Afghan President Hamid Karzai held a bilateral meeting with the Chief Advisor of Bangladesh's caretaker government, Fakhruddin Ahmed, on the sidelines of the Saarc summit on Wednesday morning. Given the tremendous success of the Grameen Bank and its brand of micro-finance in Bangladesh, Karzai reportedly expressed interest in having Grameen Bank set up operations in his country. This could be a good step to give shape to the Saarc countries' avowed intention to help rebuild their war-torn fellow member. For economist-turned administrator Ahmed, it was great regional cooperation.
Summit proceeds 'unobserved'
By the time of the closing session of the summit, the observers had made a quiet exit. Richard Boucher, the US's assistant secretary of state for South Asia, did stay, but looked rather lost by the end of the proceedings. Meanwhile, while the visiting dignitaries discussed the rather mundane affairs of State, their better halves utilised their time shopping. Mrs Aziz, Mrs Rajapakse and Mrs Wangchuk were spotted at Cottage Emporium on Tuesday afternoon, displaying a keen interest in saris and jewelry. On Wednesday, they were provided a brief glimpse of India's culinary variety, with Gursharan Kaur, the Indian Prime Minister's wife, playing hostess over lunch.