city he stayed in 1975 for attending a course at the NDC.

General Ershad, 80, who heads the Jatiya Party, which is supporting the government of Sheikh Hasina, recalled his days at the NDC and expressed satisfaction at having met some of his mates, including the former Indian Navy Chief, R.H. Tahiliani.

He said his country could not forget India's contribution during the 1971 Liberation War and felt that this goodwill could not be eroded.

General Ershad said greater cooperation between the two countries augured well for the region and for development. On the Tipaimukh dam, which India plans to construct in Manipur, he said Bangladesh was concerned that it would affect the flow of the Surma and Kushiara rivers. He hoped that New Delhi would take decisions that would not harm the people of Bangladesh.

Keywords: ErshadTipaimukh dam