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Bangladesh tri-service squad arrives for Republic Day parade

Bangladesh tri-service squad arrives for Republic Day parade

In what is a rare event, a 122-member tri-service contingent of the Bangladesh defense force has arrived in India to participate in the 26th January Republic Day parade. As the contingent took off from Dhaka on a special C-17 Indian Air Force carrier, the Indian High Commission tweeted, “Together we fought, together we march.” It also said that all eyes are now on the 26 January celebration for a splendid display. The move marks the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh’s independence this year and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The Bangladesh contingent will be ferried back to Dhaka by IAF on January 30.

Sources said that the Sheikh Hasina government could reciprocate the gesture once the Covid 19 menace is over.

“This is only the third time in 70-odd years of our Republic that we have a foreign military contingent participate in our parade,” the Indian High Commission in Bangladesh said in a statement.

Col Md Mohtashim Hyder Chowdhury will lead the contingent which includes the parade and a military band, Dhaka Tribune reported.

“This is a very special moment for us, in Bangladesh as it further cements bilateral ties between the two neighbours, which already have a strong bond. This shows that we have fought the 1971 war together and it is indeed a very touching gesture,” Ishfaq Ilahi Choudhury, who served as air commodore in Bangladesh’s Air Force told IndiaNarrative.com. He underlined the need to resolve the other outstanding issues as well which include the killings in the border.

Choudhury added that while the two countries have shared close economic and political ties, this move gives a new dimension to relations between the two countries. “This signifies military co-operation and that is an important message to the world,” Choudhury said.

Besides, in another first of its kind, a delegation level virtual dialogue between the police chiefs of both countries was also on Tuesday. Vikram Doraiswami, Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh said in a tweet that this would enhance “existing co-operation.” “This new mechanism seeks to address emerging security and counter-terrorism challenges,” he further said.

India has also urged Bangladeshi startups, academia and students to participate in the International Summit 'Prarambh' – a platform to encourage startups — to be held virtually later this week.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Hasina held a bilateral summit on December 17, signing a host of MoUs and inaugurating the Haldibari-Chilahati railway links connecting the two countries. Modi is slated to join the 26 March celebrations in Dhaka to mark 50 years of independence.