The relations between Bangladesh and India are important and have a strong historic basis. The prospects for these relations to grow in strength are indeed enormous if they are pursued for mutual benefit and with mutual respect. Our geographical proximity, cultural affinity and shared history should form the parameters of our relations.
The challenges that confront policy makers, as well as the general public, are mostly due to negative legacies that may have their roots in our colonial past, where both our people were victims of the divide and rule policies of the Colonialists. This has created a sense of fear and distrust. There are forces in both of our societies who have played, and continue to play, on this fear psychosis to perpetuate mutual suspicion and thereby keep us apart. It is therefore imperative that we work together to lay a new foundation on which to build strong, broad-based, durable and cooperative ties, free from the thinking of the past, and generate greater trust amongst our people. In short, the need of the time is a changed mindset.