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PM leaves for Dhaka without Mamata

delhi Updated: Sep 06, 2011 11:28 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today left on a two-day visit to Bangladesh that is expected to put the bumpy bilateral ties in a new trajectory through signing of deals in a range of sectors including extradition of sentenced persons, connectivity, power, exchange of enclaves and border management.

However, the visit has been clouded by the uncertainty over the signing of an accord on sharing of waters of Teesta River following strong reservations expressed by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who pulled out of the visit.

India and Bangladesh will sign an extradition treaty on Tuesday during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to the neighbouring country and it will facilitate deportation of each other's wanted fugitives, including ULFA leader Anup Chetia.

Official sources said all formalities and discussion to sign the extradition pact have been completed and it will be signed by the officials of India and Bangladesh in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka.

Earlier, replying to a question, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, while briefing the media on Singh's visit to Dhaka from today, said the extradition was "under discussion".

Chetia, who has already served out his sentence on being arrested in 1997 for illegally entering Bangladesh, is likely to be the first person to be extradited to India from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is also keen to get back several of its wanted fugitives, including two killers of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, believed to be hiding in India.

Mathai said the issue of extradition, Chetia and Bangladesh's request for apprehending Mujib's killers were discussed between the two sides when Home Minister P Chidambaram had visited Dhaka in July this year.

Singh had, in a statement on the eve of his departure for Dhaka, outlined his agenda in Bangladesh - security, boundary issues, water resources, power connectivity, improvement of border infrastructure, trade facilitation and economic cooperation—and said efforts would be made to sustain and build upon the "positive momentum".

During his visit, Singh will hold talks with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, call on President Zillur Rahman and hold meetings with opposition leaders Begum Khaleda Zia and Jatiya Party chief Hussain Muhammed Ershad, the former military dictator.