Neighbourhood First: Foreign Secretary leaves for Bangladesh on a day long visit, carries a personal message from PM Modi

By: |
Updated: Aug 18, 2020 4:12 PM

During his bilateral meeting with his counterpart Masud Bin Momen, the focus is expected to be containing corona pandemic, and other issues including the vaccine India is working on for the virus.

Neighbourhood First, india bangladesh ties, Sheikh Hasina, narendra modi,Harsh V Shringla, post covid 19, Smita Panth, latest news on india bangladesh tiesSources in the government have underplayed the sudden visit to Dhaka and have dismissed it as just a regular bilateral review meeting which had gotten delayed due to global lockdown.

In an effort to boost ties Post-COVID-19, early morning, Foreign Secretary Harsh V Shringla, left for a day long visit to Dhaka. The visit assumes significance, as it comes at a time when there is a growing tension between India and China. Accompanied by Joint Secretary Smita Panth, he is expected to meet Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during his stay, and have meetings with Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen.

During his bilateral meeting with his counterpart Masud Bin Momen, the focus is expected to be containing corona pandemic, and other issues including the vaccine India is working on for the virus.

According to a short release issued by the Indian Mission, he is coming back tomorrow.

Sources in the government have underplayed the sudden visit to Dhaka and have dismissed it as just a regular bilateral review meeting which had gotten delayed due to global lockdown.

However, talking to Financial Express Online, senior journalist and a commentator on Bangladesh, Gautam Lahiri, says, “During pandemic it’s very unusual for foreign secretary to visit overseas and that too to Dhaka. The latest information is that he will be meeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. He is also carrying a personal message for her from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

“There is no agenda other than the Mujib Borsho celebrations. Maybe, he is visiting to understand her views on the regional development. China has offered big help to Bangladesh to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Most likely during talks, India is expected to offer bilateral co-operation to deal with the crisis,” Mr Lahiri opines.

Both countries have already year- long celebrations of ‘Mujib Barsho’ and also 50 years of liberation struggle of Bangladesh. Also, next year (2021) the two countries will be celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations. “Perhaps, during talks, the two sides might discuss what all will be planned for the celebrations,” a source said.

India-Bangladesh Connectivity

Last month, the first -ever container train service between India and Bangladesh reached Benapole on July 26.

There are plans to hand over more than 10 broad-gauge diesel locomotives to the neighbouring country.

Bilateral Relations between the two

Thousands of Indians had laid down their lives for the liberation struggle for Bangladesh, thus making the relations between the two countries as `blood relation’.

During the global pandemic India had sent medicines and medical supplies including PPE and other health equipments to that country. India had offered to send a team of doctors to help train the local doctors to handle the pandemic; however, Bangladesh has not accepted this offer yet.

In a rare gesture, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the country’s independence, Dhaka has announced that it will be constructing a monument in the memory of Indian soldiers martyred in the 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan. Around 3.5 acres of land has been identified which has historical significance at frontier Ashuganj of Brahmanbaia district bordering Agartala for the construction of the monument, the design of which is in the final stages.

According to records, in the liberation war of Bangladesh, around 3900 Indian soldiers had died and 93,000 were wounded. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had earlier honoured the Indian soldiers who were killed during the Liberation war in 1971.

Meanwhile …

On Monday, Bangladesh Navy Ship BNS -Sangram , a guided missile stealth corvette, made a port call at Mormugao Port, Goa. This was received by the officiating Defence Advisor at the Bangladesh High Commission in India as well as the officers from Headquarters Goa Naval Area. Since COVID-19 protocol is in place there were no bilateral events.

This missile stealth corvette is on its way to participate as a member of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1India provides Dornier aircraft to Maldives in sync with growing strategic ties
2‘Quad’ Foreign ministers to meet in Tokyo, countering China’s growing aggression on agenda
3HAL rolls out 300th ALH (Dhruv)