Dhaka 'very concerned' over China's Brahmaputra dams, Ali tells Indian media

Prothom Alo English Desk | Update:

India's The Times of India has reported that Bangladesh said it is 'very concerned' about possible diversion of water of the Brahmaputra river by China.

The Times published the report on Thursday quoting the Bangladesh high commissioner to India, Syed Muazzem Ali.

Reportedly expressing Bangladesh's readiness to participate in a joint water basin management, the diplomat was quoted to have said the prime ministers of the two countries had extensive discussions on the issue.

"On the Brahmaputra basin, we are very concerned about diversion of water and Bangladesh is prepared to join a joint basin management concept where we will discuss the points of water as it flows from the point of origin to the point of exit in the sea," the newspaper quoted Muazzem Ali as saying.

"And naturally, we will be very happy to fully cooperate with all regional joint agencies," he reportedly told reporters at an interaction organised at the Indian Women Press Corps in New Delhi.

He is said to have maintained that Bangladesh believes in joint river basin management both in the Ganges and the Brahmaputra.

Originating in Tibet and flowing across China and India, the Brahmaputra enters Bangladesh and meets the Ganges (Padma) before draining into the Bay of Bengal.

The Times reported that the Bangladesh high commissioner also sought to assuage India's concern amid reports of Bangladesh's growing proximity with China.

Another newspaper, Tribune India, used an analogy define Dhaka's relations with New Delhi and Beijing and quoted Muazzem Ali as saying, "If his brother does not have money to offer to him to purchase a car, he would go seek a loan from the bank. But the bank manager does not become a brother."

"We have trade and economic relations with China but we do not want to get into a debt trap. China has offered us line of credit. But it is not for free," he was quoted to have said.

He reportedly added that unlike in Sri Lanka or Myanmar, Bangladesh did not hand over the deep sea port in Chittagong to Beijing rather it is being built as a consortium by India, China and European Union.

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