On March 26, 1971, Father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared Bangladesh as an independent country. After the nine-month Liberation War with the supreme sacrifices of three million martyrs and the honour of two lakh women, Bangladesh achieved its cherished independence from Pakistan.
In the long process of war, India acted as an all-weather friend and supported Bangladesh in its freedom movement. India stood by Bangladesh in every step since then.
So in 2020, Bangladesh is celebrating the silver jubilee of diplomatic relations with India too. To mark the occasion, the Modi Government has decided to issue a commemorative stamp on Rahman because this year its the 100th birth anniversary of Mujibur Rahman.
Earlier this on April India handed over the key conspirator Abdul Majid convicted for assassinating Bangladesh’s founding father, Rahman. It was termed as the best gift among the people of the country.
A.K Abdul Momen, Bangladesh’s top diplomat also in charge of extradition, said that “Prime Minister Modi is very assertive and has supported us a lot in handing over major Bangladeshi criminals. We have also ensured that Bangladeshi territory is never used to promote anti-India activities. The Indian government’s help in this regard is paramount to the safety and security of Bangladesh.”
India is going through a tough phase, especially with regards to its neighbourhood. So this time without any late India has decided to strengthen its tie with Bangladesh by establishing a mechanism to regularly review the progress of bilateral development projects, with five such ventures, including an oil pipeline and three cross-border rail links, set to be completed in 2021.
Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India’s top diplomat met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and discussed several matters. Majorly, India’s developmental assistance for Bangladesh and connectivity and power projects were considered.
Several of these projects, including the Rampal Maitree power plant, India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline, and rail links between Akhaura-Agartala and Chilahati-Haldibari and Khulna-Mongla rail line are expected to be completed next year,” said Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson, MEA
He also added that” India’s proposal to launch a travel air bubble between the two countries with limited flights for official, business and medical travellers was appreciated by the Bangladesh side.”
India has also provided Covid-19 related assistance to Bangladesh and organised capacity-building courses for Bangladeshi medical personnel following the video conference of Saarc leaders and creation of the Saarc Emergency Response Fund. Bangladesh has committed $1.5 million for the fund.
In the last few years, India and Bangladesh have amicably resolved complex issues, including the land and maritime borders. They have taken several initiatives to boost connectivity and trade, including the commencement of movement of Indian cargo from Agartala to Kolkata via Chattogram.
Shringla’s visit was useful in discussing specific initiatives in key areas of mutual interest and also reflected the priority that India accords to Bangladesh as part of its “neighbourhood first” policy, Srivastava added.