Indo-Pacific is a reality: S. Jaishankar in Dhaka 

In Dhaka conference on Indian Ocean, Hasina presses for repatriation of the Rohingya refugees

May 13, 2023 01:01 am | Updated 07:41 am IST - NEW DELHI

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar | Photo Credit: ANI

The vision of the Indo Pacific Is reality in the 21st century External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar said on Friday in Dhaka. Addressing the 6th Indian Ocean Conference-2023 in the Bangladeshi capital Mr. Jaishankar noted the “Indo Pacific Outlook” of Bangladesh that was announced recently and cautioned against countries that do not want the region to become dynamic.

“Indo-Pacific is a reality and becoming more so with each passing day. It is a statement of our contemporary globalization and an underlining that we are getting past the framework of 1945. There are obviously nations who have a vested interest in perpetuating the past. As indeed they have in larger international relations, including the structure of the United Nations,” Said Mr Jaishankar. 

The Indian minister is on a 2-day visit to Dhaka where he held bilateral discussion with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as well as his counterpart doctor AK Abdul Momen. Mr Jaishankar met with PM Sheikh Hasina on Thursday. Ms Hasina will lead the Bangladesh delegation in the G20 summit to be hosted in Delhi where Bangladesh is among the “guest countries”. The meeting was also attended by Dhaka’s Ambasssador-at-large Muhammad Ziauddin, who is the Sherpa for the upcoming G-20 summit. Both sides have expressed satisfaction at the level of satisfaction at the level of bilateral cooperation in various field,” said Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim after Mr Jaishankar met Ms Hasina.  

Mr Jaishankar’s visit to Dhaka takes special significance as there has been concern in Dhaka about India’s support as Prime Minister Hasina is headed into an election later this year. These concerns were heightened after the US ambassador Peter Haas and leading diplomats of the European Union have increased pressure on Ms Hasina urging her to go for free and fair election. In an interview that was televised a day before Mr Jaishankar reached Dhaka, Ambassador Haas however softened his demand and said that it is not for the United States to be a “mediator” between political parties in Bangladesh.  

The Indian Ocean Countries Conference (IOCC) was inaugurated by Ms Hasina on Friday. The meeting is being attended by 150 guests from at least 25 countries. Myanmar, which is facing international pressure because of the Rohingya crisis is not represented at the conference. Ms Hasina said members of the Indian Ocean region should support “maritime diplomacy” for ensuring conflict-free environment that can support regional prosperity. She also called for promoting the “culture of peace” in the IOR. Ms Hasina sought support of the international community to help repatriate the Rohingya community to Myanmar. She said by hosting the more than a million Rohingya refugees, Dhaka has helped avoid a major humanitarian disaster and added, “Now, we seek active support of the global community to repatriate the Rohingya people to their homeland in a safe and sustainable manner.” 

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