Bangladesh-India ties on right track: Minister

Dhaka, Feb 27: The relationship between Bangladesh and India is on the right track, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has said.

“We have good report card for the last three years,” she said at the two-day India-Bangladesh Dialogue here Sunday.

However, she admitted that “not all has been achieved”, bdnews24.com reported.

“But we have to work together and should not be discouraged over what we have not been able to achieve,” she said.

Former Indian high commissioner to Dhaka and special secretary of Indian foreign ministry Pinak Chakravarty said one should not be pessimistic due to some setbacks.

“We (Indians) are determined not to deter due to the setbacks,” he said.

The Bangladeshi minister said the relationship between the two countries is in a transformational phase due to political will of the top leadership.

“Earlier there was no political will but now we have political will, courage and vision to boost the relationship,” she said.

Chakravarty said: “This has been possible due to visionary leadership of the two countries.”

“Now we have entered into the implementation stage of agreements (signed between the two countries),” he added.

Pinak said India is grateful to Bangladesh for addressing security concerns.

“We are very happy with the security situation and grateful to the government of Bangladesh for providing cooperation in this regard,” he said.

On border killings, he said BSF (India’s Broder Security Force) has been strictly instructed not to open fire and they are trying to obey the order.

“You may not be surprised to know that since the order, there have been 153 attacks on BSF and one soldier was dead,” he said.

The minister said foreign investment is welcome but some measures must be taken for that.

“Investing in other countries is a manifestation of sovereignty and some mechanism will be developed to allow Bangladeshi businessmen to invest abroad,” she said.

Currently, Bangladeshi businessmen are not allowed to invest abroad.

Pinak said Bangladeshi goods enjoy duty- and quota-free access to India.

“The current export figure is about $500 million, whereas in my time (Pinak left in 2009) it was $60 million or $100 million,” he said.

Issues related to agriculture, food security, trade and investment, energy cooperation and border infrastructure connectivity were discussed in the conference organised jointly by Bangladesh Unnayun Parishad and India-based Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development.

IANS