• Saturday, September 20, 2014

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Indo-Bangla Relations

Bangladesh-India relations: The next steps

SINCE the visit to Dhaka by the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, there have been new hopes on all sides that the cordial relations between the two countries will scale new heights. It is, therefore, imperative that the tempo be maintained and the spirit of goodwill and friendliness that exists between the two people be used to build mutually benefitting relationship. I shall deal with a few issues here that are awaiting implementations and a few new areas...

Taking Bangladesh-India relations forward

AS a keen observer of India-Bangladesh relations over the years under different governments on both sides of the border over the last two decades, I could not agree more with the view that the dominant theme of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's recent visit to Dhaka (June 25-27) was connectivity. It was a theme that permeated Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's letter she handed over to his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and also in the speech Swaraj gave at...

The 'nowhere people' of the enclaves

The 'nowhere people' of the enclaves

THERE is a rather curious place inside Rangpur which goes by the name of Dahala Khagrabari #51. Upon close inspection the landscape provides no clues as to what exactly is it about the area that garners such curiosity and interest among locals and visitors alike. The land is a small 7000 m2 of...

BOTTOM LINE

Sushma's visit: A successful diplomatic balancing act

NO one in Bangladesh expected that the pending bilateral issues with India would be resolved during the 38-hour visit of India's Minister for External Affairs Ms. Sushma Swaraj to Dhaka. The fact that her visit took place within a month of the installation of the Modi government is symbolic of the priority India attaches to relations with Bangladesh. While visiting Dhakeswari Temple, the minister reportedly said that she came to Dhaka with an open mind and would continue to remove...

GROUND REALITIES

When protocol is cast aside . . .

AT the end of his talks with visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj a few days ago, Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali went before the media to brief them on the deliberations and their outcome. He did not have to do that. It should have been a Foreign Office spokesman or the Director General External Publicity who should have gone before the press to inform journalists of the nature of the negotiations. For their part, the Indians did...

Editorial

Sushma Swaraj's Dhaka visit

THE Dhaka visit by Sushma Swaraj as external affairs minister of the one month old BJP-led government in New Delhi has gone down well with observers in Bangladesh. The importance the new government of India attaches to Bangladesh has been amply illustrated by its choice of Dhaka as the first destination of diplomatic engagement after Thimpu.   The outcome of her visit can be seen in two parts -- one, it has provided an impetus to break new grounds in...

Bangladesh-India relations: The way forward

INDIAN Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi's invitation to the Saarc leaders at his inauguration was an unprecedented move that reflected his vision of South Asia. He realises that if India is to build up as a regional power, then it must ensure a friendly neighbourhood. His reaching out to the neighbours before engaging with big powers such as the USA, Russia, China and the EU, is a clear indication of priority that Mr. Modi attaches to the region. In...

New neighbourhood policy in the offing?

THE spectacular victory of Narendra Modi, who was projected as the prime ministerial candidate, got the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to power with a simple majority, the first such victory for any party in the last thirty years. His election campaign and the issues that he raised during the course of electioneering created some discomfort and uncertainty in the minds of India's neighbours, who watched the Indian election with as much anticipation as the Indians. The most important question...

BOTTOM LINE

Modi government and Bangladesh diplomacy

AFTER the massive victory of BJP leader Narendra Modi, it is natural to discuss what kind of relations the new BJP government will have with Bangladesh. Will there be a qualitative change or business as usual, or accelerated engagement with Bangladesh? The Bangladesh prime minister reportedly took the first diplomatic initiative by congratulating Modi over telephone and writing a letter inviting him to make Bangladesh his first destination when he went abroad, and to make Bangladesh his “second home.” Since...

Indo-Bangla Relations

Fear of unknown causing problems

Fear of unknown causing problems

Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman yesterday said he believed that the people's representatives of Bangladesh and India would act like statesmen in resolving the problems between the two countries. The "fear of the unknown" and "suspicion of the unknown" are causing a lot of problems between the countries, he told a reception at Sonargaon Hotel in the capital. “If the people of the two countries can come closer to each other and know each other, many of the suspicions may go away.” Indian High Commission in Dhaka organised the felicitation programme to honour Anisuzzaman for his receiving India's third highest civilian award Padma Bhusan. At the event, the Indian envoy, Pankaj Saran, presented him with...

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