Teesta water sharing: Mamata proposes alternative plan to Sheikh Hasina

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is now visiting India. "Our doors are open for cooperation, but for this terrorism has to be shunned", he added.

On her part, Hasina described her talks with Modi as "productive" and agreed with Modi that greater connectivity was "vital" for development in the region.

Calling the defense pact a feather in India's cap, Sukh Deo Muni, a South Asia expert at New Delhi's Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses, said,"India does not want China to consolidate defense ties just next to its belly, that is true".

Modi said Hasina's visit marked the "golden era" of India-Bangladesh relations and described India as 'a long-standing and trusted development partner of Bangladesh'. This thought process remains a steady challenge to us. "There is a mentality in South Asia opposed to the approach of India and Bangladesh to promote development".

Of the 22 agreements signed, Jaishankar said nine agreements are on development of trade, four agreements on high technology covering civil nuclear cooperation and space, and five agreements on defence cooperation.

At the event to honour the Indian martyrs, she said: "I am grateful to the government and people of India for their contribution to Bangladesh's War of Independence".

Earlier reports said the Indian government had chose to name a road in Delhi after Sheikh Mujibur Rehman.

India and Bangladesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) through which India would extend a line of credit of $500 million to support Bangladesh's defence-related procurements.

"I would like to pay respects to all those who lost their life during the liberation battle for the betterment of humanity", Mr Modi said.

The defence expert further said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to Delhi is a very important visit, perhaps the most critical visit for Prime Minister Modi in terms of regional cooperation.

Paying tributes to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Modi said he was a "dear friend of India and a towering leader".

Although the political opposition in Bangladesh has denounced the pact, independent analysts in Dhaka was optimistic that it will help achieve balance.

On the occasion, Hasina also honoured Lance Naik Albert Ekka, Major Anup Singh Gahlaut, Subedhar Malkiat Singh, Havildar Sungandh Singh, Lt Samir Das and Lance Naik Mohan Chandra, who laid down their lives in the 1971 war. The Sheikh Hasina government has also brought the traitors of 1971 War to justice, a move that has not gone down well with Pakistan.

Hasina is scheduled to return home on April 10.

  • Joanne Flowers