Vijay Varsh: A Look Back at India’s Camaraderie with Bangladesh

28 Dec 2021

On 16th December 2021, we commemorated the Golden Jubilee of the Indo-Pak Liberation War of 1971. Since then, India and Bangladesh have shared a special relationship and have deep-rooted cultural and socio-economic ties.

Let’s take a look back at some of the milestones achieved in this relationship:

Indo-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement

  • A landmark border treaty concluded in 2015, amending many border irregularities and removing any stray patches of land isolated from the mainland
  • 111 Indian enclaves and 51 Bangladeshi enclaves exchanged, freeing over 50,000 people from effective internment

Significant Trade Cooperation

  • India-Bangladesh Trade Agreement was signed to freely use each other’s land and water routes for sending goods to a third country, removing a long-standing barrier in regional trade.
  • Bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh stood at US$6.6 billion in 2013-14; nearly doubled in the last 5 years. This trade reached almost US$11 billion in 2020.

Covid Crisis Cooperation

  • India supplied 7 million doses of the Covishield vaccine to Bangladesh
  • The vaccine donations are in confluence with India’s Vaccine Maitri Under this program, a further 3.3 million doses were delivered to Bangladesh as a gift.

Transport Connectivity

  • The Bandhan Express is an international express rail service launched in November 2017 that runs between the Indian city of Kolkata and the Bangladeshi city of Khulna every week.
  • The Mitali Express train is an international express rail service launched in March 2021 that runs between the Indian city of Siliguri and the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka every week.
  • Another freight train route between Haldibari in India to Chilahati in Bangladesh was restored.

State Visits

  • The President made a state visit from 15th to 17th December to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh and attended the bilateral talks.
  • The Prime Minister, too, made a state visit to Bangladesh from 26th to 27th March 2021 to join the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of the Independence of Bangladesh.
  • The Prime Minister also visited in 2015 to ratify the historic Land Border Agreement.

Neighbourhood First Policy

  • The policy focuses on peaceful relations and collaborative synergy with South Asian neighbours encompassing various sectors, such as economic, technology, research and education, connectivity, etc.
  • Creates new avenues and leverages existing regional cooperation initiatives, such as SAARC, SASEC, BBIN, and BIMSTEC.

Border Management and Counterterrorism

  • India and Bangladesh have collaborated on numerous occasions to engage in counterterrorism activities and combat extremist groups in and around the border regions.
  • Both nations have recognised the significant threat that terrorism poses to security and stability in the region and have reiterated their strong commitment to eliminating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

With both nations reiterating their commitment to this friendship, this is surely not the last saga in the Indo-Bangladesh relationship. Foreseeing the future is often an impossible task, but these two nations are destined to grow together.

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