Friday, January 15, 2010

India-Bangladesh Goodwill Ties To Impact Neighboring Nations

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina 's India visit can be characterized historic in many respects. Bangladesh came into existence as an independent country in 1971. In 1947-1971 it was a part of Pakistan and was known as East Pakistan. It became independent after a prolonged struggle. At that time, the Pakistani military killed thousands of its people. India had been instrumental in the achievement of its independence. Sheikh Majibur Rehman was the first prime minister of independent Bangladesh. It invariably extended friendship to India. But, in 1975 Sheikh Mujibur-Rehman was murdered along with his entire family.
However, his daughter Sheikh Hasina Wajed was saved because she was away from Bangladesh then. In the wake of the murder of Mujibur Rehman, the political history of the country had been chaotic. The Constitution adopted by Mujibur Rehman in 1972 was based on democracy and socialism, but in 1979, former President Ziaur Rehman made a series of amendments in the Constitution, directing it toward Islamic ideology.
Over the past three decades, Bangladesh continued to pass through similar chaotic conditions. Hence, it distanced itself from India persistently, passing through different regimes. At one state the distances between the countries seemed to be turning into animosity. After a prolonged struggle Hasina assumed power in Bangladesh. In the December 2008 elections, her Awami League party emerged victorious with a vast majority.

Anti-Terror Strategy
Hasina has always been recognized as "pro-India." With her latest India tour, the India-Bangladesh ties can be expected to be fortified. During her visit she stated in no uncertain terms that "anti-India" terror activities from the soil of Bangladesh. The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced monetary aid to the tune of $1 billion to Bangladesh, which can be termed the highest financial support extended to Bangladesh from any other country. Manmohan Singh also said that Hasina's visit will not only usher a new era in the India-Bangladesh relationship but also the two nations will continue to maintain the friendship in the future also.
In the context of the tension between the countries over the river water problem, the Indian Government, exhibiting magnanimity, declared that India will not implement its Tipaimukh dam project. Simultaneously, India will also start a 250 megawatt power project for Bangladesh. The two nations have also resolved to prevent terrorism and smuggling of narcotic products. Under it cooperation, it will be extended at all levels. It was also announced that India will promote marketing of Bangladeshi goods by providing a slew of incentives. The two countries will extend cooperation to each other in the agricultural sector also. So far so, India will be able to use the Chittagong Port of Bangladesh for exports and imports of Indian goods.

Developing Mutual Goodwill
We are of the view that as a consequence of the newly developed mutual goodwill the two nations will greatly benefit from each other and its impact will be extended to other neighboring nations also. India has maintained cordial ties with Maldives, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. Pakistan is the only country with which cordial ties would be possible only after a long period of time. Maximum regard is due to be paid to the sentiments of the daughter of Bangladesh.

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