Hasina Breaks Protocol to Receive Modi at Airport
DHAKA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today arrived here to a red carpet welcome on his maiden visit which is expected to put ties with Bangladesh in a new trajectory, as the two sides will firm up a number of pacts to boost cooperation besides ratifying the long-pending Land Boundary Agreement.
In a special gesture, Modi was received at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and a number of her Ministerial colleagues including Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed and Agriculture Minister Moti Choudhury.
Prime Minister Modi was given a guard of honour at the airport.
Reflecting high expectations from the visit, the capital has been decked up with big hoardings carrying photographs of Modi besides life-size cutouts of him, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Hasina. Banerjee arrived here last night.
"Leaving for Bangladesh. This visit is going to strengthen the bond between our Nations, benefitting people of our countries & our region," Modi had tweeted ahead of his departure from New Delhi.
During his two-day visit, part of his policy to deepen engagement with India's immediate neighbourhood, Modi will hold wide-ranging talks with Hasina on the whole gamut of ties and ways to move forward further.
In Dhaka, the Prime Minister is expected to send a strong message to strengthen the hand of his Bangladesh counterpart who has been steadfastly helping India in curbing various Northeast militant groups who used to take refuge in that country besides coming down hard on radical Muslim outfits.
Ahead of the visit, Modi had lauded Hasina for playing an "important role" in making the bilateral ties "strong" and said, "I am certain my visit will be beneficial for the people of both our nations and in the larger good of the South Asian neighbourhood."
Bangladesh and India share a 4096-km-long border, most of which is porous, and both the countries are likely to try and find ways to enhance security cooperation, particularly to further contain northeast insurgent groups.
Ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement will be amajor highlight of Modi's visit to Dhaka.