‘Bangabandhu is also the national hero of India’ Narendra Modi

Special Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Indian Secretary of External Affairs Harsha Vardhan Shrihgla

Indian Secretary of External Affairs Harsha Vardhan Shrihgla

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Indian Secretary of External Affairs Harsha Vardhan Shrihgla has come to Bangladesh on a two day visit to finalize the details of ensuing visit of Indian PM Narendra Modi on March 17 to join the birth centenary celebration program of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

He was the chief guest in a seminar titled ‘Bangladesh & India: a promising future’ organized jointly by Indian High Commission in Bangladesh and Bangladesh Institute of International Strategic Studies(BIIS) held at hotel Sonargaon on Monday(March 2).

In the key –note paper Shringla quoting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is also the national hero of India.

As the closest of neighbors with so many shared cultural traits, it is also inevitable that events in each other’s countries create ripples across the border – irrespective of whether there is real justification for this,” Shringla said.

One recent example is the process of updating the NRC in Assam, which has taken place entirely at the direction and under the supervision of the Supreme Court of India, he said at the seminar.

Let me clearly state here what our leadership has repeatedly confirmed at the highest level to the Government of Bangladesh: this is a process that is entirely internal to India. Therefore, there will be no implications for the Government and people of Bangladesh. You have our assurance on that count, he said.

His visit to Dhaka came amid the criticism of the Modi government’s handling of violence in neighborhoods in India’s capital that killed 46 people, most of them Muslim.

Shringla also touched upon the Rohingyas to defend his country’s position on the refugee crisis. There is also often interest and sometimes uninformed speculation about our position on the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State of Myanmar, and its impact upon Bangladesh. Let me clearly say that India is deeply appreciative of the spirit of humanism that motivated Bangladesh to offer shelter to nearly ten lakh displaced people, he said.

And we fully recognize and sympathies with the enormous burden that you are facing. As the only country that is an actual neighbor of both Bangladesh and Myanmar, we are committed to offering the fullest support for any mutually-acceptable solution that will enable the earliest possible return of displaced persons to their homes in Rakhine State and to a life of dignity.

This should be done in a manner that is safe, secure and sustainable.

Shringla mentioned that India provided five tranches of aid to the camps in Cox’s Bazar through the government of Bangladesh and is prepared to do more.

In parallel, we are investing in the socio-economic development of the Rakhine area, including housing, so that there is an incentive not only for people to return, but for all communities to focus on cooperative solutions for economic development, rather than compete for limited resources, he added.

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