Speeches in Parliament Vol. (IV)-51

I wish that he continues to remain in the same mood and does not start sniping at India again. I hope that this accord which we have arrived at is implemented in the same spirit in which we have reached it. This is a very important step and we are glad that the step that we had thought of has started to show results. As neighbours we are bound to have problems. Which country is not going to have problems? If we have problems, what are we supposed to do? We have to sit together, find out options, try to convince each other and find a solution. That is the Simla Agreement. Without any interference from any friend or foe, big or small, it has to be left to ourselves. We should sit down and discuss this ,matter. All the problems mentioned in the Simla Agreement have been solved by now. This is certainly a very positive development. I am specially making a mention of it, because everyone of you, the whole nation and I think most of the countries in the world have appreciated this. Therefore, I thought I should mention this. This is exactly what we were trying to do from the very beginning. The Simla Agreement came in 1972. Well, its implementation was halted. Now, it has been put on its track. I hope, it proceeds further, without any unexpected difficulties because we want to improve our relations with Pakistan. We want to improve our relations with every nation around India. We want the same type of relations with Bangladesh. What has India not done for Bangladesh? From 1971 onwards, we have done everything that is possible. But unfortunately what happened in 1975 has created a different situation and a sort of anti-India propaganda has taken hold of the situation. First they said that India is about to intervene militarily. We invited their military people and told them to send their military delegation. They can come and see whether there is any preparation for that sort of thing. Then they discovered Farakka. Now, this has been used as some sort of an instrument of ‘propaganda’ against India. I think no one can put it better about Farakka than the Prime Minister herself. As she said this is not an insoluble question. We never thought that it is an insoluble question. Realistically speaking, we have laid down the way of solving that question. Well, if Bangladesh has got problems, certainly we can sit together and discuss these matters. We invited them. We said, Please come along and sit with us. But come with a desire and intention to solve the matters.” We do not say Bangladesh has no problems about the waters of the Ganga. But we have also got some problems. Farakka was not just built because we had extra money. It is not merely a question of money. It is a question of the life of Calcutta and the people who live in Calcutta.

As a matter of fact, it is question of the life of West Bengal. I should like to say, that it is the question of the life of the entire economy of India, because Calcutta port is not a port, for West Bengal only. It is a major port of India. It affects the economy of India. Therefore, naturally we have got problems. They have got problems. We can sit together and solve the problems. We asked them to send their technicians. Ultimately, they sent their technicians. Our technicians also went. Let us see what happens. They say it is a political decision. I do not know how it is a political decision. If it is politically motivated. I do not know whether they will come to this decision. But, on our side, we are willing to discuss this matter and find a solution. There are no problems between two neighbours and between two nations which cannot be solved by understanding and negotiations if there is a willingness to solve the problems.