Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday attended a meeting with his visiting Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, during which he suggested a joint exercise by disaster management forces of countries of the region for a coordinated response to major natural calamities.
Hasina welcomed the suggestion made during the 30-minute meeting at Modi’s official residence here, her press secretary Ihsanul Karim told reporters.
Hasina was here on a day-long visit, mainly to attend the cremation of President Pranab Mukherjee’s wife Suvra.
Modi’s idea of a joint exercise of the disaster management forces assumes significance in view of the fact that the region is one of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and floods.
Modi recently said that the SAARC satellite he had proposed last year would be launched in 2016 — it will provide free data to the eight member countries to help farming, education, and tele-medicine.
Hasina suggested that India and Bangladesh should jointly tap their market that will reduce its dependence on other regions.
Fondly recalling his June visit to Bangladesh, Modi thanked Hasina for the progress achieved in timely and peaceful implementation of the Land Boundary Agreement, said a statement issued by the Indian PMO. “Had a good meeting with PM Sheikh Hasina,” Modi tweeted later.
Modi had travelled to Dhaka on June 6-7 and held substantive talks with Hasina. During that visit, the two countries had concluded the historic Land Boundary Agreement for exchange of territories held by the respective countries. The two sides had also signed 22 pacts to deepen
Earlier on Wednesday, Hasina met Mukherjee and offered condolences on the demise of his wife. She also visited the 13, Talkatora Road, residence of Abhijeet Mukherjee, the President’s son and MP, and placed a wreath on the body, which was kept there to enable people to offer their last respects.
Hasina is close to the Mukherjee family and had developed very close relations with Suvra during her life in exile in Delhi soon after the August 15, 1975, coup that saw the killing of Bangladesh’s independence architect Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family members.