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Saturday, June 6, 2015, Jaishtha 23, 1422 BS, Shaban 18, 1436 Hijr

Warm welcome awaits Modi in Dhaka today
Diplomatic Correspondent
Published : Saturday, 6 June, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 32
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Bangladesh to celebrate Indo-Bangla ties although concerns remain over the signing of the much-needed Teesta Water Sharing Treaty.
Modi will arrive Saturday morning on a two-day visit which will focus on connectivity and security issues apart from signing of a number of instruments and deals, aiming to take the existing ties between the two neighbouring countries to a newer height.
He is expected to arrive at Shahjalal International Airport at 10:15am by a special Indian Airforce aircraft and will be received by his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina at the VIP tarmac.
The charismatic visitor would be presented 19-gun salute and guard of honour at the VIP terminal.
After the ceremony at the airport, Modi will be driven to the National Martyrs' Memorial, Savar, according to his tentative programme schedule.
He is likely to visit a garment factory at Savar before visiting Bangabandhu Memorial Museum, prior to retiring at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon, where he will stay during his two-day visit.
The instrument of ratification on Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) will be exchanged in presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her Indian counterpart and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after official talks between the two countries.
Bangladesh is likely to sign a number of agreements and memorandum of understandings (MoUs) on connectivity, trade, security and cultural cooperation with India during Modi's visit.
The deals and MoUs are bilateral trade agreement, inland water protocol, coastal shipping deal, bilateral cooperation deal between BSTI and BIS, MoU on Human Trafficking, MoU on Fake Currency Notes, MoU between Coast Guards of Bangladesh and India and exchange of document on Land Boundary Agreement, he said.
Bangladesh will mainly focus on connectivity issues to build South Asia as an integrated region while India will highlight security aspects.
Bangladesh hopes that the deals will help boost regional connectivity and flourish trade and commerce.
There might be an announcement on fresh line of credit worth US$ 2 billion, but the Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said it is under process and an announcement will be made once it is decided.
Ahead of his visit, Modi said his visit will enhance ties between the two countries and will be beneficial to the people of both countries and in the larger good of South Asian neighbourhood.
In a tweet on Thursday he remarked, "I am confident that my Bangladesh visit will enhance our ties and will be beneficial to people of both our Nations."
He also wrote on his official Facebook page and mentioned that in Bangladesh he will attend several programmes, which include meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who has played an 'important role' in strengthening India-Bangladesh ties.
There will be delegation-level talks and signing of agreements and Modi will join the programme to unveil the plaques for various Grant-in-Aid projects at PMO office.
"I will pay tributes to martyrs of the 1971 Liberation War at the National Martyrs' Memorial. I am eager to visit Bangabandhu National Museum and pay tributes to the great (leader) Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, a friend of India and a pillar of strength and democracy in the South Asian region," said the Indian Prime Minister in the Facebook.
He said it will be his privilege to receive the Award of Liberation War Honour on behalf of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, as Foreign Minister and as PM, placed great emphasis on strong ties with Bangladesh and had visited Bangladesh in 1999.
Further, to promote greater people-to-people ties and connectivity, he, along with Sheikh Hasina and Mamata Banerjee, will flag off bus services on Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati routes.
The Indian Prime Minister will hold meeting with Opposition Leader Raushan Ershad.
At the last minute, Indian South Block has announced on Friday that a schedule has been granted to BNP Chairperson and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to meet the visiting Indian Prime Minister at Hotel Pan Pacific Sonargaon.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will receive Modi at the PMO and will have a tete-a-tete there at 4:15pm.
Then delegation-level talks will be held there from 5:40pm. Both the Bangladesh and Indian Prime Ministers will witness the exchange of instrument of ratification on LBA and signing of other deals at the Prime Minister's Office. Modi will also sign visitors' book there.
At night, he will attend the state banquet and witness a cultural programme at Sonargaon Hotel in the city.
Before that, Foreign Minister Mahmood Ali will meet the Indian Prime Minister at Sonargaon Hotel at 3:30pm where Modi will be staying.
On Sunday, Modi will visit Dhakeshwari National Temple about 8:40am, Ramakrishna Mission at 9:30am and unveil plaques for grant-in-aid projects at the new Chancery complex at Indian High Commission here in Baridhara at 10:10am.
The Indian Prime Minister will meet President Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban at 12:40pm and will attend a function at Darbar Hall. He will also attend a private lunch hosted by the President at the Bangabhaban, and sign visitors' book there.
There will be a meeting between Indian Prime Minister and Bangladesh Opposition Leader Raushan Ershad at Sonargaon Hotel at about 3:10pm.
Apart from this, he said the Indian Prime Minister will address a distinguished gathering at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) prior to his departure for India on Sunday at 6:30pm.
The Indian Prime Minister will leave Dhaka for New Delhi by a special flight at 8:20pm.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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