Agencies, New Delhi President Pranab Mukherjee today reached Bangladesh capital Dhaka on a three-day historic state visit with the country rolling out a red carpet welcome to him. On his first visit abroad after assuming the Presidentship of the country, Mr Mukherjee was received at the Hazrat Shahjalal International airport by President Mohammad Zillur Rahman.
The visit comes at a time when the Bangladesh Government is fighting fudamentalists over the conviction of Jamat-e-Islami leaders by a tribunal set up for trial of 1971 war crimes. The clashes between those celebrating convictions for war crimes and supporters of Jamat-e-Islami have left over 50 dead. The decision to go ahead with the President’s visit is being seen as a move by India to boost the morale of the Bangladesh Government at such challenging times. The President is expected to express India’s commitment to sort out all unresolved issues between the two countries.
Though the visit itself will not see any negotiations, but, as Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said, ‘’it was important for its political symbolism. During the visit, Mr Mukherjee, who belongs to Bengal and is understood to have rapport with top Bangladeshi leaders, would underline the determination of our Government to build firm bridges with the people of Bangladesh, with the Government of Bangladesh.’’ The country is also the ancestral place of his in-laws. The President was given a guard of honour at the airport.