No frustration in India tour: PM

DHAKA, April 11, 2017 (BSS) - Describing her just-concluded visit to India as very "successful and satisfactory", Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said nothing happened to be frustrated in the tour.

"There is no doubt that the visit was successful and satisfactory ... nothing happened to be frustrated from it," the premier told in a written statement ahead of questions and answers at a press conference at her official Ganabhaban residence here this afternoon.

The press conference was convened to brief the media about the outcome of the premier's visit to India.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is small in comparison to India in geographical boundary and population.

"But we're equal in the aspects of sovereignty and honour and India has given us that honour . . . it's the matter of satisfaction and the people of Bangladesh belongs this honour," she said.

The prime minister said there is nothing's to be frustrated in this tour. "I never get frustrated and whatever work I take decision that take firmly," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her aim was in the visit to build regional and bilateral cooperation. "My only aim is to change the fate of the people. We want the development of the country, like that we also want to see the uplift of our neighbours. Otherwise development won't be durable," she said.

The premier said Bangladesh-India bilateral relations witnessed a new pace after her just-concluded visit to India.

She said as a friendly neighbour, Bangladesh's relations with India carry special significance and currently it reached to a new height.

"A new dynamism has been infused into bilateral ties in overall way ... the multifaceted relations of mutual cooperation, confidence, trustworthiness were further consolidated through it," she remarked.

During the visit, Sheikh Hasina said, she held official talks with Modi and called on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

The issues discussed in the talks included power and energy, economic and defence sectors, connectivity, Padma-Ganga barrage construction, basin-based water resource management, security cooperation, common rivers water sharing,connectivity, people to people contact, increase of investment, outer space, promotion of bilateral trade and investments.

The prime minister said during the visit the door of cooperation has been opened in more new areas like civil nuclear cooperation, science and technology, defence training and cooperation, information technology,satellite and space research alongside ongoing traditional cooperation.

Following the successful talks, Sheikh Hasina said, 11 agreements and 24 MoUs were signed between the two countries about cooperation on various sectors.

The prime minister said 13 agreements and MoUs on cooperation on economic and investment involving 9 billion dollar between various public and private organisations are also included in the deals.

Sheikh Hasina said the two leaders also agreed to expand mutual cooperation on combatting terrorism and militancy in South Asia particularly in their own countries.

After the bilateral talks, the two sides issued a 62 point joint declaration that has clear future guidelines on existing relation between the two countries and the future of the relations.

In the talks, the Indian Prime Minister pledged to stand beside Bangladesh on the issue of Genocide Day when she herself raised the issue saying Bangladesh Jatiya Sangbad unanimously passed a bill declaring 25th March as the Genocide Day.

Modi also announced to give multiple visa for the freedom fighters for next five years as well as provide medical treatment facilities free of cost for 100 freedom fighters every year, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said All India National Congress President Sonia Gandhi,Indian External Affairs Minister Sushama Swaraj and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Mukherjee called on her.

The premier said she paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi, the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India, by placing a wreath at his Samadhi in Rajghat.

"We the two prime ministers unveiled the Hindi edition of Bangabandhu's autobiography "Unfinished Memoirs of Bangabandhu", she said.

Sheikh Hasina said she honoured Indian Armed Forces members who embraced martyrdom in Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War.

She visited Ajmer Sharif at Rajasthan and offered ziarat of the mazar(shrine) of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (RA).

The premier attended a banquet hosted in her honour by the Indian president. She also joined another banquet hosted by her Indian counterpart for her.

At the fag-end of her tour, Sheikh Hasina joined a reception accorded by India Foundation and attended a business event in New Delhi. The Prime Minister said she invited Indian President Pranab Mukharjee and Prime Minister Modi to visit Bangladesh.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Law Minister Anisul Haque, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmood, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar were present on the dais, while Prime Minister's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim moderated the press conference.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Information Minister Hasanul Haque Inu, Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, Prime Minister's Media Adviser Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury were present, among others.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)