Indo-Bangla friendship goes beyond strategic partnership
High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Vikram Doraiswami has said the friendship between the two countries goes beyond even strategic partnership as it is based on shared sacrifice, shared history and culture and on the uniquely close ties of kinship.
Doraiswami said India deeply admires and respects the spirit of the Bangladeshi people, who fashioned a nation based on their own unique identity in a historic people’s struggle.
Quoting former External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, he said: “India is following a policy of neighbours first, and among the neighbours Bangladesh is foremost.”
The Indian envoy made the remarks while exchanging views with the top management of Bashundhara Group, editors and senior journalists of the media concerns of the East West Media Group Ltd (EWMGL) on Thursday.
On his arrival at the EWMGL, the newly appointed Indian High Commissioner was warmly welcomed by Bashundhara Group Managing Director Sayem Sobhan Anvir.
Naem Nizam, Editor of Bangladesh Pratidin and CEO of News24 TV channel and Radio Capital, made welcome remarks on the occasion.
Editor of Daily Sun Enamul Hoque Chowdhury, Editor of Kaler Kantho Imdadul Haq Milan, Editor of Banglanews24.com Jewel Mazhar, Head of News of News24 Rahul Raha and other senior journalists were present on the occasion.
Sayem Sobhan Anvir in his inaugural speech said they are extremely happy as the new Indian envoy made his first visit to the EWMGL. He said both the sides can work together to enhance the relationship of the EWMGL with India.
“India is our next-door neighbor … we want to see each other happy, peaceful and prosperous neighbours in the days to come.”
While mentioning the atrocities on the innocent citizens of Bangladesh in 1971, Doraiswami said the people of the country faced the harshest oppression but achieved the independence with unique courage and heroism.
He said the liberation war of Bangladesh remains an inspiration to the world and it will always be India’s abiding honour to have offered the support.
Doraiswami said India and Bangladesh share a very warm and friendly tie and regarded as a unique example of a neighbourly relationship.
“Bangladesh is, was and will always be a very special partner of India,” he said adding that India gives Bangladesh the highest level of importance.
He said Bangladesh made remarkable improvements in social indices and sustained economic growth at the fastest pace in South Asia under the statesmanship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Mentioning about the special commemorative years—Mujib Barsho, the Golden Jubilee of Liberation, and the 50th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties, the Indian envoy expressed the high optimism that the existing relations between the two neighbours will reach new heights.
He also hoped that the upcoming summit meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will usher in a new era in the ties when the two leaders will make fresh announcement to promote comprehensive partnership to meet the fundamental needs of the two peoples.
He stressed the need for more business, trade and joint venture initiatives to take forward the relations as well as explore more areas of cooperation for the benefit of the people of the two countries.
Responding to a question, Doraiswami said although the international community is providing humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas, Bangladesh is facing the larger effect of this one million people. “As neighbour of both Myanmar and Bangladesh, India wants a solution to the crisis through repatriation of Rohingyas.”
Turning to the pandemic, he said the bilateral trade between the two countries has greatly affected due to COVID-19. “We’ve taken steps how to overcome the problem and face the challenges of the post-corona situation.”
The High Commissioner highly praised the government for taking effective steps to face the pandemic and assured that Bangladesh will get priority in getting corona vaccine when it will be made available.
On a question how India can avoid sudden market issue like onion export, he suggested that the two countries should go for comprehensive cooperation in the agro sector, so that Bangladesh can also produce onion on a larger scale to meet the domestic demand.
He said the two countries should have dialogue in more areas to address concerns and introduce mechanism to resolve problems.