BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia meets with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at Hotel Sonargaon in the capital on Friday. Photo: Courtesy
Instead of any certain political party, India will continue to strengthen relationship between the people of the two countries, visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today.
“India wants to continue its strong relationship with the people of Bangladesh. It also wants people to people contact, which was the aim of Saarc, instead of any certain political party,” BNP vice-chairman Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury told reporters.
The BNP leader told the media after his party Chairperson Khaleda Zia made a courtesy call to the visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Hotel Sonargaon this morning.
Talks over several bilateral issues took place during the meeting started at about 10:30am, Mobin said.
Swaraj, the Indian minister, arrived here on a three-day visit on Wednesday night.
Abdul Moeen Khan, a standing committee member of BNP, said that they underscored the needs for boosting democratic practices in the south Asian countries during the meeting.
;Development is obstructed if the continuation of democracy is halted. Democratic practices in Bangladesh will have to be strengthened in the interest of its overall development,” Moeen said what his party chief told during the meeting with the Indian delegation.
“Khaleda Zia informed Sushma Swaraj that there is no democracy in Bangladesh. And the present parliament does not represent its people at all,” Moeen said.
It was Modi government’s commitment that it would boost democratic practices in the south Asian countries for the sake of development, Mobin said.
As per the pledge, the Indian prime minister has sent his external affairs minister to visit Bangladesh, Mobin added.
Responding to a query, Mobin said talks over dialogue or immediate general election did not take place during the meeting. “It is our internal affairs,” he added.
Earlier, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir along with some top leaders of the party met Swaraj and had talks on several bilateral issues.
Swaraj's meeting with Roushan
Swaraj also made a courtesy call to Roushan Ershad, the leader of the opposition, at her parliament office around 11:55am.
“It was just a courtesy call. We have discussed several bilateral issues including development in the power sector,” Raushan told reporters after the meeting.
Earlier, Swaraj visited Dhakeshwari Mandir, the historic temple of the Hindu community in the capital this morning and exchanged views with the devotees there.
Rehana, Putul meet Swaraj
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s younger sister Sheikh Rehana and her daughter Saima Wazed Putul also met Swaraj there.
The PM’s Economic Affairs Adviser Mushiur Rahman and International Affairs Adviser Gowher Rizvi also called on Swaraj at the hotel.
Wrapping up her three-day official visit, the Indian external affairs minister left Dhaka for Delhi early this afternoon.
She took a flight at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport around 12:30pm, an official at the Indian high commission in Dhaka told The Daily Star Online.
Swaraj arrived in Dhaka on Wednesday night.