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Brunei-India ties special, says outgoing envoy

Lyna Mohamad

The ties between India and Brunei Darussalam is special and the Sultanate plays an important role in strengthening India’s relationship with ASEAN, particularly from 2012 to 2015 when Brunei was the country coordinator for India.

This was said by Indian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Ajaneesh Kumar during a farewell lunch hosted the Indian High Commission in Brunei Darussalam at a restaurant in Gadong.

Senior officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Health were present at the event.

The diplomat – leaving Brunei next month at the end of his three-year tenure – also shared highlights of bilateral ties and cooperation between both nations, particularly in defence and economy.

The high commissioner said, “The mission has taken some initiatives to strengthen our economic engagements. To help develop collaboration in the pharmaceutical sector, the mission is in contact with both Indian and local pharmaceutical companies to facilitate linkages including investments in the sector.”

Indian High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Ajaneesh Kumar speaks during the farewell lunch. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD

He also noted that culture plays an important role in bringing the people from both the countries closer. He endeavoured to foster closer cultural relations between the two countries and increase people to people linkages.

Citing an example, the Indian High Commission has opened registration for the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) Quiz – taking place from January 1-31, 2022 – for all nationals between 16-35 years.

Registration can be made through and the mission encourage participation from Brunei in the spirit of bilateral relations between the Sultanate and India.

Amrit Mahotsav is a series of cultural events and digital initiatives undertaken by the Government of India to commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence and was launched by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in March this year, exactly 75 weeks before the 75th anniversary of India’s independence on August 15, 2022.

Celebrations during the Amrit Mahotsav will be inspired by the five pillars of ‘freedom struggle’; ‘achievements at 75’; ‘ideas at 75’; ‘actions at 75’; and ‘resolves at 75’ as the guiding force.

Following the launch, the high commission here has been organising various events including blood donation campaigns, beach cleaning drive, free health camp, book donations and painting competition.