Tue, 21 May 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Ties with Bangladesh too strong to be disturbed by any campaign: Shringla 

Update : 17 Apr 2024, 10:57

Former Indian foreign secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla informed that he is not worried about the “boycott India” campaign in Bangladesh as he observed that the bilateral relationship is too strong to be disturbed by such a movement. 

The former high commissioner in Dhaka found a “very strong and positive affinity” towards India among the people of Bangladesh.

He was replying to a question in an online show where the presenter asked him about the boycott India campaign in Bangladesh and Maldives. 

He said “I have worked very closely in the last decade and a half. I can very safely tell you that people of both these countries by and large have a very strong and positive affinity and outlook to India.”

The former high commissioner added that people of Bangladesh travel to India for tourism, for medical purposes, and for ensuing education of “certain kinds” in India, among others. 

Similarly, he said, in Maldives, every commodity from groceries to vegetables and eggs everything goes from India under the government to government agreement mechanism.

He said the Indian foreign policy is always aimed at improving people-to-people ties.

“Whatever we do we ensure the people of the country always have regard to India in a positive manner.”  He also highlighted the neighbourhood first policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said 50% of the Indian line of credit is directed to the neighbourhood including Bangladesh.

The neighbouring countries, such as Bangladesh, got a preference in vaccine distribution and were exempted from the recent ban on onion exports, he said.

Electricity cooperation with Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh will flourish. An undersea electricity cable to Sri Lanka can bring long-term stability to the island nation, he said.

Responding to a question on the non-implementation of Indian projects under the line of credit, he said every country has credit absorption capacity, which also applies to Chinese credit.

“India-Bangladesh relation is in a satisfactory stage and must move forward in every aspect including the line of credit,” he said, adding that Prime Minister Modi termed the relations a ‘golden chapter’.

Shringla said “We have removed most of the irritants of the relationship. We have to continue to maintain the momentum.” 

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