Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 17
India and Bangladesh on Thursday sealed seven agreements to broaden cooperation, and restored a cross-border rail link snapped in the 1965 war with Pakistan.
The restoration of the Chilahati-Haldibari rail link and signing of the pacts, providing for cooperation in areas of hydrocarbons, agriculture and textiles among others, came at a virtual summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
Next meeting after three months
- PM Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina are slated to meet three months later to celebrate the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s tallest leader, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
- PM Modi, during the summit, paid homage to the soldiers of both countries who laid down their lives in the 1971 war
- The Railway Ministry said the reopening of Haldibari and Chilahati rail link would boost people-to-people ties
Modi said the holding of the summit immediately after the celebration of Vijay Diwas (Victory Day) assumed “special significance” and noted that Bangladesh is a key pillar of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.
“Today, when Bangladesh is celebrating 49 years of independence, I pay homage to the soldiers of both countries who laid down their lives,” he said. The two leaders are slated to meet three months later to celebrate the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s tallest leader , Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The two PMs jointly inaugurated a digital exhibition on Sheikh Mujibur and Mahatma Gandhi. The inauguration of the old rail route between Sealdah and Darjeeling used to be taken by the old Darjeeling Mail. However, passenger traffic will be restored after the necessary infrastructure is put in place.