PM Hasina wants to visit India in February

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Dhaka, December 10: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday expressed her desire to visit India in the first half of February next.

She expressed the desire when Indian minister of state for foreign affairs MJ Akbar met her at Ganabhaban.

PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

“Officials of the two counties will work out the schedule of the PM’s visit to neighbouring India,” he said.

There was a programme of PM’s visit to India on December 18 to discuss a wide range of bilateral issues with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, but it was postponed due to some last-minute changes.

At the meeting, MJ Akbar said the government and the people of India are eagerly looking forward to receiving Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in India.

He said Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina have taken India-Bangladesh bilateral relations to a new height and the horizon of relations have widened. There are vast areas of cooperation between Bangladesh and India, particularly in the field of hydroelectricity and energy, Akbar added.

He said prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s contribution to ensuring stability in the region is historic.

About settling problems, he said any problem could be resolved when there is good will.

Referring to current conflict in the Middle East and in other parts of the world, MJ Akbar said no civilisation could compromise with terrorists.

He also raised the issue of the emergency landing of the aircraft carrying prime minister Sheikh Hasina at Ashgabad International Airport of Turkmenistan on her way to Hungary and expressed concern over her security.

About bilateral issues, Hasina said there may be problems between two neighbouring countries, but these should not affect the friendship and cooperation.

She said her government is maintaining “zero tolerance policy” against terrorism and militancy and said no one will be allowed to use Bangladesh’s soil for terrorist acts against any country.

“We won’t tolerate any sorts of terrorism and militancy and won’t allow our land to be used for carrying out terrorist acts against any country,” she said.

The prime minister recalled with gratitude the contribution of Indian armed forces to Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971.

Hasina also mentioned that Indian allied force returned to their country immediately after Bangladesh’s independence. “It has created a history as no allied force in the world did return home immediately after the victory,” she said.

They also discussed the construction of water reservoirs for ensuring water security of the two countries.

Referring to different incidents like Holey Artisan Attack on July 1 this year and vandalising temples in various parts of the country, the prime minister said these incidents were carried out to destabilise the country’s development and progress.

Prime minister’s international affairs adviser Gowher Rizvi, principal secretary Kamal Abdul Nasser Chowdhury and Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Bardhan Sringla were present.

Source: UNB