VIF Delegation’s Visit to Bangladesh
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At the invitation of Bangladesh Enterprises Institute, a Dhaka based premier think-tank, a VIF delegation headed by Director, Gen. N C Vij, visited Dhaka from April 20-22, 2016. The VIF delegation included Vice Admiral K K Nayar, Lt. Gen. (R) R K Sawhney, Mr. C D Sahay, Amb. Rajiv Sikri and two high level representatives from trade sponsored by CII.

The delegation had the benefit of extensive briefing by the Indian High Commissioner in B’desh, Ambassador Harshvardhan Shringla. This in addition to the briefing which the delegation had from Joint Secretary B’desh in MEA, Ms Ranganathan gave the delegation a very sound round-up on the Indo-Bangladesh affairs. The High Commissioner also hosted farewell lunch for the delegation wherein they met a large number of important personalities in Dhaka.

The three important engagements during the visit were (1) Round Table Meet on India- Bangladesh Relations at the BEI Hqrs, (2) formal call on and discussions with H.E. Md. Shahriar Alam, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and (3) meeting with Dr. Gowher Rizvi, International Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister. Apart from these, the delegation also had detailed discussions on the state of Indo-BD relations with the High Commissioner of India in Dhaka. Besides, at special programme, Director VIF also laid wreath at the memorial of Bangbandhu and went around the museum.

In the course of RT discussions, the two sides focused on some of the critical issues relating to regional security, Islamic radicalization, efforts towards de-radicalization of youth, connectivity issues covering road, rail and river transport connectivity, power sector integration, trade and investment issues etc. The BBIN initiative came in for special mention. The two sides noted with satisfaction, the near total identity of ideas and approaches on all these issues. On security related issues the two sides lauded the tremendous amount of work already done over the last few years and urged the two governments to strengthen further cooperation to develop the relations into a role model for others in the region. They also expressed the hope that the only pending work on the Teesta water sharing accord would also get resolved shortly by evolving the required political consensus.

Meeting with Dr. Rizvi covered the entire gamut of Indo-BD relations, highlighting the major achievements of recent years and the special focus areas for the future. Dr. Rizvi pointed out that the govt. of PM Sheikh Hasina was keen on strengthening economic cooperation, building road and rail connectivity, developing infrastructure projects including power sector projects and trade and investment. He urged the government of India to take these up on priority basis.

The Hon’ble Minister of state for Foreign Affairs, during the meeting expressed high level of satisfaction with the state of bilateral relations, especially mentioning the recent agreements on land and maritime boundaries and expressed the hope that the river water sharing agreement would also be similarly resolved in the near future. He also expressed the hope that people to people connectivity will be made easier. In a rare gesture, the Minister made it a point to join the VIF-BEI delegations at dinner as well.

During social interactions, the VIF delegation met with a large number of distinguished representatives including the Hon’ble. Minister for Water Resources, academics, political leaders and other opinion makers. Across the board, one got the impression of a new vibrant and confident civil society that was determined to take India-Bangladesh relations to unprecedented heights and making it irreversible. They all seemed very positive and satisfied about their relationship with India.

Event Date 
April 20, 2016
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