Mukherjee for speeding up implementation of decisions taken to improve Indo-Bangladesh relations
President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday called for speeding up implementation of decisions taken at the highest political level to improve India-Bangladesh relations.
Addressing a group of Bangladeshi intellectuals who called on him in the Rashtrapati Bhavan this morning, Mukherjee said the dialogue process between scholars of the two countries was extremely important.
"Such dialogue should identify critical areas where intervention by senior policy makers was required and bring them to the attention of the respective Governments," he added.
He further called for expediting the implementation of projects and said people should be able to see things happening on the ground quickly.
Pointing out that India had the privilege of being of some assistance in the historical struggle of the people of Bangladesh for freedom, Mukherjee said India would like to see Bangladesh developed and prosperous.
"There is broad consensus amongst various political parties in India that the two countries must develop and progress together," he added.
The President further called for greater sub-regional co-operation between Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India especially in improving connectivity and on issue of transit. He also conveyed that he has received an invitation from Government of Bangladesh and hopes to visit the country at a mutually convenient time.
The members of delegation lauded the personal role played by the President in the development of India-Bangladesh relations since the independence of Bangladesh.
They said people of Bangladesh see him as a sincere friend and hope India-Bangladesh relations will reach new heights under his guidance. The decision of India to grant zero duty access to the Indian market for Bangladeshi goods also came in for praise.
The intellectuals who were in Delhi to attend the second Track-II Dialogue between the Asian Institute of Transport Development of India and the Centre for Policy Dialogue, Dhaka included Prof. Rehman Sobhan, Chairman, Centre for Policy Dialogue, former member, Planning Commission; Dr. Gowher Rizvi, Foreign Affiairs Advisor to the Prime Minister; Reza Ali, MP, Member, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Planning; Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, MP, Vice President, Jatya Party and Former Foreign Minister of Bangladesh; Nazrul Islam Khan, Member, National Standing Committee, Bangladesh Nationalist Party; Ambassador Farooq Sobhan, President, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute and Former Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh; A.K. Azad, President, Federation of Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Managing Director, Ha-Meem Group.
Motiur Rahman, Editor, Prothom Alo; Mahfuz Anam, Editor' the Daily Star; Prof. Ainun Nishat, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and Eminent Water Expert; Dr. M. Rahmatullah, Visiting Fellow, CPD and Former Director, UNESCAP and Eminent Transport Expert; Dr. Debapriya Bhattacharya, Distinguished Fellow, CPD and Former Bangladesh Ambassador to WTO and UN Office in Geneva and Vienna; Prof. Mustafizur Rahman, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD). Tariq Karim, High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India also attended the meeting along with K.L. Thapar, Chairman, Asian Institute of Transport Development.