Dhaka expects high-level visit from Delhi

Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Published : 07:30, May 24, 2019 | Updated : 07:30, May 24, 2019

Photo taken on June 5, 2015 shows billboards of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka, Bangladesh. File PhotoDhaka expects a high-level visit from New Delhi soon as the Indian people have chosen their leadership for the next five years.

NDA alliance led by incumbent Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to become the next premier of the biggest democracy of the world.

“The issue of high level visit was discussed at the foreign secretary level meeting between Bangladesh and India in April,” said one senior official.

Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque had a luncheon meeting with his Indian counterpart Vijay Gokhale at South Block in New Delhi on Apr 16.

The Indian Prime Minister came to Dhaka in 2015, one year after his winning in the national election, and Bangladeshi premier went to New Delhi on a return visit in 2017.

“Now it is time for the Indian premier to come to Dhaka,” he said.

India, the biggest country in South Asia, has a strong neighbourhood policy where Bangladesh is an important component as both the countries achieved a lot by fostering good relationship, he added.

The official said, Bangladesh was the first stand along visit of Indian Foreign minister Sushma Swaraj when BJP led National Democratic Alliance came to power in 2014.

When contacted, Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque said, “We have very warm and more than strategic relationship with India and we will continue it.”

About the possible high level visit, he said smiling, “Let’s see.”

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hasina has sent a congratulatory message to Indian premier Modi Thursday. She also had a talk with Modi after his winning for the second term.

Joint River Commission

Another official seeking anonymity said the Joint River Commission meeting is expected to be held soon as it is long due.

“The last JRC meeting was held in 2010 and since then due to dispute related to Teesta and other rivers, it could not have been taken place,” he said.

There is a proposal from Bangladesh to hold it at the earliest and it was agreed by India in April when both the foreign secretaries had their meeting, he added.