Bangladesh-India relations set to reach newer height : Hasina attending Modi’s swearing-in...

Bangladesh-India relations set to reach newer height : Hasina attending Modi’s swearing-in ceremony


Bangladesh-India relations set to reach newer height : Hasina attending Modi’s swearing-in ceremony

By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to depart from Dhaka for New Delhi on the afternoon of June 7 to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, marking his historic third consecutive term.

According to the state-owned news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), the Prime Minister’s Office announced that Sheikh Hasina will leave Dhaka at 4 PM on June 7 and will return home at noon on June 9, following the swearing-in ceremony of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Earlier Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the invitation to Sheikh Hasina during a telephone conversation, which she graciously accepted.

On June 5, 2024, Sheikh Hasina congratulated Narendra Modi on his election victory, marking the third consecutive win for his party. During their phone conversation, Sheikh Hasina extended her congratulations on behalf of the people of Bangladesh, her government, her family, and herself for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), winning the 18th Lok Sabha election.

“This victory of NDA for the third consecutive term was made possible due to your strong leadership” Sheikh Hasina said:

On behalf of the people of Bangladesh and on my own behalf, I wish to extend my heartiest congratulations to you on the resounding victory of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 18th Lok Sabah elections.

As the leader of the largest democracy in the world, you carry the hopes and aspirations of the people of India. Your convincing victory is a testament to the trust and confidence that the people of India have reposed in your leadership, commitment and unwavering dedication for the country.

It is my firm belief that our friendly and close ties will continue in all areas, as you start the journey with renewed mandates for a rare 3rd consecutive term. Let me assure you that Bangladesh, as a trusted friend of India, will continue to work together for the betterment of the people of the two countries as well as for a prosperous and peaceful region.

I would also like to convey my best wishes to the people of India for the continued peace, progress and prosperity.

I look forward to closely working with you in the coming days.

Please accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

It may be mentioned here that, since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister of India in 2014, Bangladesh-India relations have been steadily deepening, and this latest development is expected to further strengthen the ties between the two nations.

The relationship between Bangladesh and India has reached unprecedented levels of cooperation and mutual respect under the visionary leadership of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Their dynamic leadership has fostered stronger bilateral ties, enhancing collaboration across various sectors including trade, connectivity, defense, and cultural exchange.

The historical ties between Bangladesh and India are deeply rooted, with India playing a pivotal role in Bangladesh’s liberation war in 1971. However, it is under the leadership of Modi and Hasina that these ties have been significantly strengthened. Since Narendra Modi took office in 2014, and with Sheikh Hasina’s leadership since 2009, both leaders have shown a remarkable political will to elevate bilateral relations to new heights. Their personal rapport and frequent high-level meetings have paved the way for resolving long-standing issues and initiating new avenues of cooperation.

Economic engagement has been a cornerstone of the deepening relations between the two countries. India is one of Bangladesh’s largest trading partners. In recent years, bilateral trade has surged, with both countries benefiting from mutual economic growth. The introduction of various trade agreements and the removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers have facilitated smoother trade flows. India’s investment in Bangladesh has also seen a significant increase, with Indian companies investing in sectors like telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and energy.

Connectivity projects have been a major focus of Modi and Hasina’s leadership. The revival of old railway lines, the establishment of new bus and train services, and the development of infrastructure at border points have greatly enhanced people-to-people contact and economic activity. The Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) Initiative is a prime example of their commitment to regional connectivity, aiming to facilitate the movement of goods and people among the four countries.

Water sharing is a critical issue for both nations, with many rivers flowing between India and Bangladesh. The two leaders have made significant strides in addressing water-sharing concerns, notably with the signing of the historic Ganges Water Treaty in 1996, which laid the foundation for further cooperation. Ongoing discussions about the Teesta River and other trans boundary rivers reflect their commitment to

finding mutually beneficial solutions.

In the area of security and defense, India and Bangladesh have taken substantial steps to collaborate more closely. Joint military exercises, increased defense training exchanges, and enhanced cooperation in combating terrorism and transnational crimes underscore their strong defense ties. The recent agreement on the exchange of white shipping information is a testament to their growing maritime cooperation.

Cultural ties have always been strong between Bangladesh and India, with both countries sharing a rich cultural heritage. Initiatives like the opening of new cultural centers, increased scholarships for Bangladeshi students in India, and joint cultural festivals have further strengthened these bonds. These initiatives not only promote mutual understanding but also bring the people of both nations closer.

People-to-people contact has been significantly enhanced through visa facilitation agreements and easier travel protocols. The introduction of multiple-entry visas and the establishment of more visa application centers in Bangladesh have made travel between the two countries more accessible. This has boosted tourism, medical travel, and educational exchanges.

While significant progress has been made, challenges remain. Border management issues, particularly related to smuggling and illegal migration, need continuous attention. Environmental concerns, such as the impact of large infrastructure projects on local ecosystems, also require cooperative solutions. However, the strong foundation laid by Modi and Hasina’s leadership provides a robust framework to address these challenges.

With Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarking on his historic third consecutive term, the relations between Bangladesh and India are poised to reach new heights. This milestone not only marks a significant moment in Indian politics but also signals a promising future for the deepening ties between the two neighboring nations. Under Modi’s leadership and the steadfast partnership with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the bilateral relationship is expected to see further strengthening and expansion across various sectors.

Narendra Modi’s leadership since 2014 has been characterized by a proactive and strategic approach to foreign policy, particularly with neighboring countries. His relationship with Sheikh Hasina has been marked by mutual respect and a shared vision for regional stability and prosperity. This camaraderie has played a crucial role in overcoming historical challenges and fostering a spirit of collaboration and trust.

The relationship between Bangladesh and India has been characterized by mutual respect, strategic cooperation, and a shared vision for regional stability and prosperity. Maintaining a cordial relationship with India has brought immense benefits to Bangladesh across various sectors, from economic growth to infrastructure development, security, and cultural exchange. The dynamic partnership under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has significantly enhanced these benefits, creating a robust framework for future cooperation.

Under the magnanimous leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh-India relations have flourished, setting a new paradigm of bilateral cooperation. Their strategic vision, mutual respect, and commitment to regional stability and prosperity have not only benefited their respective nations but also set an example of how neighboring countries can work together for mutual benefit. As both nations continue to build on this solid foundation, the future of Bangladesh-India relations looks promising, heralding an era of enhanced cooperation and shared progress.