PM floats four ideas for connectivity, amity in South Asia



Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called for managing geo-political realities in South Asia through collaboration and placed a four-point proposal to make the region connected, friendly and competitive.

“In the past decades, we saw many lofty regional ideas and initiatives. Some succeeded, others could not deliver. As I look into the next decades, we should follow the following four ideas to make the region connected, always ready to make bridges with other regions for mutual benefits of the nations,” she told a function in New Delhi.

The Bangladesh premier was addressing the closing plenary of India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum at Hotel Taj Palace.

Sheikh Hasina presented her first proposal, saying: “We must strive to secure peace, stability and harmony, for every individual across our societies. We must move beyond the majority-minority mindset. Pluralism has been the strength of South Asia for centuries. So, we should be able to celebrate South Asia’s diversities in religion, ethnicity and language. This is fundamental”.

In the second idea, Sheikh Hasina said it must be ensured that inequality across societies could not widen in times of faster growth as wealth creation should be inclusive and must trickle down to the bottom millions.

She added: “Less developed communities or countries should not lag behind. We need to hold hands of ‘others’ across South Asia through our knowledge – experience – expertise – investments.”

About her third idea, the premier said mutual trust and mutual respect between all communities and countries are keys. So, misperceptions and false apprehensions need to be got over.

Bangladesh has consistently been contributing to international peace and security in global spheres, emanating from its policy of “Friendship to all, Malice to none”, as laid out by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she said, adding this approach helped the nation in maintaining good relations with all countries.

She mentioned that in 1996, Bangladesh resolved the issue of Ganges river-water sharing with India, adding “We amicably delimited our maritime boundary with India and Myanmar”.

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