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Gowher hopeful of even better ties with Modi govt

By UNB, DHAKA
18th-May-2014       
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Trashing the notion that the Awami League government is more comfortable with Congress government than that of BJP, PM's International Affairs adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi on Saturday hoped they will be able to resolve the outstanding problems with the neighbouring country very soon maintaining good ties with its new government.
"This statement is not true that Awami League is not comfortable with BJP as it has a good relation with Congress. There'll be no change in our good ties with India after the formation of new government by BJP. I rather think it'll be now easier to resolve our outstanding issues with India very soon," he said.
Taking part in the BBC Sanglap, Gowher Rizvi said the Manmohan Singh-led government could not resolve many problems as it was a collation government. "As the BJP has got the absolute majority, it' ll be bale to take any independent decision in resolving problems with Bangladesh." He also said the BJP government is unlikely to bring any change in its foreign policy towards Bangladesh.
Another panellist, BNP vice chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, however, said it is too early to comment whether BJP will change its foreign policy or not.
He said the main problems over the ties between Bangladesh and India is the trust deficit. "Now we've to wait to see what measures the new Indian government will take to remove this mistrust. We hope the new government will maintain transparent relations with Bangladesh."
Replying to a question from the audience whether the BJP government like that of Congress will extend its support to the Sheikh Hasina-led government formed through a lopsided election, Rizvi said the BJP will also continue its support to the government like Congress. "It's wishful thinking that BJP will change its position and policy over Bangladesh. We've congratulated BJP and we're ready to work with them. So, there'll be no difference in supporting the current regime by BJP." Shamsher Mobin, however, thinks there will be an inconsistency between the status of the two governments - one came with a strong people mandate while another doesn't have that. "So, it'll be difficult to maintain a sustainable relation with such a government."
He also hoped that as BJP, which is coming through a democratic process, would also want to see a democratic government in Bangladesh through a fresh election.
Another panellist, New Age publisher Shohidullah Khan Badal, thinks the current Awami League government may not get similar support from BJP as the party is unlikely to endorse a government that came through a controversial election.
He said the Awai League government got Congress support as Sheikh Hasina has personal relations with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, and the two parties have historical ties, too.
Both Gowher and Mobin termed BJP Prime Minister-designate Norendra Modi's various threats against Bangladesh like sending back Bangladeshis illegally staying India mere pre-election rhetoric.
Replying to a question whether a fair trial of Narayanganj seven-murder case will be held, Gowher assured that there will be a transparent trial as committed by the Prime Minister, and requested all to have patience. Another panellist, executive director of Bangladesh Women Lawyers' Association Salma Aali, voiced her doubt about fair trial and impartial investigation. Shamsher Mobin and Badal also echoed Salma.
BBC journalist Akbar Hossain moderated the programme.

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