Bangladesh, India need to take leadership role to tackle geopolitics, climate change
Mutual respect, trust and equality should be the pillars of the bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and India, said foreign policy analysts and academics at a discussion yesterday.
The two countries need to remove all the irritants and engage deeply to flourish and to take leadership in the region to tackle the challenges emerging out of global geopolitics and climate change.
The observations came at a discussion title "50 years of Bangladesh-India Partnership: towards a journey in next 50 years" jointly organised by the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), India at a city hotel.
Analysts said despite lots of challenges, Bangladesh and India have made some great achievements, with the major three being the implementation of the Ganges Treaty, Land Boundary Agreement and tackling cross-boundary terrorism. The two neighbours also progressed much in terms of connectivity and trade.
"At the same time, we also have problems," said CPD Distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya.
He said for trust, respect and equality, religious or ethnic minorities should be treated equally and that one should agree to live with pluralistic view in one's own country.
"There are some outstanding agendas including water issues, border management and non-tariff barriers in trade that need to be addressed at the soonest," he added.
Former Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque said the Indo-Bangla relationship will grow under the framework of larger Indo-Pacific global politics.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh must receive its fair share of the Teesta water based on the draft agreement agreed upon by both governments in 2011.
He said the deals on the Teesta and other common rives should be signed at the earliest.
CPD Chairman Prof Rehman Sobhan said, "The Indo-Bangla relations flourished pretty well, but there are a lot more opportunities untapped. For example, Indian investments in Bangladesh and connectivity and trade with the Northeast Indian states, still a work in progress.