Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)-Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday received Bangladesh’s Award of Liberation War Honour on behalf of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee at a ceremony in Dhaka.
PM Modi is on a two-day visit to the country that ends today.
PM Modi, who received the honour from Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban, called it an “inspiration for so many people”.
“This day is a matter of pride for the people of India… If Atalji’s health permitted and he was present here, this occasion would be very different,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister, who described his visit to Bangladesh as “historic”, will address the Indian community later this evening at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre before leaving for New Delhi.
He is also scheduled to meet political and business leaders, including Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad and Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia.
The meeting with Khaleda will be closely watched, with the opposition leader’s long-running calls for fresh elections gaining little traction.
Earlier this morning, PM Modi offered prayers at the famous 12th-Century Dhakeshwari temple in Dhaka, the most revered place for Hindus in Bangladesh.
He spent around 15 minutes at the temple, which was closed for the public at the time.
Modi then headed to the Ramakrishna Mission at Gopibagh, where he was greeted by the monks.
The Dhaka Ramakrishna Mission Math is a branch of the Belur Math, which PM Modi visited last month when he was in Kolkata.
Modi later visited the newly-constructed Indian High Commission’s chancery at Baridhara, where he also inaugurated six projects undertaken with grant-in-aid from India.
On Saturday, India and Bangladesh ratified the historic Land Boundary Agreement which will simplify their 4,000-km border and clarify the identities of 52,000 people living in the enclaves.
The deal was signed in the presence of PM Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka.
PM Modi also signed 22 agreements aimed at boosting trade and transport links with Bangladesh.
These include deals on the movement of goods across borders and rail projects.
He also announced a fresh US $2 billion line of credit for Bangladesh and promised quick implementation of the earlier line of credit of US $800 million and full disbursement of US $200 million.
The media in Bangladesh today hailed PM Modi’s visit as the “dawn of a new era” and called the signing of the Land Boundary Agreement protocol as a “historic moment” in bilateral ties.