June 23, 2022
DHAKA – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to visit India on September 6-7 for a bilateral meeting with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
“Dhaka and Delhi have fixed the schedule and the Prime Minister gave verbal approval. She will now sign it in a day or two,” a foreign ministry official confirmed to The Daily Star last night (June 22, 2022).
The schedule of the Prime Minister-level meeting was discussed during the Joint Consultative Commission meeting between Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on June 19.
The foreign ministry official said before the PM-level meeting in New Delhi, the two countries will hold Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) meeting, a ministerial level meeting which has not been held in the last 10 years despite the fact that water sharing of transboundary rivers is a crucial issue between the two countries.
Prime Minister Hasina last visited India in October, 2019.
PM’s visit is considered significant in bilateral relations between the two countries that have seen much improvement of friendship over the last one and a half decade, especially in terms of India’s connectivity to its northeastern states via Bangladesh.
Bangladesh’s role has also been lauded by India for maintaining zero tolerance policy towards insurgents that earlier created instability in the Indian northeastern states.
In the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war that heavily disrupted the global supply chain, India and Bangladesh are working towards strengthening regional cooperation, especially in connecting South and Southeast Asia.
Bangladesh also wants India’s cooperation in basin-wide management of the transboundary rivers, as well as sharing of weather data to ensure early preparation for any natural disasters like the floods and cyclones.
The issue has been more important than ever after the Sylhet region is facing severe flooding mostly due to heavy rainfall in the Indian hilly states of Meghalaya and Assam.