Indian envoy meets Khaleda; discusses her India tour

Bilateral issues like Teesta water sharing, Tipaimukh Dam project, border killing and trade deficit will be high on agenda during BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s meetings with top India leaders next week in the neigbouring country.

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“Indian government is taking the opposition leaders’ tour with much importance,” BNP vice chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury told reporters after Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pankaj Saran met the BNP chief on Tuesday night.

The 40-minute meeting that started at 8:30pm was held at the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.

It was courtesy call on ahead of Khaleda’s weeklong official visit to India at the invitation of the Indian government.

She is going to New Delhi on October 28 at the invitation of the Indian government.

Briefing the journalists after the meeting, Chowdhury said the opposition leader is likely to hold meetings with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her India counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

Chowdhury said the BNP chief will also discuss various issues relating to the mutual interest of the two neighbouring countries.

During her stay in India, Khaleda will also visit Ajmer Sharif.

Khaleda will lead a nine-member delegation of her party.

The delegation members include BNP standing Committee member Tariqul Islam, vice chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury chairperson’s advisers Riaz Rahman, and Sabihuddin Ahmed, press secretary Maruf Kamal Khan and former MP Khaleda Rabbani.

She is expected to return home on November 3.

According to party insiders, the upcoming visit of the party chief to India is very significant on two counts — one for consolidating political relations between the Congress and the BNP and another for reducing the gap between the BNP and the people of India.

The former premier is going to India at a time when her party is trying to mobilise support from the international community to mount pressure on the government to reinstate the non-party caretaker government system by amending the constitution.

Earlier, on Oct 14, she also went to China at the invitation of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

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