Foreign Secretary in Bangladesh with CAA balm

NEW DELHI: When the Foreign Secretary arrives in Dhaka on Monday, his main task will be to mitigate some serious feelings of pain among Bangladeshi people over the CAA-NRC controversy and some misjudgments of Indian politicians. Shringla will be the first high level contact with the Sheikh Hasina The government since the protests against CAA-NRC exploded throughout India.

P.M Narendra Modi He will travel to Dhaka on March 17 to participate in the celebration of the centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib ur Rehman. But he is likely to face some degree of caution in a country that was promoted as the closest neighbor of India not too long ago. In recent days, Bangladesh even saw protest marches against communal riots that swept through Delhi last week.

Therefore, Modi is likely to face a different reception, even if the brass papers over the disquiet. The P.M will deliver the keynote address at the Mujib Centennial event, which will be attended by former President Pranab Mukherjee and the head of Congress Sonia Gandhi.

In recent months, India has not stretched diplomatically to reassure the people and leaders of Bangladesh, particularly because of the fear that migrants may be pushed into that country, who are already struggling under the weight of Rohingya refugees. Sources in Dhaka have criticized the lack of initiative by the Indian government, particularly the foreign affairs office here and the Indian mission in Dhaka.

Shringla is expected to call on P.M Sheikh Hasina , foreign minister A K Abdul Momen and foreign secretary Masud bin Momen. He will also address a seminar organised by the .

India wants a trade and services pact with Bangladesh, for which negotiations are expected to begin soon. India will also try to persuade Bangladesh to use the $ 500 million defense cooperation assistance that has been advanced to Dhaka but has not yet been used. More connectivity projects are likely to be announced and some, such as rail services connecting Dhaka, Kolkata and Khulna, may increase their frequency.

Both Shringla and the P.M are likely to engage the Bangladesh leadership on the Rohingya issue. It’s a thorny subject between two of India’s close neighbours. This week, the issue featured in high level talks during the state visit of Myanmar President U Win Myint here. India is adding another 12 projects to help develop the backward Rakhine state in Myanmar. Correspondingly, India has stepped up humanitarian assistance to the displaced Rohingya in Bangladesh.

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