Dhaka, Oct 08: Newly-appointed Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Vikram Kumar Doraiswami has conveyed his government’s commitment to finding mutually acceptable solutions to all the issues with Bangladesh.
“Let me stress that Bangladesh is, was and will always be a very special partner of India,” he told the media in India House here during his first meeting with journalists noting that the world sees Bangladesh with new respect.
As the two countries move towards the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s Liberation, the High Commissioner said he is certain the leaders will continue to increase their expectations for their relationship.
“We do our best to live up to the expectations of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.
Homage to Heroes
The High Commissioner will visit Savar to pay tributes to Liberation War martyrs on Friday.
“It’s in this spirit, and in recognition of the special commemorative years – Mujib Barsho, the Golden Jubilee of Liberation, and the 50th anniversary of our bilateral diplomatic ties – that I decided to begin my service to this partnership by paying homage to the heroes and giants who brought us to this point in our history,” he said.
Doraiswami offered his humble and heartfelt tributes to the luminous leadership of Bangabandhu, visiting the deeply moving museum to his memory at Dhanmondi directly on arrival from the land border at Akhaura.
He said, today, no matter whether it is the economic success forged under the statesmanship of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, or the never-say-die spirit of the Tigers on the cricket pitch, the world sees Bangladesh with new respect. “And we, as your closest neighbours, rejoice in this well-deserved recognition.”
Doraiswami recognised that even the closest of relationships need to be nurtured.
“My government has ordered me to do exactly that. My colleagues and I’ll spare no effort to promote this partnership at all levels. We’ll also be the best possible advocates for this partnership with all agencies and entities, on both sides.”
This mandate, Doraiswami said, reflects the approach of their government, where fraternal ties with Bangladesh is one of highest priorities.
“This was why, even during the COVID pandemic, our Foreign Secretary selected Bangladesh as the destination for his first visit after the suspension of most international travel,” he said.
Doraiswami said they are committed, in that context, to deliver with their partners in the Bangladesh government, on a special “Air Bubble” arrangement to resume aviation, very soon.
“We’re also committed to working jointly to tackle Covid. We’ll work at a pace and in a manner with which you are comfortable, ensuring the fullest respect for your priorities and in a way that emphasises the value we attach to this friendship.”
He said the friendship goes beyond even strategic partnerships, because it is based on shared sacrifice, shared history and culture, and on the uniquely close ties of kinship.
“I want to underline this point. There’s not, and will never be, a diminution of the highest level of importance that Bangladesh holds in India,” said the High Commissioner adding that the origin of Bangladesh-India partnership is based on respect.
High Commissioner Doraiswami said they deeply admire and respect the spirit of the Bangladeshi people, who fashioned a nation based on their own unique identity in a historic people’s struggle.
“You faced the harshest of oppression on your own, with unique courage and heroism, unmindful of high death tolls and the barbaric mistreatment of sisters and mothers,” he said.
Bangladesh’s Liberation War remains an inspiration to the world and will always be abiding honour to have offered support, said the Indian diplomat.
He said Bangladesh is equally respected for the remarkable improvements it has recorded in social indices.
“Equally, we salute your sustained economic growth at the fastest pace in our South Asian homeland. With it, we appreciate your world-famous spirit of warmth and hospitality.”
Earlier, he presented his credentials to President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban.
On his arrival on October 5, the High Commissioner said he will work on strengthening partnership with Bangladesh for mutual benefit.
“Bangladesh is the nearest neighbour and friend of India. I’ll work on how the partnership with Bangladesh can be enhanced,” he said stepping into Bangladesh.
The Indian diplomat said he would listen to people’s expectations in Bangladesh and convey those messages to their leadership.
He said the Indian northeast states are important for building stronger friendship between the two countries.
Doraiswami laid emphasis on enhancing trade and commerce through utilising river and road communication.
“I’m delighted to get the opportunity to work for further improvement of our relations,” he said.
The Indian High Commissioner also paid tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
He placed wreaths at the portrait of Bangabandhu at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in the city.
The Indian diplomat arrived in Bangladesh through Brahmanbaria’s Akhaura International Immigration Checkpost on October 5.
Akhaura UNO Mohammad Nur-e-Alam, among others, welcomed him upon his arrival.
He took up the assignment shortly after handing over credentials to President Abdul Hamid on October 8. The High Commissioner met journalists on the same day.
Doraiswami was an additional secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), India.
Immediate-past Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguly Das has resumed her office at the MEA.
“Honoured and delighted to join today as Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs. Look forward to this new role dealing with some of the most dynamic regions of the world,” she tweeted after joining the office.
Riva Ganguly, who arrived in Dhaka on March 1 last year, returned to New Delhi a couple of days back.