Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh-India bilateral relationship is a role model of good neighborliness for the rest of the world.
“As a result of such multifaceted and multi-dimensional cooperation, our bilateral relations have become a role model of good neighborliness for the rest of the world. I strongly believe this momentum will continue,” she told her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi by video conference yesterday.
Earlier, the two prime ministers jointly inaugurated four projects in Bangladesh, including supply of 1,100 buses and trucks to Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC), from their respective capitals.
Hasina said the two countries over the last decade witnessed a remarkable progress on cooperation in different areas like security, power, trade and commerce, energy, connectivity, infrastructure development, environment, renewable energy, education, culture and health.
The two neighbours also stepped up cooperation in newer areas, including blue economy and maritime cooperation, peaceful use of nuclear energy, sharing internet bandwidth and cyber security, the PM added.
She strongly condemned the Pulwama attack in India-administered Kashmir last month. “We remain steadfast in our resolve to root out the scourge of terrorism from our region and beyond through bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation.”
Hasina expressed sympathy for the family members of those killed in the attack.
She said Bangladesh had adopted “zero tolerance” policy against terrorism and would never allow its land to be used by any terrorist organisation.
The PM gratefully recalled the then Indian government's crucial contribution to Bangladesh during the Liberation War in 1971, saying that it remained an eternal milestone in the relations between the two countries.
She expressed satisfaction that some projects under the second Line of Credit, provided by India, were nearing completion.
The four projects inaugurated yesterday are supply of Double Decker and Single Decker AC and Non-AC Buses and Trucks to BRTC (under the second LoC), 36 community clinics in Jamalpur, Sherpur, Habiganj, Sunamganj and Brahmanbaria; 11 water treatment plants in Pirojpur's Bhandaria Pouroshova, and extension of National Knowledge Network (NKN) to Bangladesh.
Welcoming the friendly gesture of the Indian government to set up 36 community clinics and 11 water treatment plants through grant financing, Hasina said community clinics were an integral part of a hugely successful flagship programme of her government. The clinics were contributing towards making basic healthcare, family planning and nutrition services available at the grassroots level.
She hoped the extension of the NKN to Bangladesh would increase the capability of Bangladeshi researchers by enhancing their access to the universities, research institutions, libraries, laboratories, healthcare and agricultural institutions across India.
Hasina said she was looking forward to jointly celebrating more such success stories of collective endeavours in future.
It was the first video conference between Hasina and Modi after the former's assumption of office as the PM for a third consecutive term.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also spoke on the occasion from the Gono Bhaban.
Education Minister Dipu Moni and Health Minister Zahid Maleque were present.