Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – India’s ruling Congress party President Sonia Gandhi will arrive in the capital Dhaka Sunday night on a two-day visit to attend an autism conference and receive a posthumous award on behalf of former Indian premier Indira Gandhi.
She will arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on board a special flight at 9:00pm (local time), official sources said.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Minister for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Syed Ashraful Islam and State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Capt (retd) AB Tajul Islam will receive her.
Sonia, the chief patron of Action Autism India, will join as the chief guest in the inaugural function of the five-day conference on ‘Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disabilities in Bangladesh and South Asia’ on Monday.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Speaker of Pakistan National Assembly Fahmida Mirza, Sri Lankan first lady Shiranthi Rajapakse, Maldivian second lady Ilham Hassan and Health Ministers of Indonesia and Bhutan will be present at the function as the special guests, organizers said.
The Congress president will place floral wreaths at the National Memorial in Savar and visit the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi in Dhaka on Monday morning.
Sonia, also the chairperson of National Advisory Council of Indian government, will meet Sheikh Hasina at Ruposhi Bangla Hotel to discuss bilateral ties and explore the relations between the Congress party and Awami League, The Daily Star, a local newspaper, reported quoting sources.
The foreign minister will pay a courtesy call on her in the afternoon.
President Zillur Rahman will confer “Bangladesh Swadhinata Sanmanona,” country’s highest state honour for foreign nationals, posthumously on former Indian premier Indira Gandhi at an award ceremony at Bangabhaban in the afternoon. Sonia will receive the award on behalf of her assassinated mother-in-law.
Bangladesh will honour Indira for her outstanding contributions during the 1971 Liberation War.
The Congress chief will also meet the president at Bangabhaban. She will attend a dinner to be hosted by the prime minister in honour of the distinguished participants of the autism conference.
Sonia is scheduled to leave Dhaka at 9:00pm Monday.
BBN/SSR/AD-24Juluy11-12:02 pm (BST)