Manmohan to meet Sheikh Hasina | india | Hindustan Times
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Manmohan to meet Sheikh Hasina

india Updated: Jun 21, 2006 19:00 IST
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will meet visiting Bangladesh opposition leader Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday evening and discuss with her steps to further enhance bilateral ties between the two countries.

Manmohan Singh will congratulate Hasina, the daughter of Bangladesh's founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, on winning the prestigious Mother Teresa International Award -- the reason for her five-day visit to India that began on Wednesday.

Besides Manmohan Singh, she is likely to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition leader LK Advani and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

With elections in Bangladesh planned for early next year, Hasina is likely to indulge in some deft political lobbying to seek support from the Indian leadership, informed sources said.

The former prime minister will also visit the dargah (mausoleum) of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisti, a famous sufi saint, at Ajmer in Rajasthan before leaving for Kolkata on Friday.

She will receive the Mother Teresa award Saturday night at a glittering ceremony at Calcutta University to be attended by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjya.

The Mother Teresa Award was founded to recognise the achievements of those who beautify the world, especially in the fields of religion, social justice and the arts.

The earlier awardees include former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, late King Mahendra of Nepal, US senator Hillary Clinton and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

Hasina comes to India less than three months after Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's goodwill mission that saw the two countries strengthen their sagging ties by agreeing to fight terrorism together and address all outstanding ties, including the yawning trade deficit.

The ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has labelled Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina's visit to India as a "political pilgrimage" and has asked its high commission to "closely monitor" her stay in New Delhi and Kolkata, media reports in Dhaka said.

Hasina's seven-member entourage includes Awami League presidium member Kazi Zafarullah, MP, her political secretary Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Syed Abul Hossain, MP, Sheikh Helal, MP and former ambassador Ziauddin.

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