ढाका Dhaka: Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said development of India’s northeastern region would also benefit his country. “It will ultimately be a win–win situation for all of us,” Ali told a seminar in Dhaka Saturday on the country’s Liberation War in 1971 and the relations with northeastern Indian states. The minister recalled the contribution of India’s northeastern states to the cause of Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971 when he said “millions of our people took refuge in Tripura, Meghalaya and Assam besides West Bengal”. He said a lot of development took place after the Independence and “we are playing an important role in this region’s economic development, peace and stability”.
Ali cited Bangladesh’s steps on establishing more rail and road connectivity with the India’s northeastern states and said the region comes as “an important link of connectivity” in Bangladesh’s plan to be bridge between South Asia and Southeast Asia and beyond”.
The proposed BCIM (Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar) economic corridor will pass through northeast India after originating in Kolkata and passing through Bangladesh before it enters Myanmar and finally China’s Yunnan province. This regional corridor, it is felt, would be a game–changer for the economy of all four countries and the entire South East Asia region.
Mahmood Ali said Bangladesh has already requested India to allow opening a Deputy High Commission in Guwahati and upgrade its Agartala Visa office to an Assistant High Commission to increase diplomatic and commercial presence in the Northeast. He said there would be direct air link between Dhaka and Guwahati soon. “We need to complement India’s endeavour to develop its northeastern states in our own interest”. He said this “mutual respect and understanding” of each other’s concerns has put the relationship on “a solid footing in the recent past”.