Focus on economy, security : Top ex-diplomats of India, Bangladesh urge two countries, The Daily Star, 16 November
A galaxy of former Bangladeshi and Indian diplomats yesterday called on their governments to strengthen economic engagement and intensify security cooperation between the two countries for the mutual benefit of the people.
The call was made by over a dozen former high commissioners, who served in Dhaka and New Delhi, on the concluding day of the two-day first ever Bangladesh-India High Commissioners’ Summit.
Organised by the international relations department of Dhaka University with support from the India-Bangladesh Foundation, the meeting of retired diplomats adopted a nine-point Dhaka Declaration.
The declaration, which chartered the future course of bilateral relations, was made public by Prof Imtiaz Ahmed of the DU’s international relations department at a press conference following a closed-door meeting of the envoys at the Senate Hall of the university in the afternoon.
It stated that the two countries should strengthen their friendly relations on the basis of mutual trust, amity and cooperation in the best interests of the people of Bangladesh and India by protecting their democratic values and rights.
The summit called for an endeavour to ensure equal, equitable, inclusive and sustainable growth based on social justice and respect.
It stressed the need for intensifying efforts to strengthen bilateral ties by taking a holistic approach towards addressing unresolved issues and challenges.
The former envoys also urged the governments to recognise the importance of deeper and effective communications at the popular level through greater and comprehensive flow of information and contacts between students, academicians, print and electronic media, corporate sector, environmentalists and other stakeholders to build enhanced level of awareness, mutual trust and confidence.
The declaration underscored free and increased flow of goods and services, including investment and financial services, between the two countries.
The summit decided to form alumni of the former high commissioners of Bangladesh and India in the two countries for regular interaction and sharing of experiences among themselves and with other stakeholders.
It recommended that this interaction should continue with regular biennial summits and proposed holding the next summit in India in 2016.
Six former Indian envoys in Dhaka — Muchkund Dubey (Oct 1979 – Oct 1982), IS Chadha (Oct 1985 – Feb 1989), Deb Mukharji (March 1995 – July 2000), Veena Sikri (Dec 2003 – Nov 2006), Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty (January 2007 – Dec 2009) and Rajeet Mitter (Dec 2009 – October 2011) — attended the meeting.
Participants from Bangladesh were Faruq Ahmed Chowdhury, Sarooq Sobhan, Harun ur Rashid, Mostafa Faruque Mohammed, Humayun Kabir, Tariq Ahmed Karim, Hemayetuddin and Touhid Hossain.