New Delhi: Asserting that the Indo-Bangla ties are not confined to treaties and agreements, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the partnership between the two countries has matured, taking a dynamic, comprehensive and strategic shape.

In her online message at an event here to commemorate Maitri Diwas marking the 50th anniversary of India-Bangladesh diplomatic relations, she also said the core of the bilateral relationship needs to focus on people-to-people contact, trade and connectivity which have become increasingly important for both sides.

“Our partnership is not confined to treaties, MoUs, bilateral agreements that provide the formal structure of our working relations. Today our grand partnership has matured, taking a dynamic, comprehensive and strategic shape, and is based on sovereignty, equality, trust and mutual respect,” Hasina said.

She said the relationship between Bangladesh in India is anchored in history, culture, language and shared values of secularism, democracy and countless other harmonies.

“Our bonds of friendship have been further strengthened, diversified and expanded in the recent years due to regular high-level political interactions and exchanges,” she said.

Despite restrictions due to Covid, the Bangladesh-India relationship at all levels has remained stable and strong, Hasina said, adding this was evident in the “excellent” bilateral cooperation and collaboration in dealing with the pandemic.

“We continue to believe in the importance of our relationship at the same time this anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the foundation of our bilateral relations and the path ahead,” Hasina said.

“It is an occasion also to recommit ourselves to work towards further strengthening the long-standing dynamic partnership between Bangladesh and India. I am confident that together, our two countries and two peoples, will continue to turn our vision and ideas into realities for decades to come,” the Bangladeshi premier said.

Hasina said Bangladesh and India celebrating the golden jubilee of the establishment of diplomatic relations is a “milestone in the journey of our bilateral ties”.

She recalled that during the state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh on March 26-27, 2021, the two sides had agreed on joint celebrations in 18 selected cities, along with Dhaka and New Delhi, to recognise December 6 as ‘Maitri Diwas’.

While paying homage to the martyrs of Bangladesh’s Liberation War, she also remembered with “great gratitude” the sacrifices of the members of the Indian armed forces and the Indian people.

In her message, she also recalled the “generosity” of former prime minister Indira Gandhi and her government, leaders of other political parties and people of the whole of India.

India was one of the first countries to establish bilateral diplomatic ties with Bangladesh. Ten days before the liberation of Bangladesh, India had recognised it on December 6, 1971.

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