Friday, 21 January, 2022

Indian Armed Forces to join Bangladesh’s Victory Day celebrations

New Delhi: In a return gesture, an Indian Armed Forces contingent comprising both Army and Navy personnel will participate in the 'Victory Day Celebrations” in Dhaka on December 16.

Among many other issues of cooperation between the two defence forces, the Indian Army’s participation was decided on Monday during talks between visiting Bangladesh Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal and Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh in the South Block, the headquarters of the Indian defence ministry.

A 122-member strong contingent of the Bangladesh Armed Forces participated in the Republic Day parade of India on Rajpath for the first time on January 26, 2021.  The contingent comprised of personnel from Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force.

The majority of the soldiers in that contingent hailed from the most distinguished units of the Bangladesh Army which have the distinct honour of fighting and winning the 1971 liberation war.

Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal is on an official visit to India from October 23 to 29. He has met the Chief of Naval Staff, in addition to the Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and other high ranking officials of the Indian government.

During the bilateral discussions, issues relating to joint cooperative efforts like coordinated patrol along the international maritime boundary line, bilateral exercise BONGOSAGAR, the conduct of naval training and reciprocal visits of delegations were discussed.

The second edition of Exercise BONGOSAGAR took place in the northern Bay of Bengal on 3 October 2020. The first edition took place in 2019. The aim was to promote interoperability and joint operation skills by conducting a wide range of maritime exercises and operations.

This year's edition will be of greater significance as it is the Mujib Borsho and the 50th year of Bangladesh’s independence.

On completion of engagements in Delhi, Admiral Shaheen Iqbal will visit Mumbai where he will meet Vice Admiral R Hari Kumar, Flag Officer Commanding –in Chief, Western Naval Command and visit the Flagship of Western Naval Command.

On completion of the Mumbai visit, the Admiral would proceed to Defence services college, Wellington to witness training activities and interact with the commandant.

A statement issued from the Indian defence ministry said "India and Bangladesh share bonds of history, language, culture and multitudes of other commonalities’. The excellent bilateral ties reflect an all-encompassing partnership based on sovereignty, equality, trust and understanding that goes beyond strategic ties."