PM off to India

DHAKA, April 7, 2017 (BSS) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left Dhaka for New Delhi this morning on a four-day official visit to India at the invitation of her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the premier and her entourage members took off from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 10.10 am.

Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Chief Whip of Jatiya Sangsad ASM Feroze, the chiefs of three services, the dean of the diplomatic corps and high civil and military officials were present at the airport to see the prime minister off.

The flight is scheduled to reach Indian Air Force's Palam Station in New Delhi at 12.25pm local time.

India's Minister for Heavy Industries and Public and Enterprises Babul Supriya and Bangladesh High Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Moazzem Ali will receive the prime minister.

From the Palam Station, a ceremonial motorcade will escort the Bangladesh premier to Rastrapati Bhaban where she will be staying during the visit.

In the afternoon, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushama Swraj will call on the prime minister at the presidential palace and in the evening Bangladesh high commissioner to India will host a reception and dinner in her honour.

On the second day of her visit, the prime minister will be given an

official reception at Rastrapati Bhaban.

Later, she will pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, the preeminent leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India.

The Bangladesh and Indian premiers will hold their official bilateral meeting at Hyderabad House and ahead of that the two leaders will take part in a tete-e-tete.

After the bilateral talks, Dhaka and New Delhi will sign a number of agreements and MoUs at ball room of the Hyderabad House. The two prime

ministers will witness the signing and exchange of the instruments.

Sheikh Hasina will later unveil the Hindi edition of Bangabanadhu's

autobiography "Unfinished Memoir of Bangabandhu" at a ceremony and then join a banquet to be hosted by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in her honour.

In the afternoon, she will attend a function at Manekshaw Centre to honour Indian Armed Forces members who embraced martyrdom in Bangladesh's War of Liberation in 1971.

In the afternoon, the prime minister will meet Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari.

PM-INDIA-DEPARTURE 2 LAST DHAKA On Sunday morning, Sheikh Hasina will visit Ajmer Sharif, the dargah (shrine) of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti (RA), and offer prayers there and return to New Delhi in the afternoon.

All India National Congress President Sonia Gandhi will call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Rastrapati Bhaban in the afternoon.

In the evening, the prime minister will pay a call on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at Rastrapati Bhaban.

Later, she will enjoy a cultural programme at Ashoka Hall of Rastrapati Bhaban and attend a banquet to be hosted by the Indian president in her honour.

On Monday, she will join a reception to be hosted by India Foundation in her honour and attend a business programme at Hotel Tajmahal.

The prime minister will leave New Delhi for home in the afternoon and reach Dhaka at night.

Our correspondent from New Delhi said a massive preparation has been made to welcome the Bangladesh premier in the Indian capital.

The Delhi streets have been decorated with the national flags of the two countries and large-size portraits of Sheikh Hasina and Narendra Modi.

It will be Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's maiden official visit to India after her present government was voted to power on January 5 elections in 2014.

The Bangladesh premier last visited India in January 2010 which was

reciprocated by her Indian counterpart in June 2015.

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Water Resources

Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Law Minister Anisul Haque, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM's Economic Affairs Advisor Dr Moshiur Rahman and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam will accompany the prime minister during her visit to India.

Besides, PM's Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Principal Coordinator on SDG Md Abul Kalam Azad, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority Executive Chairman Kazi Md Aminul Islam, Senior Secretary of the Water Resources Ministry Dr Zafar Ahmed Khan, Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque, Information Secretary Mortuza Ahmed and PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim will accompany her.

A media delegation comprising senior journalists and a business delegation led by FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmad will also accompany the prime minister.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)