President Mohammed Shahabuddin on Tuesday (May 2) urged India to take "more effective" steps to ensure a safe and dignified repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their Rakhine state homeland in Myanmar. He came up with the call as Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pranay Kumar Verma paid a courtesy call on him at the Bangabhaban in the noon.
Considering the humanitarian ground, he said, Bangladesh has given shelter to the Myanmar citizens but they are not only creating problems in Bangladesh but also in the entire region, President's press secretary Md Joynal Abedin quoted the President as telling the envoy.
The President said Bangladesh considers India as the closest and the most important neighbor and termed the existing bilateral ties as "strong and unique".
He gratefully recalled the important role played by the people and government of India in the Great Liberation War of Bangladesh under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the greatest Bengali of all times.
During the meeting, Valiant Freedom Fighter Shahabuddin also highlighted his training during his stay in India in 1971 and participation in the Liberation War.
Referring to the visit of the President and Prime Minister of India to Bangladesh and the visit of the PM of Bangladesh to India, the President said, "The visits have opened a new chapter in the relationship between the two countries."
Pointing out that Bangladesh always attaches special importance to bilateral relations with India, President Shahabuddin said Bangladesh has given India access to Chattogram and Mongla ports for transit and trans-shipment of cargo vessels. And the move will significantly cut time and cost needed to transport goods to India's northeastern states and West Bengal.
Dhaka and Delhi signed the ACMP (Chattogram and Mongla Port) agreement in India in 2018 and the agreement would accelerate the socio-economic development of the two countries along with the increase in trade and commerce, he added.
The President hoped that unresolved issues between the two countries, including the water sharing agreement, would be resolved soon through mutual cooperation and discussion.
The high commissioner said India attaches special importance to the development of relations with Bangladesh.
"Connectivity between the two countries has grown tremendously in the last one and a half decades. As a result, the people of both countries are enjoying its benefits," he added.
Appreciating Bangladesh government's "Zero Tolerance Policy" against terrorism and militancy, he said it has resulted in stability in the region which is contributing positively to the economic development of both countries.
Secretaries concerned to the Bangabhaban and Indian Deputy High Commissioner to Bangladesh Dr Binoy George were also present on the occasion.