India and Bangladesh All Weather Friends

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With Indian Foreign Minister visiting Bangladesh on a two-day trip to address the developmental issues, the High Commissioner for Bangladesh lays down the strategic approach required by India towards Myanmar to address the Rohingya crisis.

Ms. Swaraj met with the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and then gave a statement to the press. The press statement was carefully drafted as it was known to have omitted many controversial terms. The visit to Bangladesh comes in the back drop of American calls to India for assuming greater roles in the Afghan situation, and India’s global blockade of Pakistan.

Bangladesh, one of the recent states bordering India have seen democratic normalcy return since the ouster of Khaleda Zia’s unpopular regime. The regime was known to have favoured the perpetrators of anti-Human crimes in the 1971 liberation war.

India today has a broad situation to address while it sends its emissary to Bangladesh. The most important of them being the Rohingya crisis.

India has been averse to welcoming more Muslim refugees from Myanmar which have been categorised as a potential security threat to the stability of India by the Ministry of Home Affairs. This has further seen a war of litigation in the Supreme Court where, the counsels for the parties engaged in a heated argument, while the Court chose to keep aside the passionate stand and consider only the issues of law and humanism, while seeking to create a balance.

both leaders shared similar concerns which has been deciphered from the statement. This makes India free from the Rohingya turmoil knocking at its doorstep.

This situation has also been worsened by states bordering Bangladesh closing their doors to immigrants and specially Rohingya refugees. As an effect the Indian government has provided material and monetary aid to the government of Bangladesh, which has opened its borders to Rohingya refugees on humanitarian grounds.

The violence in Rakhine province of Myanmar has been voiced by Ms Swaraj as one being of ‘military crackdown on terrorists’ while the world see it as genocide. The Rohingya people do not have any rights and the Myanmarese people regard them as Bangladeshi people illegally settling in Rakhine.

Ms Swaraj in statement gave an indication of warmth with the Bangla PM, wherein she asserted that both the governments are committed to combat terrorism comprehensively. Further she also credited Ms Hasina for her commitment for the International Solar Alliance. She also talked of the 3 lines of credit which India has extended to its neighbour, and has assured of more involvement. Ms Swaraj also gave an assurance of doubling the power supply to Bangladesh being doubled in the foreseeable future. India sells 632 MW electricity to Bangladesh at low costs.

The Chinese have also in the recent past shown an interest in developing the ports in Bangladesh and have assured technical upgrades for the Bangladeshi army. This has not deterred India from finding new reasons to play a bigger role in the Bangladeshi economy by promoting Indian products which already form a part of the life of the Bangla people.

Th bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh is around $6.6 Billion, which makes India the most trusted trade partner, and the with India mounting pressure on Myanmar, India assumes the role of an all-weather ally in diplomatic channels as well.

This meeting further addresses India’s concerns of unprecedented immigration and cross border terrorism, with a further eye on deeper economic trade between the two neighbours.

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