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Modi in Dhaka

For now, Bangladeshi sceptics are silent. But Delhi and Dhaka will soon need to take stock of the unanswered questions and necessary follow-up measures for the agreements signed.

 

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh has ushered in a new chapter not only in bilateral relations but in a significant way for the sub-region (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) as a whole through the signing of 22 agreements and memorandums of understanding on all possible sectors including multi-modal connectivity. It is a new dawn in the sub-region.

 

The successful conclusion of Prime Minister Modi's visit to Dhaka is important for both its content and symbolism. The 60-point Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and 22 agreements that were exchanged between the two countries provide an insight into the huge potential the two countries have in building a fruitful relationship.

 

A very wise man had said, “To say nothing, especially when speaking, is half the art of diplomacy.” To that one might add -- to repeat the old words on a longstanding but pressing issue without committing anything is the full art of diplomacy.

 

Indian need for an optimal mode of transit across Bangladesh is well recognised. To extend friendly cooperation to India, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman displayed his foresight and sagacity by restoring the Protocol on Inland Water Transit and Trade in 1972 which had been suspended by the Pakistan authorities in 1965.

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh comes a year after Modi took office.  Soon after BJP won a landslide victory, Modi dispatched External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Dhaka in June 2014.

 

Bangladeshis are always interested about India. Geographical proximity, historical affinity and cultural likeness tie the two countries in many ways.

 

Of course, such international dynamics have seen some reversal, at least between Bangladesh and India, after pro-secular political forces led by the Awami League assumed office in Bangladesh in early 2009. 

 

Dr. Imtiaz Ahmed, Professor of International Relations at Dhaka University, talks to Nahela Nowshin of The Daily Star about contending issues between Bangladesh and India on the occasion of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Bangladesh.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, in an interview on the eve of his visit has likened the unanimous ratification of the LBA and its Protocol by the Indian Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

 


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