by Nadeem Qadir in Dhaka –
The new Indian High Commissioner Vikram Kumar Doraiswami arrived in Dhaka driving though parts of Bangladesh after crossing a land border which is unprecedented as his predecessors had flown into Dhaka direct and he proved his photographic talents by clicking “Shonar Bangla.”
Although, he takes up his new assignment with a challenge to rebuild confidence in ties with Dhaka as bilateral relations has been going through a topsy-turvy time over the past year and will be under the scanner of the media in both the countries.
In a tweet, the career diplomat, Doraiswami, said “Reached Dhaka via Akhaura, and Ashuganj. Some images of Shonar Bangla’s lush green countryside and the border crossing.”
“And portraits of Father of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in his birth centenary.”
The photographs are posted with this piece and his choice of Bangabandhu’s portrait is indicative of his diplomatic skills as before official ceremonies, the diplomat has paid his tributes to Bangladesh’s founding father.
As we welcome High Commissioner Vikram Kumar Doraiswami to Bangladesh, we want to wish him success in overcoming the challenges he faces in “normalising” bilateral ties with his host country, despite the fact that the two neighbouring South Asian countries label each other as a “true and trusted friends.”
Foreign affairs observers said Dhaka-Delhi ties are “special” and the current “dip” in bilateral ties are easy not difficult to overcome of India takes up the concerned issues seriously keeping in mind the growing “anti-India sentiments” in Bangladesh over some pending issues.
The New high commissioner should address those as soon as he takes up his new job after presenting his credentials to President Abdul Hamid as national politics dominate ties with India, they told newsnextbd.com.
Presidential spokesman Zainal Abedin told newsnextbd.com that the newly appointed Indian High Commissioner is scheduled to present credential to the President, Abdul Hamid, on October 8.
The sharing of water of the Teesta river, border killings and the very recent onion crisis for the second successive year due to Indian government’s sudden ban due to loss of crop after heavy rains.
Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla had denied any “dip” in bilateral ties after his whirlwind trip to Bangladesh, telling newsnextbd.com that “we have got a lot of things going and this will become evident next year when we celebrate our 50th anniversary” of diplomatic ties.
Reports from New Delhi said that Shringla and Indian Army Chief raised the repatriation of Rohingya in Bangladeshi camps to their homes in Rakhine state during their current visit to Myanmar. A meaningful result will give a boost to Dhaka-New Delhi ties.
India is also concerned about increasing China-Bangladesh ties amid Pakistan’s reported interest to improve ties with Dhaka. Vikram Doraiswami is interestingly fluent in the Chinese language among others.
His choice as India’s envoy in Bangladesh interestingly has an historic link. His father was in the Air Force and fought against the Pakistani Army during the 1971 Independence War. It will be his added advantage in Bangladesh under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Awami League government which led the war.
India backed Bangladesh, the former East Pakistan, in its Independence War against Pakistan and sheltered millions of refugees, besides fighting along the Freedom Fighters and sacrificing their lives.
The routing of his journey is unprecedented for any Indian envoy who served in Dhaka because apparently the North-Eastern states are under special focus of New Delhi and much of its connectivity with the rest of the country is now through Bangladesh by way of transhipment of goods along with similar other facilities.
He replaced Riva Das Ganguly, who has returned home, and has already taken up her new assignment at the Ministry of External Affairs.