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‘Dhaka, Delhi need to work together’

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Staff Reporter State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh and India would have to work together under partnership for alleviating poverty and expediting economic development in the region and ensuring mutual benefits. “One country will have to come forward in another country’s danger…in real sense, Bangladesh and India will have to work together,” he told at a discussion held at the National Press Club in the city on Saturday. Bangladesh India Citizen Society (BICS) arranged the discussion on ‘Bangladesh-India Friendship’ with BICS executive president Jafar Iqbal Siddiqui in the chair. Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Prof Mizanur Rahman, Counsellor (Political & Information), Indian High Commission in Dhaka Sujit Ghosh, Prof Dr Syed Anwar Hossain, Dr Enamul Haque, BICS Secretary General Monoranjan Ghosal, Dr Uttam Kumar Barua and Nazmul Haque Prodhan MP, among others, spoke on the occasion. Speaking as the chief guest, Shahriar said the existing ties between the two countries have reached such a stage from where they can only march forward. “Trust and confidence between the two countries have been restored.” He stressed strengthening people-to-people contact which will help remove misunderstanding between the two sides, if any such misunderstanding prevails. Referring to Indian Prime Minister’s recent comment on Bangladesh that Bangabandhu founded Bangladesh and his daughter, Sheikh Hasina, saved Bangladesh, the State Minister said this statement reflects Indian new government’s positive attitude towards Bangladesh. Mizanur Rahman said Bangladesh needs a good friend like India but India must stop killing along the border to keep the friendship unhurt. “If you’re our friend, please stop killing along the border. It appears as thorns on friend’s way,” he said. The national rights body chief said no such incident should take place between the two countries that might create cracks in the friendship. Later, in his speech Shahriar Alam said killings along the border have come down significantly in recent days. Sujit Ghosh said India is fully committed to taking forward the existing friendly relations between the two countries. “India has been beside Bangladesh, India is there for Bangladesh and it’ll be there for Bangladesh in the coming days. There is no doubt about that.” He said Bangladesh and India have many things to do together. “The relations will go a long way. There’s huge potential to grow further.” Sujit Ghosh said they are aware of problems related to Indian visa process from Bangladesh and said there will be more changes in the coming days. Earlier, speakers urged the authorities concerned to take all necessary steps for resolving pending issues, including ratification of Land Boundary Agreement and signing Teesta water sharing deal between the two countries. They called upon the officials concerned to simplify the India visa process and make it free from hassles. The speakers also laid emphasis on boosting commercial ties, energy cooperation and wider connectivity with increasing people to people contact.