For a country with the ambitions Bangladesh has, strategic partnerships and alliances will be pivotal
It is encouraging to see that Bangladesh and India have expressed optimism to hold a Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) meeting this year to discuss water sharing of common rivers between the two countries.
Furthermore, there appear to be more conversations in the pipeline regarding visa restrictions and addressing border killings, and these are all important issues that need to be resolved.
However, for Bangladesh, it is important to remain firm and hold our ground regarding this issue -- despite repeatedly being touted as Bangladesh’s closest ally and supporter, Bangladesh has often been receiving the short end of the stick when it comes to dealing with India.
This cannot be how diplomacy and ties with India -- or any other nation for that matter -- proceed moving forward.
Gone are the days when Bangladesh was a significantly weaker economy; its growth and improvements over the past decade and more means it can rightfully demand and command respect from other nations, and as such, should not settle for any agreements that would not benefit its own cause.
Yes, we must forge stronger ties with other nations, and for a country with the ambitions Bangladesh has, strategic partnerships and alliances will be pivotal in ensuring that these ambitions are fulfilled.
With that in mind, however, this responsibility falls on all the authorities concerned, politicians, civil society, and practitioners, to ensure that these partnerships and alliances occur by keeping the best interest of Bangladesh in mind, and are not skewed unfavourably towards the other economies just because they happen to be bigger and more powerful.