Insight Online News
Dhaka/New Delhi, Dec 7 : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stressed on the need for recommitting to work for further strengthening the 50-year diplomatic ties between Bangladesh and India by focusing on people-to-people contact, trade, business and connectivity.
This has become increasingly important for both sides, she said in a video message aired during the Maitri Diwas celebrations in New Delhi on Monday to mark 50 years of bilateral diplomatic relations, held at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).
“We continue to believe in the importance of our relationship. At the same time, this anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the foundation of our bilateral relations and the path ahead. It is an occasion also to re-commit ourselves to work towards further strengthening the long-standing dynamic partnership between Bangladesh and India,” Sheikh Hasina said.
She recalled that during the state visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in March 2021, they agreed on the joint celebrations in 18 selected cities along with Dhaka and New Delhi, and to recognize December 6 as Maitri Diwas.
The prime minister said: “Bangladesh and India are celebrating the Golden Jubilee of establishment of diplomatic relations.
This is a milestone in the journey of our bilateral relations. India recognized Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign state on December 6th, 1971″, Dhaka Tribune quoted her as saying.
Sheikh Hasina said she is confident that together the two countries and two peoples would continue to turn their vision and ideas into realities, for decades to come.
“Our partnership is not confined to the treaties, MoUs, bilateral agreements that provide the formal structures for our working relations. Today, our broad partnership has matured, taking dynamic, comprehensive and strategic shape, and is based on sovereignty, equality, trust and mutual respect,” she added.
The relationship between Bangladesh and India is anchored in history, culture, language and shared values of secularism, democracy, and countless other commonalities, she continued.
“Our bonds of friendship have been further strengthened, diversified and expanded in recent years due to regular high level political interactions and exchanges,” the Prime Minister said.
Despite restrictions imposed due to COVID-19, she said, the relationship at all levels has remained stable and strong.
“This was evident in our excellent cooperation and collaboration in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic,” she added.
The prime minister said the foundation of Bangladesh-India relations was laid by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Quoting a speech of 1972 of Bangabandhu, she said: “We have a very special relationship with India. The relationship is the friendliest. Friendship between Bangladesh and India is in our hearts. The bonds of friendship will remain firm and long-lasting”.
“Today, I fondly recall the generosity of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her government, leaders of other political parties and overall, the people of India towards the people of Bangladesh in 1971,” she said.
The prime minister added that India provided accommodation to ten million refugees from Bangladesh, gave space for the Mujibnagar government and waged a diplomatic campaign in favour of Bangladesh.
Taking part in the discussion, state minister KM Khalid expressed gratitude to India and its people for their support to Bangladesh’s War of Liberation and recognition of Bangladesh as an independent state on December 6 in 1971.
The state minister hoped that both the countries will overcome all common challenges through mutual understanding and cooperation.
On Monday, India and Bangladesh jointly observed the Friendship Day in Dhaka, New Delhi and 18 countries around the world, including Belgium, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Russia, Qatar, Singapore, the UK, Australia, France, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, the UAE and the US.