Bangladesh’s cooperation with India to increase further with victory of PM Sheikh Hasina
New Delhi, Dec 31: Victory of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the general elections is not only very important for India but for the long-term development and security of the region. The Sheikh Hasina government has been very cooperative with the government of India in terms of security measure taken by the country for region as such that would help the entire region.
Bangladesh is politically very important for India and with the Sheikh Hasina government in the saddle once again many development projects and Indian investment will remain productive. India's look East and Act East policy will prove to be fruitful for both the nations.
Improvement in the relation between India and Bangladesh were visible on many counts from many years and even swapping of enclaves was done by the present regime in Bangladesh with the Modi government. The matter was pending from long. Both the countries have set up strong security cooperation.
During Sheikh Hasina's visit to India in April 2017, both the countries signed two defence agreements. Under these agreements, armed forces of the two countries will conduct joint exercises and training and India will help Bangladesh set up manufacturing and service centres for defence platforms. India will also provide Bangladesh military with expert training, and technical and logistic support. India is also extending its first ever defence-related line of credit to Bangladesh with $500 million to purchase defence equipment.
India has recently introduced the concept of the Regional Power Trading System which will help various regions of the country in reducing the power deficit by transferring surplus power from another region. This concept of power pool within India can also be enlarged to cover the neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal after the establishment of a sub-regional power pool and necessary inter-connections among these countries are put in place.
India is very active in development activity in Bangladesh. India has recently given several loans to Bangladesh. It gave $750 million for developing Bangladesh infrastructure in 2011. In 2014 India extended a $1 billion soft loan for infrastructure development. $862 million was given to buy equipment and services from Indian entities such as BHEL, RITES, small and medium enterprises. India announced a grant of nearly $10 million to Bangladesh for the implementation of various small development projects and also assured it to address trade imbalance issues. India and Bangladesh signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the fields of health and medical sciences that will include joint research in health and exchange of doctors and health professionals.
There are progress in the Teesta River water distribution issue and Indian investment in Bangladesh has also increased. Security cooperation between both the countries have also improved as there were reports of presence of ISIS and many other terrorists organisations operating from the country to attack India. But they are being dealt sternly by the Sheikh Hasina government. On the contrary both the tenures of Khaleda Zia, who is in jail serving five year term for corruption, have been hostile with India and experts call her party as anti-India. She was accused of sheltering anti-India elements in Bangladesh.
Ministry of external affairs said, "We welcome the successful completion of the Parliamentary elections in Bangladesh. India warmly congratulates the people of Bangladesh for reaffirming their faith in democracy, development and the vision of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman."
The ministry also informed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has telephoned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to convey his heartiest congratulations on the decisive results of the election. He expressed confidence that the partnership between India and Bangladesh will continue to flourish under her far-sighted leadership. The Prime Minister also reiterated the priority India attaches to Bangladesh as a neighbour, a close partner for regional development, security and cooperation, and a central pillar in India's "Neighbourhood First" policy.
With this victory Sheikh Hasina will become the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for third consecutive term. Though some violence was reported but otherwise the election was more or less peaceful. Opposition has accused corruption and demanded re-poll but election commission of Bangladesh has said that it is looking into the matter.