With sub-regional integration turning into a shared precedence in South Asia, the Border Security Force (BSF) may have an more and more vital position in facilitating seamless motion of individuals and items between India and Bangladesh whereas countering safety threats, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar stated on Thursday.
The minister additionally stated BSF performed a crucial position in liberation of Bangladesh and continues to be a key stakeholder in India-Bangladesh “maitry (friendship)”.
Addressing an occasion organised by BSF to commemorate 50 years of 1971 battle, Jaishankar additionally recounted how BSF educated Mukti Bahini in guerrilla warfare and its acts of heroism on the japanese and western fronts, starting from the battle of Sylhet to Longewala.
Jaishankar identified that the 2 nations share a rising commerce partnership and stated, “Bangladesh is India’s largest trade partner in South Asia and fourth-largest export destination globally. India is Bangladesh’s second-largest trade partner. Despite Covid-19, bilateral trade has now touched $10 billion.”
He stated enchancment of border infrastructure, together with roads, land customized stations and built-in checkpoints, are crucial to maintain this momentum. “With sub-regional integration becoming a shared priority in South Asia, BSF will also have an increasingly important role in facilitating seamless movement while countering conventional and emerging security threats,” he stated.
There has been a big progress when it comes to opening up new and present railways, street and waterway transportation between India and Bangladesh, and plenty of efforts are underway to spice up multi-modal connectivity for seamless motion of individuals and items, Jaishankar stated.
“BSF continues to play a crucial role in India’s robust engagement with Bangladesh. Maintaining a peaceful border, preventing trans-border crimes and other illegal activities are important for stability and prosperity in bordering areas and beyond,” he stated.
Stating that nobody will neglect the genocidal marketing campaign launched by Pakistani forces towards the folks of Bangladesh in March 1971, Jaishankar stated: “Operation Searchlight truly remains one of the most horrific episodes of mass atrocities and brutal killings in recent history. When people of Bangladesh rose against this under the heroic leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, there was spontaneous support for this in India. Our political, military and diplomatic efforts in upholding the democratic rights of people of Bangladesh are now well recognised.”
Thursday’s occasion additionally noticed Bangladesh battle veteran Lt Col Qazi Sajjad Ali Zahir, who was then a part of Pakistan Army however fled to India to affix the battle, recount his experiences.
Calling 1971 battle “the most glamorous victory in world history”, Zahir stated, “Indian Army took from Pakistan 56,200 km in 13 days. They forced the surrender of 93,000 POWs and suffered minimum casualties. On the other side was an army committing rape, murder, arson and genocide. When foreign armies enter a country, they rape and murder. Indian armed forces, 3 lakh in number, did not commit one murder or rape.”
Retired BSF DIG S Ok Mitra, who fought within the battle, stated, “They (Pakistan Army) had ammunition that could have lasted them for three months. But a force that rapes women is an immoral force. And a morally defeated force can never win a battle.”
Underlining that India and Bangladesh should proceed to take ahead this legacy of friendship, Zahir stated, “Let the new generations (of people in) Bangladesh and India get together with the spirit of 1971. History is a fascinating entertainer but a poor teacher. If you misstate history, history will maltreat you.”