In his written speech, Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who visited Dhaka this week, did not mention specifically the Teesta River water sharing issue. He spoke about water sharing of some other transboundary rivers. It was only in response to journalists' query that he talked about the Teesta water sharing deal.
But what he said was nothing new.
His remarks that "India is committed to an early and mutually acceptable conclusion of the agreement to share water of the Teesta River" is just a reflection of India's decade-old strategy on the issue. His remarks indicate there is no real progress in striking the long pending treaty.
And therefore, it could not generate any hope for the treaty.
Looking back, we find there has been no dearth of assurances and commitments regarding the Teesta deal over the last one decade. But none of them ever translated into action.
A chronicle of the assurances made by the Indian government will make things clear.
When Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited India in 2010, she and her Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in a joint statement said that the discussion on sharing of Teesta waters between the two countries should be concluded expeditiously.
A year later Manmohan Singh flew to Dhaka raising high expectations of signing the deal. But all of a sudden, New Delhi held back from striking the deal.
In the joint statement both the leaders however assured us that there has been progress on water sharing deal on a fair and equitable basis. They directed the concerned officials to work towards concluding the agreement "at the earliest."
The pledge to conclude the agreement 'at the earliest' did not pan out.
Three years down the line, India got Narendra Modi as its new premier. Modi flew to Dhaka in 2015 with the same promise.
Hasina requested Modi for immediate conclusion of the agreement on sharing of the Water of Teesta, as agreed upon by both the governments in January 2011.
In response, Modi conveyed that deliberations are underway involving all stakeholders with regard to conclusion of the agreement "as soon as possible."
Time flew with the pledge to strike the deal "as soon as possible" remaining on paper. Tomorrow never comes.
After two years, Hasina flew to India in 2017 and raised the issue again.
In the joint statement Hasina and Modi used the same words they used in the 2015 joint statement on sharing of Teesta waters.
During Hasina's visit to the neighboring country in October last year, New Delhi reiterated its pledge to sign the agreement as her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi said "in soonest possible".
These mere pledges made by New Delhi over the years could not change reality. The part of Teesta River that flows through Bangladesh dries up in the dry season for withdrawal of water by India from the upstream, causing irrigation problems for farmers in Bangladesh. The ecosystem of the river is now in peril due to lack of flow of water.
Our prime minister has demonstrated her sincerity by delivering on the pledges from our side. Dhaka has not allowed Indian insurgents to use Bangladesh' soils to operate against Indian interests. India is well aware of that.
During her visit to New Delhi last year, Dhaka gave the final nod to the agreement allowing India to withdraw 1.82 cusecs of water from Bangladesh's Feni river. The deal was signed as agreed upon by the two countries in 2011 during Manmohan's visit to Dhaka when New Delhi suddenly refrained from striking the Teesta deal.
But there is yet to be any progress on the much-awaited Teesta treaty, except reiteration of pledges.
Deep inside in its heart India must know unilateral withdrawal of water from an international river goes against international law.
The unfulfilment of Teesta pledges has impact on assurances on other issues as well.
During his latest visit to Dhaka, India's foreign secretary assured that the controversial new citizenship law and National Register of Citizens would not affect India's friendly relations with Bangladesh. He made the assurance in the wake of our concerns about the Modi government's controversial moves.
We want to keep faith in his assurance. But again, past records give us little room for optimism.
Despite India's repeated assurance to bring down border killing to the zero level, tragic incidents at the border continue unabated. Dhaka expressed its concerns and registered protests multiple times recently over the issue, by summoning Indian envoy.
Our foreign minister last month categorically said incidents of border killings are disgraceful for both the governments.
"This is very regrettable. The Indian government promised us that not a single Bangladeshi would be killed. Moreover, we entered into an agreement that no lethal weapons will be used along the border area. In spite of all negotiations and undertakings, border killing are continuing," said our foreign minister.
His frustration and concern reflect the ground reality.
Against all odds, one thing good is that whenever the top leaders of both countries hold a summit, they speak for strengthening the bilateral relationship.
On our part, we always deliver on our pledges. Now, its India's turn and it should walk a few extra steps to deliver on its pledges - be it on Teesta water sharing or curbing border killing.
Our neighbouring country should keep in its head that a friendly relation should always be reciprocal.
The incumbent India's Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, who was his country's high commissioner in Dhaka, knows well the pulse of Bangladeshi people about his country.