Ties Between India and Bangladesh Resilient Despite “Boycott India” Campaign, Asserts Shringla

April 16, 2024 6:03 pm

Former Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla
Former Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla

By Masum Billah

Former Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla remains undeterred by the “boycott India” movement in Bangladesh, emphasizing the enduring strength of bilateral relations between the two nations. In an online discussion, Shringla expressed confidence, citing a profound and positive affinity towards India among the people of Bangladesh.

Shringla noted the extensive interaction between the two countries, including tourism, medical treatment, and educational pursuits. He underscored India’s commitment to fostering people-to-people connections as a cornerstone of its foreign policy, ensuring a positive perception of India among neighboring nations.

Highlighting India’s “neighborhood first” policy, Shringla elucidated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s prioritization of regional relationships. He mentioned significant initiatives, such as directing 50% of Indian credit lines to neighboring countries like Bangladesh, along with preferential treatment in vaccine distribution and trade facilitation.

Furthermore, Shringla discussed the potential for enhanced cooperation in energy, particularly electricity, with neighboring nations like Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. He proposed ambitious projects, such as an undersea electricity cable to Sri Lanka, aiming to foster long-term stability in the region.

Addressing concerns about project implementation under Indian credit lines, Shringla acknowledged the challenge of credit absorption capacity, a phenomenon not exclusive to Indian assistance but also applicable to Chinese credit. Despite these challenges, Shringla emphasized the need for continued progress in all aspects of India-Bangladesh relations, echoing Prime Minister Modi’s characterization of the ties as a “golden chapter.”

In conclusion, Shringla affirmed the satisfactory state of India-Bangladesh relations and urged sustained momentum to address remaining issues and bolster mutual cooperation.

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