Interaction with Mr. AKM Chowdhury of Bangladesh Nationalist Party
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A Roundtable interaction with Mr. AKM Chowdhury, former minister of Commerce and a ranking leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was organised at Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) on June 8, 2018.

Introducing the guest, Dr Arvind Gupta, Director VIF, briefly referred to the remarkable progress made by Bangladesh in the social and economic sectors and the significant all-round improvement in Bangladesh-India relations over the last decade. He invited the visitor to give his assessment of the political situation, particularly in the context of the upcoming general elections in the country due before the end of the year.

Mr. Chowdhury highlighted the sharp political polarisation prevailing with the two major parties yet to find any common ground to facilitate fully participative elections in the oncoming Jatiya Sangsad, elections. He expressed the hope an enabling situation would be created to ensure free and fair elections. He urged India as an important neighbor to play a positive and towards enabling role in creating a positive atmosphere, without being seen as interfering in the country’s internal situation.

The floor discussions, participated by leading experts including former diplomats, analysts and members of the security establishment, centered on the need to ensure continued cooperation between the two governments on a wide range of mutually beneficial initiatives. Participants stressed that these achievements and the process should be made irreversible. Discussants also referred to the security issues as a major irritant in bilateral relations during the previous BNP government the perception that BNP still remained as anti-India, needs to be addressed. It was felt that high level statements would help change this negative perception. India and Bangladesh as close friendly neighbors have both bilateral and regional goals to achieve together.

The visiting leaders assured that those perceptions were ‘a thing of the past’ which have no place in today’s politics and policies.

Event Date 
June 8, 2018

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