New Delhi, India (BBN)-On the eve of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Friday termed the upcoming trip as historic and said that the centrepiece of the visit is the conclusion of the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA).
Addressing a press conference, Jaishankar said, “PM’s visit to Bangladesh historic as the centerpiece of this visit is conclusion of land boundary agreement with Bangladesh”, reports the Zee News.
“With the settlement of the land boundary, there was earlier a settlement of our maritime boundary, we actually have completely settled our boundary with Bangladesh, and that is, for a neighbour, an extremely important development, and I cannot overstate the confidence in goodwill that is generated by this act,” ANI quoted Jaishankar as saying.
“There are two concepts at play in this visit. At one level, it is once again an affirmation of our neighbourhood first policy. But is also a part of our Act East policy.
The consequences, the possibilities of cooperation that would be opened up as a result of these developments really have a very profound impact on our North-East and our policies further east,” he added.
Jaishankar also spelled out the details about the Prime Minister’s visit.
“The Prime Minister arrives Saturday morning in Dhaka. There will be a ceremonial welcome and, after that he would be visiting the National Martyrs Memorial.
He then goes to the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum,” he said.
“Then, the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister of West Bengal along with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh would be flagging of the bus services.
There are two important bus services- Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Guwahati-Shillong bus service,” the Foreign Secretary added.
The Foreign Secretary further said that there would be an exchange of instruments of ratifications of the Land Boundary Agreement and its protocol.
“This would then be followed by talks between the Prime Minister and Bangladesh Prime Minister.
There are some foundation stones for different projects that we are doing in Bangladesh.
Then, there will be a press statement by the two Prime Ministers. Finally, in the evening a dinner hosted by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” said Jaishankar.
“The second day of the visit would see a visit by the Prime Minister to the Dhakeshwari temple.
He will then go on to visit the Ramakrishna mission.
He will also to our new Chancery complex in Dhaka. He has a meeting and lunch with the President of Bangladesh H.E. Mohammad. Abdul Hamid,” he added.
The Prime Minister is also scheduled to meet Bangladesh’s leader of opposition Begum Roshan Ershad, the former prime minister Khaleda Zia, presidents of leading chambers of commerce and industry and leaders of left parties of Bangladesh.
Jaishankar further said that the Bangladesh visit would consolidate and deepen the relationship between the two nations.
“But other than the rising confidence levels; it would actually help very much with the management of border.
For both the countries we expect improvement in security situation on border, there will be more trust and confidence.
It would be much more effective for us to deal with illegal activities across the border activities like human trafficking, circulation of counterfeit notes, drug smuggling, and illegal movement of people,” he added.
The decision to operationalise the India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) was cleared by the Indian Parliament last month.
It was one of the long-pending issues between the two South Asian neighbours.
PM Modi, on his maiden visit ti the country, will tomorrow morning reach Bangladesh capital Dhaka for his two-day visit, during which he will have a tight schedule as, besides holding detailed talks with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, he will also attend several programmes and pay a visit to the Memorial of the 1971 Liberation War.
Ahead of Modi’s visit, the capital city Dhaka is having a festive look with streets adorned with life-size cutouts of Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee arrived here tonight and will take part in the flag off ceremony of Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service and signing of the LBA agreement tomorrow.
Large cutouts of Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi were also seen on the streets as a token of an age old relationship between both the two countries and India’s role in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.