Dhaka, Bangladesh
BD, India can work together to combat natural disaster: PM

BD, India can work together to combat natural disaster: PM

News Report Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday underscored the need for working together by Bangladesh and Indian Air Forces to combat any natural disaster. "We hope that the cooperation between the two air forces will continue … they can also work together in the case of any natural calamity," she said when Chief of Air Staff of Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa paid a courtesy call on her at her Jatiya Sangsad Office in the city Monday. After the meeting, PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters. Expressing satisfaction over the existing friendly relations between the two countries, the prime minister said: "There are wonderful relations between us and I hope the ties will be strengthened further in future". Highlighting Bangladesh's stunning socioeconomic development over the last 10 years, Sheikh Hasina said the people are enjoying the fruits of uplift. The prime minister said the aim of her government is to make development from the grassroots. While talking about poverty alleviation, she said, the rate of poverty has come down to below 21 percent thanks to various steps of her government. Sheikh Hasina recalled the support of Indian government and armed forces to Bangladesh's liberation war in 1971. The Indian Air Force chief also stressed the need for working together by Indian Air Force and Bangladesh Air Force to combat any natural calamity. "As this region is disaster-prone, the two air forces can work together to fight any disaster," he said. He expressed happiness as the prime minister invites Indian war veterans to Bangladesh every year. "We are very happy for it," he said. Birender Singh Dhanoa recalled that Indian defence forces returned home within three months of Bangladesh's independence. "This is the only example in the world that a force returned back home after war within the shortest time," he said. He said Indian Air Force is ready to extend cooperation to build capacity of Bangladesh Air Force. He also laid stress on boosting cooperation between the two air forces in many areas, including training. The Indian Air Force chief highly praised the infrastructure of Bangladesh Air Force describing it as world class. He also highly appreciated Bangladesh's total development, particularly in readymade garment sector (RMG), under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. "I always find 'Made in Bangladesh' tag whenever I buy clothes outside India," he said. PM's Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, Military Secretary Major General Mia Mohammad Zainul Abedin and Acting Indian High Commissioner Dr Adarsh Swaika were present on the occasion. Meanwhile, Chief of the Air staff, Indian Air Force Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa, PVSM AVSM YSM VM ADC called on Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat t Air Headquarters on Monday. During call on, they exchanged greetings and Chief of Air Staff cordially thanks to Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa for visiting Bangladesh. They also discussed issues of bi-lateral interests and expressed hope to continue mutual co-operation to strengthen the existing relationship between Bangladesh and Indian Air Force. Earlier in the morning Chief of Indian Air Force visited Shikha Anirban at Dhaka Cantonment and paid homage to the memory of the Armed Forces members martyred during the Liberation War in 1971 by placing floral wreath at the mousaliam. On arrival at Air Headquarters, Chief of Air Staff, Indian Air Force was presented a guard of honour by a smartly turned out BAF Contingent. Later, he planted a sapling at Air Headquarters premises. During his stay in Bangladesh, Chief of Indian Air Force will visit Hon'ble Prime Minister's Office, Army Headquarters, Naval Headquarters, Armed Forces Division, National Defence College, BAF Base Bir Sreshtho Matiur Rahman and BAF Base Zahurul Haque. He will also visit different Flying Squadron, 214 Maintenance and Overhauling Unit and Bangabandhu Aeronautical Centre of BAF Base Bangabandhu. Mentionable that Chief of Indian Air Force along with his spouse and a 3-member delegation arrived in Bangladesh on February 10 on a 5-day official visit. It is expected that the visit will play an important role for strengthening the existing friendly relationship between Air Forces of the two countries. (Inputs taken from BSS and ISPR)

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