BY SUMI KHAN
Dhaka, Oct 9 (IANS) Vikram Doraiswami, the new Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, has said that the partnership between the two neighboring countries was based on respect, adding that India deeply admires and respects the spirit of the Bangladeshi people, who fashioned a nation based on their own unique identity through a historic struggle.
“I recognise that even the closest of relationships need to be nurtured. My government has ordered me to do exactly that,” Doraiswami said in his maiden interaction with the media at his official residence, the India House in Dhaka, after presenting his credentials President Md Abdul Hamid on Thursday.
Doraiswami arrived in Bangladesh on Monday through Tripura, three days after the former Indian envoy Riva Ganguly Das had left for New Delhi after one and a half years of tenure.
The arrival of the new envoy comes a time when Bangladesh is celebrating Mujib Borsho and also preparing for the golden jubilee of the country’s independence, which also marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Bangladesh and India.
In this spirit, Doraiswami began his service to this partnership by paying homage to the heroes who brought the two nations to this point in history.
The envoy said that he and his colleagues will spare no effort to promote the partnership between Bangladesh and India at all levels.
“We will also be the best possible advocates for this partnership with all agencies and entities, on both sides. This mandate reflects the approach of our government, where fraternal ties with Bangladesh is one of our highest priorities.”
The Bangladesh-India relationship is based on shared sacrifice, history and culture, and on the uniquely close ties of kinship, he said, adding: “I want to underline this point; there is not, and will never be, a diminution of the highest level of importance that Bangladesh holds in India.
“You faced the harshest of oppression on your own, with unique courage and heroism, unmindful of high death tolls and the barbaric mistreatment of sisters and mothers.
“Your Liberation War remains an inspiration to the world. It will always be our abiding honor to have offered you our support, just as we in India offer your bravery our respectful salute.”
In response to a question, Doraiswami said India is committed to partnership with Bangladesh on all aspects of vaccine development, including phase-III trial, co-production and delivery — in a way Bangladesh government is comfortable with.
“We would love to do this in a way that ensures the most affordable price. We will be in discussion with your government. I hope to raise it and understand from your government how you proceed.”
The envoy said he would like to see the completion of the connectivity projects at the earliest and ensure that those give necessary returns to the people of Bangladesh.
He also said he would also like more Indian businesses coming to Bangladesh and invest.
He said he will try to bring mutually acceptable solution to all the issues, including border killing and water sharing of the common rivers.
Doraiswami also said that Bangladesh is today equally respected for the remarkable improvements it has recorded in social indices and India equally salutes its sustained economic growth at the fastest pace in South Asia.
“With it, we appreciate your world-famous spirit of warmth and hospitality. Today, no matter whether it is the economic success forged under the statesmanship of Her Excellency Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, or the never-say-die spirit of the Tigers on the cricket pitch, the world sees Bangladesh with new respect.
“And we, as your closest neighbour, rejoice in this well-deserved recognition,” Doraiswami added.
BY SUMI KHAN