India-Bangladesh’s growing defense and strategic ties

KATHMANDU

Fifty years ago, India was a major part of the Bangladesh War of Liberation on 1971 as it helped the then, East Pakistan turn into a new country, Bangladesh and this changed the dynamics of South Asia forever. With the birth of Bangladesh, India signed a 25-year ‘Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.’ Today, India and Bangladesh share several civilizational links, diplomatic, economic and security ties which have further resulted in stronger bilateral relations between the two countries in the present times. For India, Bangladesh holds a place of great importance as it is an immediate neighbour and a valuable pillar of India’s ‘Neighbourhood First Policy’.

Defense, security and strategic ties are growing day by day between India and Bangladesh. India considers Bangladesh as an eternal strategic ally. India has extended a $500 million line of credit to Bangladesh for defence imports from India, and has gifted 18 new 120mm mortars to the Bangladesh Army in December 2020 under army-to-army cooperation.

In January in 2021 a 122-member Bangladeshi tri-services contingent also participated in India’s Republic Day parade. Two Indian naval ships — INS Kulish and INS Sumedha — visited Mongla Port of Bangladesh from 8-10 March, marking the first naval visit that India has undertaken for the first time in the last 50 years. Bangladesh continues to be India’s “closest neighbour” and ties with the country have entered a “golden era”. As