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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina’s ‘Mango diplomacy’ with Pakistan

50 years after the separation of what was then East and West Pakistan in 1971, the exchange of mangoes as a gift from Bangladesh PM to Pak PM seems to be an indication that Bangladesh-Pakistan friendly ties are possible. Pakistan and Bangladesh are two of the top ten exporters of mangoes.

In a show of goodwill, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave 1000 kg of the renowned Amrapali mango to Shehbaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The mango was given to the Prime Minister of Pakistan’s protocol officer by the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad on July 05, 2022.

According to a statement from the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, “This gift will be considered a special example of bilateral friendship between the two fraternal countries.”

Read more: Cementing Bangladesh-Northeast India relations

Since a few years ago, Bangladesh has been providing the leaders of South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle Eastern nations with a range of delectable mangoes as gifts. Analysts refer to this as “mango diplomacy,” a unique strategy for keeping cordial ties with the nations.

Mangoes: why? Similar to how the French or the Italians are proud of their wines, the Germans and the Japanese of their automobiles, or the Norwegians of their salmon and cloudberries, the mango is the pinnacle of Bangladeshi produce. The mango has recently developed into a crucial component of Bangladesh’s international public diplomacy, serving as a sign of friendship and goodwill.

Understanding the mango diplomacy

The mango has recently emerged as a crucial component of Bangladesh’s international public diplomacy. A few days ago, Bangladesh PM sent Mangoes to the Indian president, PM, Bengal CM and Assam CM. It makes sense to send mangoes to India because Bangladesh wishes to foster a cordial relationship with its enormous neighbor. However, giving Pakistan a bushel of fruit was also very significant.

50 years after the separation of what was then East and West Pakistan in 1971, the exchange of mangoes as a gift from Bangladesh PM to Pak PM seems to be an indication that Bangladesh-Pakistan friendly ties are possible. Pakistan and Bangladesh are two of the top ten exporters of mangoes.

Read more: A prolonged refugee crisis in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh President, the Prime Minister, and other important Bangladeshi figures received fresh, internationally renowned Pakistani mangoes from the Pakistani government last year. On August 2, 2021, Bangladesh welcomed it with the greatest appreciation.

We are all aware of Pakistan’s mango diplomacy

Mao Ze Dong, the Communist Party’s then-chairman, and the Chinese people were taken aback by Pakistan’s mango diplomacy in the 1960s. A significant amount of mango output comes from Pakistan.

For the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also gave former Pak PM Imran Khan rare Harivanga mangoes from Bangladesh as a show of goodwill in 2021.

As a continuous part, she sent her goodwill gift to her counterpart PM Shehbaz Sharif. PM Hasina demonstrated honesty and a desire for friendship with all global actors by taking a significant initiative in the situation of Pakistan. The prime minister of Bangladesh wants to maintain and bolster ties with other South Asian nations. Her efforts at mango diplomacy serve as evidence.

Read more: Bangladesh-India mango diplomacy

Both parties may put in a lot of work to maintain positive relations with the governments of Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Additionally, it will foster positive ties with Bangladeshi and Pakistani citizens

New generations on both sides demand closer ties in business, tourism, etc. in the very near future.

People from both nations can gain from each other if the two governments work to build positive relationships. The government of Imran Khan was doing everything in its power to forge a solid connection with Bangladesh since it is crucial for the two countries’ interests and mutual advantages in a variety of industries. Now, PM Shehbaz Sharif must continue his predecessor’s effort.

There can be some issues between Pakistan and Bangladesh

However, both sides need to adequately handle these issues. Bangladesh is being seen an economic miracle in South Asia. At every major forum, the world community praises Bangladesh. Pakistan should establish solid ties in order to further its own interests.

Pakistan and Bangladesh are both in South Asia. We can all recall the 1970 Ping Pong diplomacy involving Sino-US relations.

Read more: Significance of Bangladesh-India Joint consultative commission meeting

Table tennis diplomacy helped China and the US establish and develop their relationship. The small effort improved relations between China and the US.We can also anticipate the use of mango diplomacy, another Ping Pong tactic.

Mango diplomacy is a small undertaking, but it has a big impact.

This modest effort will grow into a significant accomplishment for both parties. We can now anticipate some next moves. Visits by high-ranking officials could be a step toward fostering closer ties. To mend fences, the two prime ministers might trade visits. Both countries’ decision-makers can exchange visits. Pakistan has a significant role to play in this.

Malice to none, friendship to all is the basic essential foreign policy of Bangladesh, a nation that values peace. The state is very liberal.

Pakistan has a fantastic opportunity to improve the situation. Though there are several areas where relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh are tense. but the passage of time, Pakistan must resettle its ties with Bangladesh resolving the issues. Pakistan and Bangladesh must comprehend the state of the world now.

Geographically, both are countries in South Asia. Pakistan might be important to the process. Bangladesh is soon to become a South Asian Tiger. It has a flourishing economy. Bangladesh may contribute to the improvement of its business connections.

Read more: Why India should help Bangladesh solve Rohingya refugee crisis?

For its own benefit, Pakistan should maintain its connections with Bangladesh. The economy of Bangladesh is expanding. Pakistan may ask BD for assistance in the near future. For Pakistan to improve, relations with Bangladesh must be maintained. They have a ton of potential together. In terms of religion and culture, Bangladesh and Pakistan have certain similarities. Mutual trade, international counterterrorism initiatives, and regional connectivity could be other sectors.

Bangladesh PM congratulated PM Shehbaz after the selection as PM

Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Bangladesh is growing at a rapid pace and it will cross the $1 billion mark by the yearend, Bangladesh High Commissioner Ruhul Alam Siddique said recently. Bangladesh will host the 20th session of the Council of Ministers of D-8, also known as Developing-8, on 27 July. As an active member of the organization, Pak FM may join the meeting in Bangladesh.

Pakistan has thanked Hasina for the gift of this famous, delicious mango from that country. The international diplomatic community believes that this gift will be considered a special example in the relations between the two countries.

Read more: China praises Bangladesh for completion of Padma bridge

However, as a result, both states’ policymakers need to be aware of the issue. Mango diplomacy is a small undertaking, but it has a big impact. In the case of bilateral ties, this initiative can encompass both. Both sides must be aware of that. If the realization is favorable, both the governments and the citizens of the states will gain.


The writer is a Dhaka-based freelance writer and women and human rights activist. The views expressed by the writers do not necessarily represent Global Village Space’s editorial policy.