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Countries in South Asia Must Move Beyond Majority-minority Mindset, Says Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina

Hasina noted that in the past decade, there were many 'lofty' regional ideas and initiatives with some succeeding while others failing to deliver.

PTI

Updated:October 4, 2019, 5:25 PM IST
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Countries in South Asia Must Move Beyond Majority-minority Mindset, Says Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina
File photo of Sheikh Hasina. (Photo: AFP)

New Delhi: Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said South Asian countries must move beyond the "majority-minority mindset" as pluralism was the strength of the region.

Speaking at a session of the India Economic Summit here, Hasina said Bangladesh continued to champion regional cooperation with groupings such as BIMSTEC, BBIM, BCIM and SAARC. "Establishing of connectivity will give a door to us to cooperate with each other," she said.

Hasina noted that in the past decade, there were many "lofty" regional ideas and initiatives with some succeeding while others failing to deliver.

"In the next decade, we should follow certain principles -- first we must try to secure peace, stability and harmony for every individual across our societies. We must move beyond the majority-minority mindset. Pluralism has been the strength of South Asia," she said.

The countries in the region should be able to celebrate South Asia's diversity -- regional, ethnic and linguistic -- Hasina said.

"The second is that we must ensure that inequalities across societies do not widen," she said, adding that wealth creation should be inclusive and should reach the bottom strata.

The least developed countries should get priority and the focus should be on mutual trust and respect between all countries, the Bangladeshi prime minister said.

"We need to get over misperceptions and false apprehensions," she said, without elaborating.

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