PM’s India tour

Finally it has been final. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will be visiting India on April 7-10. She’ll go to the next-door neighbour on a bilateral official tour after seven years although she had been in Goa in October last year to attend the BRICS-BIMSTEC Summit and had talks with her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. It was however not an official visit to India. There are many issues to be discussed about and many things to decide during her official visit, But, military cooperation seems to be on top of the agenda from Indian side with India is offering a long-term defence cooperation pact against the backdrop of recently commissioning of two submarines-- Nobojatra and Joyjatra-- bought from China which many believe New Delhi did not like or it has a welcoming attitude towards the purchase although China is a key supplier of military hardware for Bangladesh for a long time. Local, Indian and international media reports indicated that `leaving aside several bilateral issues, including the unresolved Teesta water-sharing treaty, India proposed a long-term comprehensive defence pact with Bangladesh that encompasses training, sale of military hardware and wide range of military to military cooperation’. Bangladesh however is reluctant to sign an agreement on defence cooperation. Instead, sources concerned said, it wants an MOU (memorandum of understanding) `to have a beginning’ for a long-term arrangement for the future. Dhaka made it position clear to the then Indian Defence Minister Manohar Parrikkar (who took oath as Chief Minister of Goa this week) who during his end-November 2016 visit to Bangladesh `ditched the idea of greater military cooperation’ between the two next-door neighbours. His visit, the highest level of Indian defence delegation to Dhaka in 4

By Zahid Newaz Khan on বৃহস্পতিবার, ১৬ মার্চ ২০১৭ ১১:১৩