Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come to Bangladesh on a two-day official visit on June 6.
This visit will be Modi’s maiden visit to Bangladesh on the invitation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“At the invitation of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi would be coming to Bangladesh on a state visit from June 6 to 7,” said a press statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangladesh on Tuesday.
The visit is expected to further strengthen the excellent relationship between the two neighbouring countries, the statement added.
During the visit, the two premiers would have official talks where the entire gamut of bilateral relations would be discussed.
The Indian PM would also pay a courtesy call on the Hon’ble President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid.
The visit will reflect the importance attached by India to the bilateral relationship, said a press statement of Indian High Commission in Dhaka on Tuesday.
The visit is expected to further expand the cordial and cooperative relationship between the two countries and strengthen the ties of friendship and trust between India and Bangladesh, it added.
Hindustan Times adds: During Modi’s visit, the two neighbours expected to scale up security, defence and connectivity ties and likely seal the Teesta water-sharing pact.
The Centre, in renewed efforts to get the support of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for a tweaked Teesta river watersharing formula, has also offered financial assistance for irrigation projects in the state, which goes to the polls in 2016.
The Union home ministry has been alerted about the possibility of Modi taking a land-route via West Bengal to the neighbouring country, which could help the Prime Minister see the Petrapole-Benapole land custom route, through which more than 50% of bilateral trade takes place.
Modi is likely to only visit the capital city of Dhaka.
With the land-boundary agreement with Bangladesh, an ambitious agenda is in the works ahead of the PM’s visit to Dhaka.
“Main achhi khabar leke aaung a ( I will come with good news),” Modi told Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on being reminded about her invite to visit Bangladesh during a telephone conversation between the two leaders soon after the Indian Parliament passed the land boundary agreement.
Modi is keen on not having any troubled eastern border at any cost, sources said. “The PM is very clear that India cannot afford to have an Af-Pak situation in the eastern border. The threat from the Islamists, the Rohingya issue, the trouble in Thailand, all these situations are a reminder to keep the guard high in the eastern sector,” said a South Block official.
For stepping up defence ties, India will be training military personnel. Trade, transit and connectivity issues will form a substantial part of the agenda. India is also looking for the greater use of the Chittagong port.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is leading the charge as the Centre is pulling out all the stops to conclude the Teesta pact during the visit.
Many proposals are on the table, including a revised formula under which India and Bangladesh are looking at 46:46% sharing of water, factoring that 8% of water will come from the rejuvenation of the river.
Out of its share, West Bengal now has to part with 21% of water at Gozaldoba in North Bengal and another 25% would be added through regeneration by the time the river reached Dalia barrage in Lalmonirhat district of Bangladesh.
And to sweeten the deal, the Centre is now offering financial assistance for developing irrigation infrastructure in the state.
“Don’ t forget even now West Bengal can only use 25% of the Teesta’s water for want of irrigation infrastructure,” said a source.
Meanwhile Zee News quoting IANS reports: India and Bangladesh will finalise the passenger bus service between Guwahati-Dhaka via Shillong during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh next month, a Bangladeshi official said in Dhaka on Monday.
The proposed bus service, which covers approximately 500 km, will traverse from Guwahati via Shillong and then proceed to the southern slopes of Meghalaya’s Dawki international trading before entering Tamabil (Bangladesh)-Sylhet-Dhaka route.
The final decision to start the Guwahati-Shillong-Dhaka passenger bus service will be decided by both the governments (India and Bangladesh) during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Dhaka next month,” Bangladesh Road Transport and Highways Division Joint Secretary Azharul Islam Khan told journalists here.
Khan, who is leading a 22-member Bangladesh delegation for the trial run of the passenger bus service, said an agreement and a protocol were also likely to be signed between India and Bangladesh before the service was introduced.
On May 22, Bangladesh officials started the trial run of the bus service on a Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation bus from Dhaka but failed to reach Assam’s Guwahati city on time due to bad road connectivity.
Khan said the passenger bus service will be a “win-win situation” for people of both the countries.
India and Bangladesh presently have two regular bus services, one between West Bengal’s Kolkata and Dhaka and the other between Tripura’s Agartala and Dhaka.
BBN/SK/ZI/ANS-26May15-7:10pm (BST)