Good foreign policy begins near home

By H K Dua

Mr Deputy Chairman: Now, Shri H K Dua. Duaji, please take only two minutes.

Derek O’Brien: Sir, I have just one point. In the spirit of what we are debating and discussing, every party here has got up and given its whole-hearted support to this Bill. In that spirit, I am suggesting that this is a Constitutional Amendment Bill. It needs majority of two-thirds of Members present and voting.

H K Dua (Nominated): Sir, I will try to finish within two minutes. I support the Bill moved by the Minister of External Affairs on the Land Border Agreement, which was overdue. We had signed the agreement but we were looking as a nation, which lets down itself by not ratifying it much earlier than we are doing it now. This Bill will facilitate early ratification of the Agreement signed years and years ago.

Sir, a good foreign policy always begins near home. By satisfying the needs of a neighbouring country, it serves as an input in the conduct of a good foreign policy. I am glad, this Bill is doing exactly this.

Also, I hope, the passing of this Bill facilitates the signing of an Agreement on Teesta waters also, which is pending for long. For this, you do not need more negotiations with Bangladesh, but you do need negotiations with Derek O”Brien’s party. I think some way out will be found, and, both will cooperate with each other.

Sir, the ratification of LBA will be in wider national interest. We should have good relations with Bangladesh and strengthen the hands of a friendly Prime Minister there, who is facing many serious challenges. This agreement, and, a possible agreement on Teesta waters, which we have promised — but not delivered — will further strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who has been cooperating with India, including by returning the militants who were earlier being harboured in the Bangladesh territory.

The return of their territory, and more cooperation between India and Bangladesh in trade, economy and transit routes, will further lead to better relations between India and Bangladesh. Like the rest of the House, I fully support this Bill.

Thank you, Mr Deputy Chairman.

(Transcription of H K Dua’s intervention in the debate on Constitution Amendment Bill on the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh on May 6, 2015.)