Hasina expected to visit India


With regular high-level visits between India and Bangladesh in the past year, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to visit India later this year.

There is no clarity on whether it will be a standalone visit or part of the BIMSTEC summit in October.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his first trip to Dhaka in June 2015. India’s foreign secretary S Jaishankar will be in Dhaka on May 11 to lay the ground for the joint consultative commission meeting likely to be attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in July. Mr Jaishankar’s visit also comes after the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Motiur Rehman Nizami. This has resulted in heated exchanges between Dhaka and Islamabad.

India-Bangladesh relations have been on an upswing in the past couple of years with both sides making significant progress on major issues. The signing of the historic Land Boundary Agreement during Mr Modi’s Bangladesh visit was a significant game changer. Bangladesh has also taken continuous action against extremists in the border regions to improve ties with India. There is growing concern about the continued targeted killings by Islamist outfits like the IS and the Al -Qaeda.

India and Bangladesh are also expected to discuss bus and train services between Khulna and Kolkata. India has also volunteered to send a technical delegation to develop the Payra port in Bangladesh. Shipping minister Nitin Gadkari will also visit the port to set the project in motion.

After the Land Boundary Agreement, Bangladesh is now focusing on the Teesta water-sharing pact. The signing of the project had been facing hurdles due to protests from West Bengal.