Bangladesh’s relation with India is not comparable to any other bilateral ties, Dhaka’s Information Minister Hasan Mahmood told The Hindu on August 5. Mr Mahmood’s remarks came hours after the Bharatiya Janata Party announced that he and four other leading members of the Awami League will be visiting India from August 6 to 9 as part of “KNOW BJP” initiative for external outreach of the party.
“Bangladesh-India relation is not comparable to any other bilateral relation that Bangladesh has with other countries as our relation is written in blood. Our visit is a constructive gesture from the BJP to the Awami League,” Mr. Mahmood said, speaking over the phone. He had recently hit the headlines on July 28 after declaring that any setback to the Awami League in the upcoming election in Bangladesh could hit the country’s ties with India.
Besides Mr. Mahmood, the delegation will include Md. Abdur Razzak, Minister of Agriculture and Presidium Member of Awami League; Aroma Dutta, MP; Sujit Roy Nandi, Organising Secretary; and Prof Merina Jahan, MP. The visiting delegation will land here on Sunday evening and will meet BJP President J.P. Nadda on Monday.
Mr. Razzak and Mr. Mahmood are expected to meet their counterparts — Anurag Thakur and Narendra Singh Tomar. Besides, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar are also expected to meet the visiting delegation. “We may spend some time outside Delhi to witness some projects that are being run by the Government of PM Modi,” Mr. Mahmood said.
Mr. Razzak is the senior-most member of the delegation and hails from Tangail, which is known for its textile. He is a celebrated freedom fighter, noted for his role in the 1971 War of Liberation.
Ms. Dutta, who hails from Comilla, is the granddaughter of Dhirendranath Datta, a member of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly who demanded Bengali as the state language of Pakistan. Dhirendranath Datta was killed in Operation Searchlight launched on March 25-26, 1971 by the Pakistan military in Dhaka and other parts of the then East Pakistan.
Mr. Mahmood, who hails from Chittagong, came into political prominence after defeating opposition BNP’s Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, who was also accused of war crimes in Chittagong during the 1971 war. Chowdhury was executed in Dhaka in 2015.
Mr. Nandi hails from Chandpur, the river port famous for high-quality hilsas. They are scheduled to return to Dhaka on August 9.