Thursday, November 30

Modi breaks protocol to receive Sheikh Hasina



Breaking the protocol, Indian Prime Minster Narendra Modi on Friday noon received his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina when she arrived here on a four-day official visit that will see her signing a host of bilateral deals between Bangladesh and India.

A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage, arrived at Air Force Station, Palam, New Delhi at 12:05 pm (local time).

On her arrival, the Indian Prime Minister along with Indian State Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Babul Supriyo and High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India Syed Moazzem Ali welcomed the Prime Minister there.

Modi welcomed Hasina with a bouquet.

Earlier, Modi made the personal gesture beyond protocol for a few world leaders, including then US President Barack Obama and the Saudi King, they visited India.

The Prime Minister was taken to Rashtrapati Bhavan in a ceremonial motorcade where she will be staying during the visit.

Earlier, the VVIP flight of Biman left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 10:10 am (local time).

Ministers, Advisers to the Prime Minister and high civil and military officials saw the Prime Minister off at the airport.

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Haque , Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, PM’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Moshiur Rahman and State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam are accompanying the Prime Minister during the tour.

On Friday afternoon, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will call on Sheikh Hasina at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Later, she will attend a reception at Bangladesh High Commission at Chanakyapuri and have her dinner there.

On Saturday morning, the Prime Minister will attend the ceremonial reception by her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi at the Forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

After the reception, she will go to Rajghat to pay respect to Mahatma Gandhi through laying wreaths at the Memorial for Mahatma Gandhi. Rajghat Samadhi Committee secretary will receive her there. She will observe a one-minute silence and sign the visitors’ book.

The Prime Minister will go to Hyderabad House at 11:30 am (local time) to hold a tête-à-tête at Deccan Suite with Narendra Modi and bilateral delegation-level talks at the Conference Room of the Hyderabad House.

After the meeting, the Prime Minister will release the Hindi translation of Bangabandhu’s ‘The Unfinished Memories’. The programme will be held at the Ball Room of the Hyderabad House.

Later, the two prime ministers will deliver joint press statements.

Sheikh Hasina will attend the banquet to be hosted by the Indian Prime Minister at the Banquet Hall of the Hyderabad House.

In the afternoon of the same day, the Prime Minister will attend the Sommanona programme at Manekshaw Center to honour the war martyr heroes of India who fought for Bangladesh independence in 1971 and made supreme sacrifice.

In the evening, the Prime Minister will meet Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari at his residence.

On April 9, the Prime Minister will go to Jaipur by Air India Special Flight to perform Jiarah at Ajmer Sharif. In the evening, Congress President Sonia Gandhi will call on Sheikh Hasina at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

After that, the Prime Minister will call on Indian President Pranab Mukherjee at North Drawing Room of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

She will witness a cultural programme at Ashoka Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhavan and attend dinner hosted by the Indian President at Banquet Hall.

On Monday morning, after attending a reception by India Foundation, Sheikh Hasina will attend a business event at the Shahjahan Hall of Hotel Taj Palace.

The Prime Minister will fly from Delhi back to Dhaka by a VVIP flight of Biman at 4 pm and reach Dhaka airport at 7:20 pm (local time).

Briefing journalists on the Prime Minister’s visit here on Tuesday, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said there are possibilities to sign 33 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) or agreements with India on various issues.

He said the MoUs and deals may include border haat establishment, information and broadcasting, civil nuclear cooperation, science and technology, ICT, satellite and space research, geological science, defence cooperation, third Line of Credit (LoC), community clinic installation and cooperation on power sector.