After years of deep-rooted mistrust, Bangladesh and Pakistan are looking to enhance bilateral and economic ties. This is a promising opportunity given that there is much that we can learn from Dhaka’s economic growth trajectory.

PM Imran Khan extended an invite to his Bangladeshi counterpart last July and ever since, two meetings in total have taken place between High Commissioner Ahmed Siddiqui and the PM Hasina. This is a monumental step forward considering that the relationship between Pakistan and Bangladesh has been on the rocks due to the staunch stance her government took against the events of 1971 in the past. We must work towards finalising the dates for the visit so that close corroboration between the two countries can be facilitated.

With the potential of official dialogue continuing, our government can learn from the way Bangladesh rose up from the ashes of the civil war. It is now expected to become the next Asian tiger as its growth rate has consistently revolved around 7.8 percent in comparison to Pakistan’s 5.8 percent. Its debt is half of what Pakistan has accumulated over the course of time and its foreign exchange reserves are four times larger than ours. This is an indicator of a country that was successful in manoeuvring the similar problems that we face, and have continued to face, nationally.

It is important to address past grievances, resolve any remaining animosity and promote positive relations with Bangladesh and it is good to see that the government is proactively taking steps towards achieving this objective. Finalising the dates for the visit is the first step, what follows is the potential to evolve into regional partners in a mutually beneficial arrangement.