New India High Commissioner Pranay Verma on Tuesday said that Dhaka and Delhi are working together to fulfill the shared vision of peace and prosperity for the people by building mutually beneficial cross-border connectivity that would further strengthen the economic, cultural and people-to-people connection.
"The opportunities are endless," he said at the celebration of 'Maitri Diwas' in Dhaka.
Liberation war affairs minister AKM Mozammel Haque was also present at the celebration among others at the Kurmitola Golf Club, Dhaka Cantonment.
Last year in March during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Dhaka, India and Bangladesh decided to celebrate December 6, the day on which India formally recognised Bangladesh, as 'Maitri Diwas'.
Both countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of friendship last year.
It is a particularly special date, as this recognition came ten days before the actual victory of Indian and Bangladesh allied forces in the Liberation War.
"This date marks the beginning of a partnership between our two countries based on equality, mutual respect and solidarity. This date also showcases the immense sense of pride that people of India have always felt in standing together with the people of Bangladesh in their struggle for liberation," said the High Commissioner.
"Occasions like today’s are significant because they give us an opportunity to reflect and rejoice on what we have achieved together. But these are also precious moments to make resolves to realize the unfulfilled promises and further deepen our partnership on the road ahead.
"In the last 50 years, Bangladesh has grown by leaps and bounds. The country’s successes and standing are globally recognized today. Its human development indicators are an example for others to emulate.
"And all this has been made possible due to the sacrifices of those who did not live to see this day. Today, therefore, is a day also for remembrance and gratitude to millions of heroes and heroines who gave away their everything to the cause of liberation," he said.
"India and Bangladesh have come a long way since 1971. Both our countries are fast growing economies. Our advancing progress and rising ambitions for a better future are creating new opportunities and new momentum for our cooperation.
"There is a great degree of commitment from the leaders of our two countries to take our ties to newer heights. India attaches top priority to its relations with Bangladesh. For us it is “neighbourhood first”; but in the neighbourhood too, it is “Bangladesh first”.
"Our bilateral relationship today is truly multifaceted and complementing each other’s national development. Our cooperation covers not only traditional areas like trade, commerce, development partnership, security and border management but also newer areas such as clean energy, IT, space and so on.
"During the recent visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India, our leaders reaffirmed their mutual commitment to strengthen bilateral relations for the benefit of the entire region.
"India is a committed development partner of Bangladesh. In fact, Bangladesh is today India’s largest development partner, with credit lines worth over 8 billion dollars. More than 80% of our projects under these lines of credit are for infrastructure and connectivity.
"At the same time, our High Impact Community Development Projects in Bangladesh are contributing to socio-economic development at the grassroots," he said.
"Even in the international arena, we are working closely together. As India has assumed the presidency of G-20 this month, we are delighted that at our invitation, Bangladesh has joined these deliberations as a Guest Country, to make valuable contributions with its own experience – to advance the global efforts for collective well-being during these challenging times.
"The Liberation of Bangladesh changed the political map of South-Asia. But it also changed our ideological map: your freedom proved beyond doubt that the common bonds of culture, civilization, and language are what fundamentally connect people closer to each other than anything else. Your Liberation struggle also brought out the inevitability of the victory of truth and justice over brutality and oppression.
"Our friendship is rooted in the shared sacrifices of the Liberation War and guided by the values, ideals and the visions espoused by Bangabandhu.
"With our soldiers having shed blood together with the Muktijoddhas, the bonds we share are eternal and will always stand the test of time.
"India had stood by the people of Bangladesh in 1971 and will stand ready to walk together with them in future as well, on the road to greater prosperity and success.
"We have made important achievements in our partnership, especially in the last decade. We remain committed to do more to build on the foundation of our friendship and our shared history.
"As we do so, we must also ensure that our future generations imbibe our shared history and preserve the legacy of 1971 to make our partnership irreversible.
"Doing so would be a truly fitting tribute to the millions of martyrs who gave all that they had for the future of this country. It will also be in keeping with the spirit of our eternal and time-tested friendship that we are celebrating today," said the High Commissioner.