DHAKA: Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina is expected to go on a four-day state visit to the neighboring India on April 7. The Premier has not visited India on a state tour since her last visit in 2010. In the meantimes, few attempts were taken to arrange a visit, however, the process ended in vain for many reasons. So, the upcoming tour is very important for some bilateral issues.
The Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harshavardhan Sringla made the comments in an exclusive interview with Banglanews at the India house complex in Indian high Commision in city’s Baridhara area on Thursday noon (March 13).
Harshavardhan Sringla told Banglanews that Prime Minister’s upcoming visit is very important for both countries. Because it will be her first official visit to India in seven years. Though, Hasina attended a conference of The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and the funeral of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s wife; but, they were not considered as a state visit. This will be her first bilateral visit after all these years.
Sringla said it will be a unique visit for her because the president of India had invited her to stay at the presidential palace. With this invitation, President Pranab Mukherjee showed great honor to the Bangladeshi Prime minister. Hasina will be welcomed with a red carpet reception. There will be a special state dinner for her.
On the bilateral issues, Sringla said Bangladesh and India shares many common issues. Issues that are benefited for both countries will be discussed including high-technology, space, IT, electronics, security and civil nuclear energy. Deals will be made based on agreements out of those discussed issues.
On the issue of development activities, Shringla said India wants to be partner with Bangladesh to ensure infrastructure development. Port, airport, roads, railways and several other sectors will remain under the infrastructure development projects.
“We want to prioritize the projects which will be more effective for development of Bangladesh. We are linked with an economic inter-connectivity in this sub-continent. From that point, India has economic inter-connectivity with Bangladesh.”
He said that India can’t imagine development without Bangladesh due to economic inter-connectivity, while Bangladesh needs India in this regard. This is vice versa. We have to come forward to ensure mutual cooperation. It could be achieved through sub-regional cooperation.
India will focus these developmental issues during Sheikh Hasina’s visit, he added.
He said perhaps people of Bangladesh might assume that only defence issue will be discussed in the forthcoming visit. It is not so at all. We are already continuing mutual cooperation in this sector.
Specifying the sectors of mutual cooperation, he said a record number of Bangladeshi army officials are taking training in India, while Indian army officials are also taking training in Bangladesh. Officers of Army, Navy and Air Force of both the countries are taking part in exercise. It is a regular bilateral matter.
He strongly said, “We have taken project such as Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) for first time. The HARD will ensure the strategy on how to utilize the air-force in case of natural disaster.”
He regretted that, with a politically biasness, many Bangladeshis view and present the bilateral issues between Bangladesh and India in a mistaken manner or make negative comments. We want to say that these are wrong. We have taken many positive initiatives which are playing effective role in development of the two countries. Not only a few number of common people, some press media and journalists also encourage these types of issues of opposition.
Many responsible press media and journalists are also placing the issues negatively. I want to say that their source of information is fully imaginary, he added.
“The India-Bangladesh relationship is for long time. We hope, the visit will bring some good which will be beneficiary for both of us. The two country’s stance is about own interest. Each will come forward for mutual basis. We will provide advantage, we will take advantage. This is the main subject.”
Harshabardhan Sringla said that the long pending boundary dispute has been successfully solved. Moreover during the visit of Narendra Modi in 2015 there was a fruitful discussion in the long pending problems. Border guards of both countries are working to prevent smuggling and crimes along border. Similarly the sea water dispute was solved successfully. In the sea the navy and coastguards are working together on the basis of understanding.
He informed that earlier a large number of fishermen were attacked by cyclone and Indian navy rescued those dead and sent to the Bangladeshi authority. Bangladesh did the same. It was possible as the sea boundary was determined. The discussion will be made keeping the agenda regarding the progress of the two countries. Naredra Modi wants the development of Bangladesh along with the development of Sheikh Hasina. So the visit of Sheilkh Hasina will get the priority of the development of the people of the two countries.
The High Commissioner thinks that in this visit the matters of the relation of the two countries will get a new height which will benefit to the two countries.
In the coming visit of Sheikh Hasina, many matters of bilateral trade with the Indian businesses will be discussed and Hasina will attend many of their function, the ambassador informed.
In the second day of her visit, she will sit together with Modi at Hydrabad House at the summit conference.
The opposition leader of India, Congress leader Sonia Gandhi will make a courtesy call with Sheikh Hasina. On that very day the Prime Minister in a function will hand over prestigious mementos to the families of the war heroes who sacrificed their lives in our liberation war in 1971.
The High Commissioner further told that we want that the two Prime Ministers come to such an epoch making decision so that the youth of the two countries particularly be benefited.
BDST: 2310 HRS, MAR 16, 2017