A future where India and Bangladesh share their developmental journeys and can study, work and do business seamless would be the best natural vaccine against the toxic infusion of radicalism and extremism in our societies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said.
In an article in the Bangladesh newspaper ‘The Daily Star’, the Prime Minister said an era of co-operation, as might have been the case much earlier if Mujibur Rahman had not been assassinated, is again within grasp if the two counties seize the opportunities that beckon them.
The PM said the dream of Bangabandhu is being realised by PM Sheikh Hasina and it is time to "chart a bold ambition for our partnership". “With the spirit and enterprise of our people, the dispenser of our people, such a future is closer than ever,” he said.
There was subtle political sub-text to his comments as well, as the discussion on shared development of maritime resources has a resonance in terms of stalled projects like cooperation over the Teesta river pact. These can be revived only if a BJP government assumes office in Kolkata as chief minister Mamata Banerjee is strongly opposed to the water sharing deal.
Modi noted that the two countries have achieved an important objective of settling land and maritime boundaries. "Our trade has reached historic levels, aiding economic activities in each other's countries," he wrote.
Cargo from Bangladesh can move through India to Nepal and Bhutan. Similar efforts are on to allow Indian goods to reach northeast India through Bangladesh. Waterways being developed will permit Bangladesh goods to reach Varanasi and Sahibganj.
The PM said new friendship pipelines will bring the nations closer as will the Akhaura-Agartala road link. He said India will fully commit itself to development of Bangladesh on the landmark occasion of the 50th year of its War of Liberation.