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Indian envoy unaware of any defence deal with Bangladesh

PM’s visit to surely yield outcomes: Shringla

13 Mar 2017, 20:30

Online Desk

Dhaka: The much-talked-about upcoming visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India will certainly have ‘outcomes’, says Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

“We’ll certainly have outcome. We can’t have a visit of such magnitude not having outcomes. We are looking at deliverables,” he told reporters at the Ministry after his meeting with Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque.

Though he did not elaborate what will be the outcomes, Shringla said the outcomes will be satisfactory.

Asked about defence cooperation deal between the two countries, the diplomat said, “Well, you tell me. You’re telling me. I don’t know.”

Earlier, a section of media reported that India is pursuing Bangladesh for signing agreements in the fields of defence cooperation and military purchase under a line-of-suppliers-credit of $500 million from India.

BNP, which is now out of parliament, on Monday warned that the country’s people will not accept any deal, except the one on Teesta water sharing, during the Prime Minister’s upcoming India tour.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, taking a swipe at BNP for its recent anti-Indian remarks, alleged that the party came to power in 2001 through giving an undertaking to sell gas to India.

Sought comment about it, Shringla said, “I can’t comment on that.”

Describing the visit very important, Shringla said they have lots of decisions to take examining different possibilities.

The Prime Minister is likely to visit India for four days starting from April 7 which might have a business component apart from other important issues to strengthen ties with India in that front.

Asked about date of the visit, Shringla said, “You’ll be hearing dates shortly from the ministry.”

The High Commissioner said he discussed with the foreign secretary various issues of mutual interest, including the preparatory aspects of the important visit. “Of course, the Prime Minister’s visit to India was one of the things we did discuss.” 

The Prime Minister, during her proposed visit to New Delhi, will stay at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India, as a guest of Pranab Mukherjee.

“There’s an invitation from the President of India to the Prime Minister to stay at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” Shringla said.

Indian Foreign Secretary Dr S Jaishankar recently visited Dhaka and discussed various aspects of the upcoming visit.

Bangladesh-India relations reached a 'new height' since the two countries completed procedures for the ratification of a 1974 border pact during a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Dhaka in 2015.

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