Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina will hold a virtual bilateral summit on Thursday.The summit is being held a day after Vijay Divas, which marks India’s victory over Pakistan in the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh. It will hold discussions to improve trade and connectivity between two nations.
Modi and Hasina will inaugurate the Haldibari-Chilahati rail link which aimed at fostering people-to-people connectivity on both sides. The rail link is expected to enhance connectivity and trade between Assam, West Bengal and Bangladesh.
India and Bangladesh have both been very keen to restart the six pre-1965 rail links between both countries. There are five links that are currently operational between both nations – Petrapole (India) – Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India) – Darshana (Bangladesh), Singhabad (India)-Rohanpur (Bangladesh) and Radhikapur (India)-Birol (Bangladesh). The rail link between Akhaura and Agartala is also being quickly developed to further increase trade in that region.
“During the summit, the two leaders will hold comprehensive discussions on the entire spectrum of the bilateral relationship, including further strengthening cooperation in the post COVID era”.
The summit will see the launch of the Bangabandhu-Bapu Digital Exhibition to celebrate the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The exhibition will be available for viewing in New Delhi, Dhaka, Kolkata, the United Nations and in 18 other locations. A Ba-Bangamata wall, celebrating the lives of Kasturba Bai and Sheikh Fojilatunnesa Mujib, will also be inaugurated by both prime ministers.
Both the leaders will also launch a stamp to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led Bangladesh to its independence from Pakistan in 1971. Pakistan lost the war to the Indian Army and Bangladesh’s Muktibahini on December 16. India celebrates December 16 as Vijay Diwas to commemorate the victory.