WE felicitate the assumption of office by Narendra Modi as prime minister with his full cabinet. He made a very significant statement on the very first day by having invited Saarc leaders as well as engaging them in bilateral talks individually. It is imperative that peace begins in the neighbourhood. We have always advocated for a lessening of tensions between India and Pakistan which is key to durable peace and collective development through cooperation in the Saarc region.
Modi's engagement of regional heads of state at the oath-taking ceremony has been a reflection of statesmanship, particularly when he showed a decisiveness to make it happen breaking through prejudices in some quarters.
The fact that both premiers of India and Pakistan have decided to restart the stalled peace process is an auspicious development. Nawaz Sharif is on record having stated that where the dialogue was left off during Atal Behari Bajpayee's tenure will be picked up and advanced with the new Indian PM.
As far as Bangladesh is concerned, Narendra Modi has assured our Speaker Shirin Sharmeen Chowdhury of dealing with the outstanding issues, particularly Teesta water sharing and border demarcation in the near future. He has also accepted the offer of invitation to Bangladesh at the earliest possible opportunity. Taking these two cues together, we believe the warm bilateral relations that already exist between the two countries are set to be strengthened even further on pending issues.