Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is flying to India tomorrow (September 5) on a four-day formal visit with the summit meeting of the Prime Ministers of two neighbouring countries scheduled on September 6.
Diplomatic sources said preparations are underway to sign five to seven Memorandums of Understandings (MoUs) between the two next-door neighbours. Two of these deals will be renewed, revealed a leading daily in Bangladesh.
According to the sources, preparations are underway for the signing of the MoU on withdrawal of Kushiyara River water, cooperation between the National Defence College of the two countries, cooperation between judicial authorities, modernisation and capacity building of railways and cooperation in information and communication technology sector. Apart from this, two MoUs signed in the past on economic cooperation and national broadcasting authorities of the two countries will be renewed after the summit.
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Earlier on August 25, a ministerial meeting of the Joint River Commission (JRC) of Bangladesh and India finalised a draft MoU on the withdrawal of Kushiyara River water flowing from India to Sylhet. Apart from Kushiyara River water withdrawal, four other MoUs have been finalised for signing.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to sign MoU with India’s multinational company GMR during her visit to Delhi to import hydropower from Nepal. Apart from this, the Prime Ministers of the two countries can inaugurate a bridge built over the Rupsha River in Khulna through video conferencing. According to the diplomatic sources of the two countries, issues like energy, supply of daily necessities, water distribution and connectivity will get importance this time. Apart from this, the Prime Ministers of the two countries are expected to discuss how to continue and expand security and defence cooperation.
As per the itinerary, PM Hasina will reach Delhi early on Monday. Then in the afternoon, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will pay a courtesy call on her at the hotel. She will be given a Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan in India on Tuesday morning. After that, the Prime Minister will visit Rajghat to pay her respects to Mahatma Gandhi. From there, she will go to Hyderabad House in Delhi. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister will meet there privately at delegation level.
After that, the listed agreements and MoUs will be signed in presence of the two Prime Ministers. In the afternoon, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will pay a courtesy call on Indian President Draupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan in Delhi and later on Indian Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also scheduled to attend a business event being organized by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). The Prime Minister will address an exchange meeting with India’s top businessmen there on September 7.
The Prime Minister will hand over Mujib Scholarship, an initiative of the Bangladesh government, for the descendants of 200 Indian Armed Forces personnel, who were martyred and critically injured during Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971. She will visit Ajmir Sharif in Rajasthan on September 8. After visiting the shrine there, she will leave for Dhaka in the afternoon. PM Sheikh Hasina is paying this state visit to India after an interval of three years as she last visited India in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.