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Amid LS polls, Foreign Secy to meet Hasina on May 6

Amid LS polls, Foreign Secy to meet Hasina on May 6

New Delhi: Amidst ongoing crucial fifth phase of Lok Sabha poll, Foreign Secretary Vijay K Gokhle would undertake a quiet visit to neighbouring Bangladesh on May 6 for an official visit.

However, the official reason for this visit has not been explained by the External Affairs Ministry, but sources in the government indicated that at the time when the whole political class is busy in election campaigning, the secretary has chosen this time for reviewing the bilateral relationship with several countries and preparing a road map for taking it to the next higher level.

Even a visit by the newly elected Prime Minister of the country to Dhaka is not ruled out. Foreign Secretary made his maiden Dhaka visit in April last. Though South Block officials are busy with upcoming G-20 Summit to be held from June 22 to 24 in Osaka, Japan, it would be the first official visit of the newly elected PM abroad to a multilateral forum. Foreign Secretary already made a visit to Beijing recently and prepared a groundwork for a sideline meeting with the PM and President Xi Jinping. Most of the countries' head of the government and state would be travelling there. Meanwhile, a lot of curiosity has been generated for Foreign Secretary's proposed visit to Dhaka for three days. During the course of election campaigning, top BJP leaders made Bangladesh a huge political issue which has already created ripple among the intelligentsia of Dhaka.

However, the Hasina government is deliberately downplaying the high pitch campaign of BJP leaders against so-called Bangladeshi infiltration and the language used during the campaign hurting the sentiments of the people. Sources in the Bangladesh Ministry confirmed that this time they might seek some official clarifications on this issue. They say that India never raised these issues during the official level talks.

Rather PM Modi always reiterated for maintaining a good relationship with a most trusted neighbour of India and boasts even in the international platform that India and Bangladesh relation is a model for relationship for all the neighbouring countries of all the countries. Foreign Secretary is not only meeting his counterpart Sahidul Haq, but he would also meet PM Sheikh Hasina during his visit. FS will also have a meeting with the Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momin. Notably, in the year 2020, Bangladesh will be celebrating the centenary year of Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in a big way. The celebration began this year and former President Pranab Mukherjee was invited for the inaugural function.

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