Connecting Regions of Asia.

Hasina Never Avoided Meeting Indian Envoy


Bangladesh government has denied reports that Indian High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das is unable to get an appointment to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for the past four months due to “deterioration” of ties.

The Bangladesh Prime Minister has not met any foreigners during the last few months owing to spread of Covid, according to Bangladesh government sources.

Besides, ET has learnt that the High Commission of India has not made any formal request for a meeting between the High Commissioner and Prime Minister. “There is no question of not responding to High Commission request. Moreover, the Prime Minister is maintaining ‘social distancing’ due to corona outbreak. She is not having any direct meetings with foreigners,” sources told ET from Dhaka.

Media reports in recent weeks have claimed that the Indian High Commissioner is not being able get an appointment to meet the Prime Minister, success of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s phone conversation with Sheikh Hasina and deterioration in Dhaka-Delhi relations due to China’s growing investments. However, diplomatic sources in Dhaka termed these reports as baseless.

According to Dhaka-based sources Minister’s of the Bangladesh government have participated in several online programs organized by the High Commission of India in the past few months. The Foreign Ministers and Railways Ministers of both countries witnessed the handover of 10 locomotives through a virtual program last Monday.

The Indian High Commissioner met the Road Transportation & Bridges Minister and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Tuesday.

Leading Bangladesh daily Kaler Kantho quoting a local official stated that there is no question of not giving permission to meet where no permission was actually sought. “This is a hype created by a third party, media and social media. The Bangladesh-India relationship has reached great heights,” the official said.

“The bilateral relationship has reached new heights because of the mutual cooperation, reliance, trust and all other components between the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This relationship is based on mutual understanding, culture, people-to-people contact geo-political position and every other aspect. This relationship comprises various components,” the same official told Kaler Kontho.

The official said, “India is Bangladesh’s historical friend. It had made a great contribution during our liberation war as an external force. There is no scope to undermine this relationship. The Prime Minister and the top level of the government has always cordially responded whenever any Indian diplomat sought appointment for any formal or informal meeting. The current situation is unusual. Communication has been cut throughout the globe. Face to face meetings are not taking place. Many important conferences have been cancelled throughout the world, while some are taking place virtually.”

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