Dhaka (Bangladesh) | Jagran News Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday congratulated Bangladesh on its 50 years of independence and met the 'Muktijoddhas' of the 1971 Indo-Pak war. PM Modi, whose two-day Bangalesh visit is seen as a move to counter the growing influence of China, also stated that one of the first movements of his life was to join the struggle for the independence of Bangladesh.

"Today in Bangladesh, the blood of those who fought for their liberation and the blood of Indian soldiers are flowing together. This blood will form such a relationship that will not break down under any type of pressure &will not fall prey to any kind of diplomacy," PM Modi was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

During his address, the Prime Minister also slammed Pakistan for its atrocities in Bangladesh and announced the Swarna Jayanti scholarship for youths of the country.

Lauding the India-Bangladesh relationship, PM Modi said both New Delhi and Dhaka have the "power of democracy and vision for the future" and the two nations need to progress together for the betterment of the south-east Asia region.

"We must remember that we've similar opportunities in fields of trade and commerce, but at the same time, we've similar threats like terrorism. The ideas and powers behind such types of inhumane acts are still active. We must remain vigilant and united to counter them," ANI quoted PM Modi as saying.

PM Modi arrived here on Friday on a two-day visit to Bangladesh during which he will attend the celebrations of the golden jubilee of the country's independence, the birth centenary of ‘Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and hold talks with his counterpart Sheikh Hasina.

PM Modi, who is visiting Bangladesh on his first trip to a foreign country since the outbreak of the coronavirus, was received by Prime Minister Hasina at Dhaka's Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport upon his arrival.

The prime minister had on Thursday said he will hold substantive discussions with Hasina during the visit, as he expressed happiness that his first foreign tour after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic will be to a friendly neighbouring country with which India shares deep ties.

"Our partnership with Bangladesh is an important pillar of our Neighbourhood First policy, and we are committed to further deepen and diversify it. We will continue to support Bangladesh's remarkable development journey, under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's dynamic leadership," PM Modi tweeted ahead of his visit.

On Saturday, he will visit the mausoleum of 'Bangabandhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Tungipara in Gopalganj district, the first Indian dignitary to ever visit the place. He is also scheduled to visit the Jeshoreshwari and Orkandi temples in southwestern Shatkhira and Gopalganj on Saturday.

On Saturday afternoon, Modi will hold talks with Hasina at the Prime Minister's Office, where at least five MoUs are expected to be signed and a number of projects inaugurated virtually.

Later, he will meet President Hamid at Bangabhaban presidential palace before leaving for New Delhi in the evening.

PM Modi's visit is taking place at a time Bangladesh is commemorating Mujib Borsho, the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 years of the country's war of liberation. The two countries are also celebrating 50 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

(With PTI, ANI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma