Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla gave enough hint publicly to resolve all outstanding issues with Bangladesh soon. Mr Shringla was speaking on Friday in a webinar organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA), a subsidiary organisation of the Ministry of External Affairs.
Foreign Secretary was speaking for the first time after his two-day visit to Dhaka recently. While choosing not to mention the name of the country and the issues, in a language couched in diplomatic intricacies, he said: “We see a lot of opportunities in our immediate neighbourhood. There are also challenges.”
He asserted:“We will work appropriately to resolve these.” Then he politely reminded in his own style ,”it must be noted ,that our capacities and resources are growing and we will always be prepared to adopt the necessary strategies and the tactics as required,.”
For a long time Bangladesh is expecting a just resolution of the Teesta water sharing agreement. It is not happening just because of the internal political problem of India. At the same time South Block is conscious of the fact that it cannot be delayed now for the emerging new situation on the geo-political map.
While explaining in detail the vision of Indian diplomacy during the pandemic Corona, Mr Shringla emphasised that, the fundamental orientation of India’s policy remains Neighborhood First.
“We have demonstrated the priority accorded to neighbors in South Asia at the highest levels. This was evident during the Covid crisis. Prime Minister Narendra ModiÂs first regional engagement of Covid was with leaders of South Asia at the highest level.” He reminded the audience that his first visit “after the pandemic was to neighbor and close friend Bangladesh”
On this occasion, he told the audience that in the coming year India is going to play a major role in the world stage. India will be member of Security Council in 2021, marking the 75th year of Independence and within two years will be President of G-20 countries. He said,” we will hold the Presidencies of BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation . All this are recognition of enhanced global standing and also provides opportunity for us to convey our perceptions ,our experience, and our priorities- not just for ourselves but for the shared world.
(The writer is a senior Delhi-based journalist.)