The relationship between India and Bangladesh will not “break under any pressure and will not fall prey to any kind of diplomacy”, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Dhaka, reminding that the blood of Bangladeshi and Indian soldiers who fought for Bangladesh’s independence in 1971 are flowing together
The relationship between India and Bangladesh will not “break under any pressure and will not fall prey to any kind of diplomacy”, said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Dhaka, reminding that the blood of Bangladeshi and Indian soldiers who fought for Bangladesh’s independence in 1971 are flowing together.
The remarks came when Modi, who is on a two-day official visit to Bangladesh, was addressing a gathering in Dhaka to mark the celebration of Bangladesh’s National Day, the 50th anniversary of independence, and the birth centenary of the country’s founding father Sheikh Mujibir Rahman.
Earlier this week, the Indian government announced the Gandhi Peace Prize for Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Modi on Friday handed over the prestigious prize to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Shaikh Rahana in the program held in Dhaka.
“It is a matter of pride for Indians that we got the opportunity to honor Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with Gandhi Peace Prize,” he said while paying tribute to Bangladesh’s founder and independence hero.
During his address, Modi also mentioned the “genocide” that took place in the country when the Pakistan army “launched the Operation Search Light” to suppress the people of Bangladesh. The world hasn’t talked enough about it, he said.
Earlier today, he also visited the National Memorial in Savar and paid tribute to martyrs of the ‘liberation war’.
"May every visitor to this revered ground honor the sacred memory of the millions who were slain but not silenced,” Modi wrote in the visitor book there.
On the first day of the visit, Modi met various community leaders of Bangladesh, including representatives of minorities, Bangladesh Muktijoddhas, Friends of India, and Youth Icons.
Modi also held talks with the country’s political leaders, including Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momin and other important opposition leaders of all parties. “The engagement involved discussions on a wide gamut of issues pertaining to the two countries bilateral relations. Discussions centered on diverse issues of bilateral relations were held during the meeting to strengthen ties between the two nations,” read a statement released by the Indian Prime Minister Office.
In his meeting with Foreign Minister Momin, both leaders stressed “ deepening the fraternal ties and strengthening the all-encompassing partnership based on sovereignty, equality, trust and understanding that transcends a strategic partnership between the two countries.
On Saturday, Modi and Hasina will hold a one to one meeting, and a delegation-level meeting, where important bilateral agreements in the field of investment, connectivity, and infrastructure are expected to be signed.
Modi will also offer prayers at the ancient Joshoreshwari Kali Temple, one of the 51st Shaktipeeth for Hindus. The visit to the temple, which is sacred to the Matua Hindu community, is also being seen as a political move to woo the votes of the people of the Matua community in neighbouring West Bengal where the assembly elections are going on.
On his arrival in Bangladesh this morning, Modi was received by Hasina along with members of her cabinet and was also accorded a 19 gun salute and a guard of honor.
On the occasion, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar also extended wishes to his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momin. “Prime Minister Modi’s presence in Dhaka is a testimony of our unbreakable bond,” he wrote on Twitter.