India, B’desh bonded by cooperation: Modi

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 May 2018 09:39:21


 

SANTINIKETAN,

(PTI),

INDIA and Bangladesh are two separate countries bonded by cooperation and understanding, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Friday assering that the last few years have been a golden chapter in India-Bangladesh relationship when complicated issues of land and coastal boundaries were resolved. Echoing his views, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who inaugurated the newly-constructed Bangladesh Bhavan here along with Modi, voiced hope that the remaining issues will also be resolved in a “friendly atmosphere”. The Bangladesh Bhavan is a centre dedicated to cultural cooperation between the two countries and has been built on Visava Bharati University campus.

Earlier, Modi, who is the ‘acharya’ or Chancellor of the Visva Bharati, shared the dais with Hasina on the occasion of the 49th convocation of the central university here.He greeted Hasina in Bengali and said his Government would take initiatives to ensure that the youth of the both the countries  get to know about the cultural contributions made by eminent personalities from the two nations. After the inauguration of the Bangladesh Bhavan, he said, “A golden chapter is being written in the relationship of India and Bangladesh. Complicated issues related to land boundary and coastal boundary, which seemed impossible to solve at one point of time, were finally resolved.”Modi said India has agreed to extend line of credit worth eight billion dollars for the development of Bangladesh.The shared heritage of the two countries and Rabindra Sangeet have sweetened the India-Bangladesh ties over the years. “Like we have inaugurated the Bangladesh Bhavan in West Bengal, we have also taken the responsibility to renovate Tagore’s residence ‘Kuthibaari’ in Kushtiya district of Bangladesh,” he said. Modi said the two neighbours are moving forward rapidly in the area of connectivity - be it roads, railways, international waterways or coastal shipping.

Listing the development initiatives taken by both the countries, he said, “Last year an air-conditioned train was introduced between Kolkata and Khulna. We named it Bandhan. Our country has been supplying electricity to Bangladesh. Presently it is 600 MW and we have a target to increase the supply to 1100 MW this year.”Sheikh Hasina has a vision to give power to all in her country by 2021, while in India electricity would reach all the villages and every household by next year, the Prime Minister said. Bangladesh, he said, was taking giant strides in space technology. “Bangladesh has launched its satellite and opened up a new door for cooperation in this area,” Modi noted.India has taken the initiative for the international solar alliance and Bangladesh has become a part of it along with other countries.

Acknowledging India’s help to Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina said, “We are getting all cooperation from India. Our only enemy is poverty and we want to remove it. We are working towards that goal and India is helping us in our efforts”. “Together we have resolved many bilateral issues in an amicable way for the benefit of both the countries. Although there are issues that still need to be taken care of, I do not wish to mention them at this programme,” she said. Hasina said, “There may still be some problems and we hope to resolve those issues in a friendly atmosphere.”The two countries had in the past settled border disputes by signing the Land Boundary Agreement for exchange of enclaves, she said.

Expressing gratitude to India for “standing beside Bangladesh in times of crisis”, Hasina, who is Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s daughter, said, “We will never forget how India stood beside us during the 1971 Liberation war.”About Bangladesh Bhavan, which has been set up by her Government, Hasina said, “We are delighted with our share in Visva Bharati University. The students, scholars and teachers will be immensely benefited from this Bhavan,” she stated.Rabindra Nath Tagore belongs to both India and Bangladesh because he had written the national anthems of both the nations, she added.

Earlier, speaking at the Visva Bharati convocation, Modi said India and Bangladesh are two countries bonded by cooperation and understanding. “Be it culture or public policy, the people of the two countries get to learn a lot from each other,” he said, adding the Bangladesh Bhavan is an example of this relationship.