Water sharing of International Rivers has been a sensitive issue between Bangladesh and India relationship. India has been advocating for international law in negotiation with upstream nations like China. But never agreed to follow international law for water sharing with downstream nation Bangladesh. As if there is no international law for water sharing.
In the 17th SAARC Summit in the Maldives an article which sought ‘to direct the SAARC environment ministers to consider development of modalities on the management of common rivers in the region’ was dropped due to objection from Indian side.
This article was proposed by Bangladesh. The Bangladeshi Prime minister also called for basin-based management of common rivers, including the Ganges and Brahmaputra, in the region. Bangladeshi delegates tried hard to persuade India, but they did not succeed.
India is always interested in bilateral talks with Bangladesh, but Bangladesh and other small nations in south Asia prefer multilateral talks. Himalayas created many rivers where Bhutan, Nepal, China, India and Bangladesh are involved. This is why many experts of Bangladesh say, Bangladesh should go for multilateral talks according to international law.