Staff Correspondent: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and India is a role model of good neighborliness for the rest of the world.
“As a result of such multifaceted and multi-dimensional cooperation, our bilateral relations have become a role model of good neighborliness for the rest of the world. I strongly believe this momentum will continue,” she said during a videoconference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Earlier, the prime ministers of Bangladesh and India jointly inaugurated four projects in Bangladesh, including the supply of 1,100 buses and trucks to Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC), through the videoconferencing from the respective capitals.
Hasina said the two countries have witnessed a remarkable progress over the last decade on cooperation in different conventional and unconventional areas like security, power, trade and commerce, energy, connectivity, infrastructure development, environment, renewable energy, education, culture, people-to-people contact and health.
At the same time, the two countries have expanded cooperation in newer areas, including blue economy and maritime cooperation, peaceful use of nuclear energy, cooperation in outer space, internet band width sharing, cyber security, she said.
Hasina reiterated the strong condemnation of the Pulwama attack in Kashmir last month. “We remain steadfast in our resolve to root out the scourge of terrorism from our region and beyond through bilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation,” she said.
She expressed her utmost sympathy for the family members of those killed in the Pulwama attack.
“Bangladesh has taken a zero tolerance policy against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and will never allow its land to be used by any terrorist organization,” she said. (See Page-2)
Hasina gratefully recalled the crucial contribution of the Indian government during the Liberation War of Bangladesh saying that the contribution remains an eternal milestone in the relations between the two countries.
About the projects, Hasina said it is a matter of great satisfaction that today some of the projects under the 2nd Line of Credit provided by India to Bangladesh are coming close to completion.
The four projects are the supply of Double Decker & Single Decker AC and Non-AC Buses and Trucks to Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (under the 2nd Line of Credit), 36 Community Clinics in districts (Jamalpur, Sherpur, Habiganj, Sunamganj and Brahmanbaria) of Bangladesh under the grant financing of Indian government; 11 Water Treatment Plants in Bhandaria Pouroshova, Pirojpur District, (under the grant financing of the Indian government) and National Knowledge Network (NKN) Extension to Bangladesh.
Under the LoC projects, 600 buses (300 Double-deckers, 200 AC Single Decker, and 100 Non-AC Single Decker) and 500 (350 ones with capacity of 16 tonnes and 150 ones with capacity of 10-tonnes) trucks will be added to the fleet of the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC).
“I hope it’ll provide relief to the daily commuters in Bangladesh and also help reduce traffic congestions on our highways to some extent,” she said.
Welcoming the friendly gesture of the Indian government to establish 36 Community clinics in 5 districts and 11 water treatment plants in Bhandaria (Pirojpur) through grant financing, Sheikh Hasina said the community clinics are an integral part of a hugely successful flagship program of her government, which are contributing towards making basic healthcare, family planning and nutrition services available right at the grassroots level.
The Prime Minister hoped that the extension of National Knowledge Network (NKN) to Bangladesh will increase the capability of Bangladeshi researchers by enhancing their access to the universities, research institutions, libraries, laboratories, healthcare and agricultural institutions across India.
Hasina said she looks forward to jointly celebrating more such success stories of collective endeavours in the future.
It was the first videoconference between Hasina and Modi after Hasina’s assumption of office as Prime Minister for the third consecutive term.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen and Indian India External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also spoke on the occasion.
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni and Health and Family Welfare Minister Zahid Maleque were present at the inaugural event at the Prime Minister’s official residence Ganobhaban.