3-day India-Bangladesh friendship dialogue begins in Shimla

Shimla, February 18

The three-day tenth round of the India Bangladesh Friendship Dialogue started here today. Senior RSS and BJP leaders and prominent participants from Bangladesh deliberated on issues such as people to people connect in the fields of education, health, tourism and promotion of trade and investment between the two neighbours.

Meet kept secret from media

  • Senior BJP, RSS leaders, MPs, Army officers, newspaper editors among 60 participants from both nations
  • People to people connect in fields of education, health, tourism and promotion of trade, investment being discussed.
  • The meet kept a closely-guarded secret from media.

The meet has been kept as a closely-guarded secret, which is why Shimla has been chosen as the venue for the event organised by the India Foundation and the Bangladesh Foundation for Regional Studies.

Ram Madhav, who is a member of the Governing Council of the India Foundation, led the Indian side. Strategic issues are likely to be discussed during the event. Among the 60 participants are MPs, senior Army officers, editors of newspapers and prominent academicians from both countries. The visitors will be visiting the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), Kufri, and The Mall Road, before their departure on February 20.

The participants from the Indian side include Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Union Minister of State for Internal Affairs; and MJ Akbar, journalist-turned politician, while those from Bangladesh include Muhammad Shahriar Alam, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The inaugural session "Reliving Bangabandhu's Vision for India-Bangladesh Friendship" started with Ram Madhav, Shahriar Alam, and Rajkumar Ranjan Singh addressing the gathering. ASM Shamsul Arefin, Chairman of the Bangladesh Foundation for Regional Studies, also spoke on the relations between the two nations.

A session on 'Security Cooperation for Promoting Socio-Economic Development' chaired by C Raja Mohan, visiting professor at the Institute of Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, was attended by Nahim Razza, MP and member of the Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs; Smruti Patnaik, Research Fellow, Manohar Paroikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis; Shyamal Dutta, Editor of Daily Bhorer Kagaz, Bangladesh; and Arindam Mukherjee, Secretary, Institute of Social and Cultural Studies, Delhi.

Deliberations tomorrow will focus on key issues such as people to people connect in the fields of education, health, tourism, sub-regional organisation and promoting trade and investment. Rajya Sabha MPs Swapan Das Gupta and Bhubaneshwar Kalita will present the Indian viewpoint during the valedictory address "Identifying the Roadblocks to Transforming India-Bangladesh Relationship to a True Partnership" while the Bangladesh side will be represented by Pankaj Nath, MP and Member of the Standing Committee on Ministry of Expatriates Welfare, and Nahim Razzak, Member, Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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