Pranab Mukherjee in Dhaka
Former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee reached Dhaka yesterday on a five-day private visit.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali received him at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Harsh Vardhan Shringla, among others, was also present there to receive Pranab, said foreign ministry officials.
Pranab's daughter Sharmista Mukherjee, among others, is accompanying him. It is his first foreign trip after he went into retirement in July last year.
Pranab was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress. In a political career spanning six decades, he occupied several ministerial portfolios in the central government. Prior to his election as the president, he was the union finance minister from 2009 to 2012.
A trusted friend of Bangladesh, he played a crucial role in the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. After becoming president, Pranab made his first foreign tour to Bangladesh on March 13, 2013.
On the first day of his visit yesterday, Pranab joined a dinner hosted by Indian High Commission.
He will pay a visit to Bangabandhu Memorial Museum at Dhanmondi Road-32 to pay homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman today and will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Gono Bhaban at 12:20pm.
He will also attend the closing ceremony of three-day International Bengali Literature Conference-1424 at Bangla Academy today. Hasina inaugurated the conference on Saturday at the city's Osmani Auditorium.
The former Indian president will join a dinner to be hosted by Finance Minister AMA Muhith at Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotel on the day.
On Tuesday, Pranab, who served as the 13th president of India, will leave Dhaka for Chittagong and join a special convocation of Chittagong University, which will confer an honorary doctorate degree on the former Indian president.
On the day, he will also visit the ancestral home of Martyr Masterda Surya Sen, an influential leader of the Indian independence movement, in Noapara village of Chittagong's Raozan. He will join a reception to be hosted by the Indian high commissioner at Hotel Radisson there.
On Wednesday, Pranab will return to Dhaka and call on President Abdul Hamid at the Bangabhaban and attend a dinner there.
The former Indian president will be flying back to New Delhi on Thursday at 10:20am.