Bangladesh: Prime Minister Modi to deliver Bangladesh’s 50th independence anniversary as key guest
The visit aims to maintain the spirit of 1971 – when India supported the East Pakistanis led by Mujibur Rehman – to gain independence from undivided Pakistan. The Pakistan The army had launched a genocide in Pakistan on March 25, 1971 which ended in the defeat of the Pakistani army in December, but not before more than three million Bengalis were killed by the men in uniform. Ahead of Modi’s visit, Bangladesh MPs claimed Pakistan and ISI were trying to incite Islamists ahead of the historic trip.
The Hasina government decided on Thursday to observe a symbolic one-minute “blackout” from 9:00 p.m. to 9:01 p.m. across the country to honor the victims of the genocide.
The PM’s visit will be historic, given that he will go beyond the capital to three important locations on Saturday. First at Jeshoreshwari temple in Ishwaripur, a temple dedicated to the goddess Kali and one of the shaktipiths of the Hindu religion, followed by a visit to Tungipara to pay homage to the Bangabandhu mausoleum. The Bangladeshi father was born there, and eventually to a Thakurbari in Orakandi. Orakandi is the birthplace of Harichand Thakur who formed the Matua sect. Matuas migrated from Bangladesh to West Bengal and may be a deciding factor in the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal.
A number of new announcements are also expected to be made following the summits between the two PMs, Minister of Foreign Affairs Harsh Vardhan Shringla said in a special briefing Wednesday night. Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan visited Dhaka earlier this month. During Wadhawan’s visit, the two countries decided to quickly advance the CEPA feasibility study. A memorandum of understanding on trade remedies could be signed during the Prime Minister’s visit.
“The two sides will sign a series of agreements during the Prime Minister’s visit. These agreements will cover a number of areas of our cooperation – disaster management, trade, oceanography, ”said Shringla.
According to Shringla, the importance of the visit could be measured from the fact that, as Bangladesh commemorates 50 years of independence, “they invited our prime minister to share the stage.”
The relationship had since evolved and was “a role model” for others to emulate, Shringla said, referring to the depth and breadth of the interaction between the two countries.
Responding to a question on the highly anticipated Teesta water-sharing deal, he said India will continue to engage with Bangladesh to complete the Teesta deal as soon as possible. Asked about the issue of the repatriation of the Rohingya, Shringla said India remains engaged with Bangladesh and Myanmar to facilitate the return of “displaced persons” to their country of origin in Myanmar.
“India is the only country to have a border with Bangladesh and Myanmar. We therefore remained engaged with the two countries to resolve the problem, ”he added.
The two countries maintained the momentum of high-level contacts with virtual summits between the two prime ministers in December 2020 and visits by several delegations. Regarding connectivity, the two countries had reconnected five of the six rail links that existed before the Second Indo-Pakistan War in 1965, after which the links were cut. In addition, river transport was extended, access to the port was granted as well as the launch of a train for goods. Bangladesh received 90 lakh doses of Covid vaccine made in India, 70 lakh commercially and 20 lakh as a gift.