Governor hails Hasina for curbing activities of insurgents
By Our Correspondent, 04/07/2017, Dhaka

The eighth round of India-Bangladesh Friendship Dialogue that concluded here on Tuesday ,  laying stress on greater people-to-people interaction  to further consolidate  ties of the two nations and calling for a security and economic vision of South Asia for 2030.The ‘Guwahati Declaration’ said greater people-to-people and business-to-business contacts between the Northeastern region of India and Bangladesh is crucial.“Particularly matters related to innovation, entrepreneurship, healthcare, education, tourism, human resource development, technology, finance, industrial production, manufacturing, agro-processing, freights and shipping, power generation and energy security are of strategic import for both Delhi and Dhaka,” the Declaration said.

The need for ‘people-to-people contact and celebrating civilizational ties’ was given ‘greatest impetus’ in the eighth round of Dialogue. Preparing a vision document and research project on ‘NE India and Bangladesh: Borders as Prosperity Zones’ and organizing an India-Bangladesh Business Summit were suggested during the three-days of deliberations and incorporated in the Declaration.State Minister of Foreign Affairs, government of Bangladesh, Md Shahriar Alam, in the keynote address in the valedictory session on Tuesday  stressed that India and Bangladesh must cement its relations further and march forward together for peace and prosperity.He emphasized on inclusiveness in relations that were people-centric and working towards sustainable livelihood in both countries.He also advocated for greater connectivity, which would yield not just economic benefits but also reach individuals and benefit the economy, the environment and the society.

Governor Tathagata Roy, delivering the valedictory speech, said while the two countries are united through various common traits and past, ‘certain irritants’ also exist in the relationship and these must be addressed, though they are sensitive in nature.Referring to cross-border terrorism, Roy appreciated the role of Bangladesh government under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in uprooting Indian militants taking shelter in their country.He, however, alleged that the Indian government has not done enough to ensure that Bangladeshi militant groups do not take refuge in its soil.The Governor further said India has an obligation under tenets of international laws to share river waters with Bangladesh, notwithstanding the Indian government’s contention that India itself was facing water shortage.

He also urged the Bangladeshi government to reconsider its opposition to certain hydel power projects in upstream in India as these projects are unlikely to have any negative bearing on the water flow.Ram Madhav, BJP national general secretary and director of India Foundation, in his speech said India and Bangladesh were facing threats of religious extremism, terrorism and fundamentalism and both nations must strive to preserve the shared values of peace, democracy and true secularism.Referring to recent cases of lynching by ‘cow vigilantes’ in India, he said such incidents will not be tolerated, while also urging Bangladesh government to keep fundamental forces at bay.

Assam Health and Finance minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma, in his speech,  pointed that illegal migration from Bangladesh has been a sensitive issue in Assam, adding that the picture is likely to be clear after the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) for Assam, the draft of which is expected to be out by this yearend.Dr Sharma also mentioned of areas of mutual cooperation, like transit routes, medical and educational issues and setting up of border economic zones.The eighth round of Dialogue, which had got underway on July 2 last, was organized by India Foundation in collaboration with State Innovation and Transformation Aayog (SITA), Government of Assam, Bangladesh Foundation for Regional Studies (BFRS) and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKAIAS)