Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a special welcome as he reached Bangladesh embarking his two-day visit starting Saturday morning. In a warm gesture, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with her cabinet received PM Modi as he arrived at Hazrat Shahjalal international airport in Dhaka.
The two leaders will be holding important bilateral talks later this evening after which the officials of India and Bangladesh are expected to seal number of pacts.
The visit assumes importance for it has come after the Indian Parliament ratifying significant Land Boundary Agreement. The long-pending agreement post its ratification by the Parliament of India has enabled better drawing up of the boundaries with exchange of certain contiguous areas and allowing unrestricted movement of people in these enclaves. The pact includes territories in Assam along with those in West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya.
Both the countries share a long 4096 kilometres international boundary. As most of the boundary is considered porous, both India and Bangladesh face security issues from the part of syndicate of militants and North-East India based insurgent groups, who have managed to flee past the international border in the past. The two leaders in their one-to-one meeting are expected to work out this crucial aspect concerning the national security of the both.
This two-day visit has raised curiosity back home as West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too has been included in the part of the PM’s delegation. Ms Banerjee arrived in Bangladesh late on Friday night.
Narendra Modi government’s keen interest in this tour was reflected by the views shared by the PM himself. Writing on a micro-blogging site Twitter, just before he took off, PM Modi said, “This visit is going to strengthen the bond between our Nations, benefitting people of our countries & our region.”
The Prime Minister is expected to thank his counterpart Ms Hasina for acting tough against the anti-India terror outfits. In the past as well, the Indian administration has been especially thankful to PM Sheikh Hasina for curbing the activities and taking strong action against various anti-India groups operating out of Bangladeshi territory.
Another important event will be the flagging off the bus service between Kolkata and Agartala via Dhaka. Prime Minister Modi, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and PM Sheikh Hasina will flag off this bus service from Dhaka. Another service between Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati will too be flagged off by the leaders.
On the trade front, there will be efforts to broaden the scope of Indian investment in Bangladesh. Several MoUs enabling the same are expected to be signed to facilitate the setting up of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) by the Indian companies in Bangladesh.
Another vital issue of sharing river waters and waterways may be taken up by the two leaders but long-pending Teesta water-sharing pact with Bangladesh will not be signed during the visit.