Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Saturday said that India-Bangladesh relations have matured over the years and the country remains a committed partner in Bangladesh’s economic growth, prosperity and social indicators.
“Bangladesh is India’s biggest development partner and India’s largest trading partner in South Asia, contributing to economic prosperity and supply chain resilience in the region and beyond,” Shringla said in his recorded address, during the second day of the three-day Indian Air Force conclave to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1971 India-Pakistan War, in Bengaluru.
According to Shringla, comprehensive connectivity is the key to the partnership and both sides worked together to revive the pre-1965 rail connectivity and expand it. Other modes are also being strengthened, especially for linkages with the North-Eastern regions of India, he said, adding that waterways, passenger cruise ships, energy and power lines have been added. “Both countries share strong people-to-people ties, which are further strengthened through capacity-building programmes, partnerships and cultural exchanges,” he said.
He said the two pillars of Indian diplomacy – Neighbourhood First and Act East – find expression in India’s vibrant ties with its neighbour and the year is of special significance in bilateral relations. Bangladesh liberation freedom fighters — ‘Muktijoddhas’ — and their families are the bridge between the two countries.
India and Bangladesh are deeper than any other strategic partnership, Shringla said it is a role-model for the relationship between two neighbouring countries. The Foreign Secretary termed the 1971 war as “Dharma Yudha” for justice over cruel tyranny and genocide.