Hasina Vis­its In­dia, Gains Good­will and Good Deals

India Strategic - - APPOINTMENTS - By

Nilova Roy Chaud­hury

NEW DELHI. In­dia and Bangladesh sig­nif­i­cantly raised the level of their strate­gic part­ner­ship dur­ing the visit of Bangladesh Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina to In­dia from April 7 to 10. A to­tal of 11 deals and 24 Mem­o­randa of Un­der­stand­ing (MoU) were signed, in­clud­ing five on de­fence co­op­er­a­tion within a frame­work agree­ment, and an his­toric civil nu­clear co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment. New Delhi ex­tended to Dhaka lines of credit (LoC) worth $5 bil­lion ($500,000 mil­lion ex­clu­sively for de­fence-re­lated pur­chases) af­ter bi­lat­eral talks be­tween Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and Sheikh Hasina.

Mr Modi broke pro­to­col to per­son­ally re­ceive Sheikh Hasina at the air­port and en­sure that In­dia walked the ex­tra mile to court the Bangladesh mil­i­tary, a very pow­er­ful in­sti­tu­tion, with stronger in­sti­tu­tional links to Pak­istan than In­dia. The frame­work de­fence co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment pro­vides var­i­ous plat­forms for the In­dia, Bangladesh armed forces to col­lab­o­rate in­clud­ing joint ex­er­cises, co­or­di­nated pa­trols, navy ex­er­cises and train­ing in­sti­tutes. This would help change the in­sti­tu­tional hos­til­ity that a sec­tion of the Bangladesh army, with ori­gins in the Pak­istan army, con­tin­ues to har­bour against In­dia.

The hos­til­ity has be­gun wan­ing over the past decade. From 2008, there have been sev­eral vis­its from top Bangladesh armed forces of­fi­cers to In­dia and to Bangladesh by top In­dian mil­i­tary of­fi­cers in­clud­ing the three chiefs and, ear­lier this year, by

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