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Indian foreign secretary likely to visit Dhaka Tuesday

  • Published at 12:01 am August 18th, 2020
Harsh Vardhan Shringla
File photo of Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla Courtesy

Shringla will leave for home the same day

Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla is likely to arrive in Dhaka on a brief visit on Tuesday, aiming to boost ties between the neighbouring countries, an informed source said. 

The specific purpose of the visit could not be learned, but a diplomatic source indicated that the Indian foreign secretary is likely to meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, among others, and discuss ways to strengthen the bond between the two countries in the days to come. 

The foreign secretary will also convey a special message from Delhi to Dhaka, according to the source. 

Shringla will leave for home the same day. 

India recently described its relationship with Bangladesh as "exceptionally close" but expressed displeasure over "mischievous" stories pertaining to Bangladesh-India ties. 

"We are confident that both sides appreciate mutual sensitivity and mutual respect, building further on the relationship," said Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at a recent virtual weekly media briefing in New Delhi. 

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen has described Bangladesh-India ties as a “blood relationship” and Bangladesh-China relations as “economic ties.” 

Referring to recent remarks by Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, the MEA spokesperson said India's relationship with Bangladesh is a role model of good and neighbourly relations in the region. 

On August 14, Bangladesh's Deputy High Commission in Kolkata condemned a disinformation campaign by several web portals based in India's northeastern region targeting Bangladesh. 

The Deputy High Commission also urged all concerned to disregard the false information peddled. 

"It has recently come to our notice that several web portals based in India's northeastern region have published totally false and baseless articles and rumors about the honorable prime minister, honorable ministers and advisers, military and security forces, and intelligence agencies of Bangladesh," said a press release.  

The Deputy High Commission also said the said portals have run distorted and photoshopped images of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, in an attempt to hurt the existing friendly ties between Bangladesh and India. 

"We understand that these web portals, namely theeasternlink.com, nenow.in and lookeast.in, are operated by or under the auspices of a discredited Indian journalist who has prior track record of disseminating false information about Bangladesh," the media release mentioned. 

In 2017, the said journalist published a "baseless and debunked" article suggesting a deadly coup and murder attempt against the prime minister of Bangladesh, said the Deputy High Commission.

"In addition, these portals have published spurious and provocative articles about Bangladesh's military and security forces, lacking any sense of journalistic integrity," it added.