Preparations have been on for quite some time now regarding Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s impending visit to India. Ministers and government officials have been visiting Bangladesh frequently as part of the process. Manohar Parrikar’s visit was the first visit of an Indian defence minister to Bangladesh in 39 long years. Immediately after Parrikar, India’s state minister for external affairs MJ Akbar arrived in Bangladesh. Water resources minister Uma Bharti also paid a visit to Dhaka. Then just last week Indian foreign secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar went to Dhaka to finalise Sheikh Hasina’s Indian trip.
Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley is now all set for a Dhaka trip. This is the first trip of an Indian finance minister to Bangladesh in four years. He is scheduled to visit Dhaka on 17 March. The previous finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had assured Bangladesh of assistance during his last visit. He had spoken of rebuilding a disaster-hit region too.
In the meantime, the president of China visited Bangladesh and made commitment of huge Chinese investment. Bangladesh, in this regard, now looks to see if Arun Jaitley will come up with a similar commitmentt.
Sources say Jaitley’s visit is unrelated to Sheikh Hasina’s Indian trip. Arun Jaitley long ago had expressed his wish to visit Bangladesh. Incidentally, his visit is at such a juncture when Indian officials have been visiting the country in rapid succession.
Sheikh Hasina’s trip to India has been fixed for sometime during the first half of April. This will be her first bilateral trip to India after 2010. She has visited India thrice since then, but on various other reasons. No specific date for the visit has been officially announced as yet.