South Asia and Beyond

India’s Air Chief On Four-Day Goodwill Visit To Bangladesh

Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, who’s currently on a four-day trip to Bangladesh, will visit key operational bases of the Bangladesh Air Force, meet senior officers. They will discuss the progress made in areas of shared interests and explore avenues to further mutual military cooperation, the Indian government has said.

The goodwill visit comes after an invitation from Bangladeshi air chief Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat who led a delegation to Aero India 2021 held earlier this month at Bengaluru.

This year, Indian and Bangladeshi armed forces are celebrating 50 years of the 1971 war. Last month, a Bangladeshi tri-service contingent took part in India’s Republic Day parade for the first time. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Dhaka in March to attend the centenary celebrations of Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Last month, the foreign ministers of both the countries met in New Delhi to discuss deliverables that could be implemented during PM Modi’s upcoming visit. Both sides also discussed operationalisation of the $500 million line of credit for Bangladesh to buy defence equipment from India. As part of the agreement signed last year, India supplied 18 120mm mortars and ammunition in December.

Bangladesh has been a key beneficiary of India’s “Neighbourhood First” policy, having received $7.8 billion in lines of credit at concessional rates.