General

Dhaka seeks flexibilities in India’s visa regime

Bangladesh has sought flexibilities in the visa regime and requested the Indian side to address the difference in overstay fine structures applied by India.

Bangladesh also requested the Indian side to ease registration requirements for Bangladeshi patients going for treatment at various hospitals in India.

The issues came up for discussion at the second consular dialogue between Bangladesh and India held in New Delhi on Thursday.

Request to ease travel restrictions through all ports for Bangladeshi nationals was also reiterated by Bangladesh side.

The two sides agreed to expedite the process of consular access, transfer of sentenced persons and visa related issues among others.

Ambassador Mashfee Binte Shams, Secretary (East) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the Bangladesh delegation while Indian delegation was led by Sanjay Bhattacharyya, Secretary (Consular, Passport & Visa and Overseas Indian Affairs), Ministry of External Affairs of India.

The Bangladesh delegation included high level officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh Police, BGB and Prison authorities.

The entire gamut of bilateral consular issues was discussed in depth during the dialogue, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The agenda included expeditious repatriation of each other’s nationals, particularly trafficked women and children, smooth facilitation of exit permits and expediting consular access.

Bangladesh side India’s attention on repatriation of the remaining members of Bangladeshi Tabligh Jamaat who are still being held in India.

Both sides agreed that the consular dialogue is an important mechanism to further strengthen the people-centric approach which is at the core of the excellent ties between the two friendly countries.

The dialogue was held in a cordial atmosphere and the leader of Bangladesh delegation invited the Indian side to Dhaka for the next round of Consular Dialogue at a mutually convenient date.

The first-ever consular dialogue between Bangladesh and India was held in November 2017 in Dhaka.

Source: United News of Bangladesh