India, Bangladesh sign historic border pact: As it happened

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have just flagged off the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service.

India, Bangladesh sign historic border pact: As it happened
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Dhaka: Today is day one of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day Bangladesh visit. Here are the live updates:

  • The cooperation that we have given each other on security front has truly been exemplary: Foreign Secretary.
  • The quantum of this LOC is 2 billion dollars: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
  • A particular source of satisfaction for both of us should be a second concessional LOC that was agreed on: S Jaishankar
  • An agreement was reached by BSNL and BSCCL Bangladesh (Submarine Cable Company) for lease of telecom bandwidth: S Jaishankar
  • Many agreements were signed by the two nations. Initiatives were taken in trade and investment sector: Jaishankar.
  • Bangladesh PM expressed her appreciation for our neighbor-first policy: Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.
  • People in India admire your nation's progress despite challenges. We want you to succeed in your Mission 2021 & 2041: PM
  • We stand at a moment of huge opportunity in our relationship, Modi says.
  • We will deepen regional connectivity and cooperation between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal. There is a natural logic to this arrangement: PM
  • I am confident that with support of State governments in India, we can reach a fair solution on Teesta and Feni Rivers: PM
  • Three agreements on human trafficking, fake Indian currency and maritime safety show our security cooperation is growing: Modi
  • Connectivity between the two countries will grow through road, rail and sea routes: Modi.
  • Power supply between India and Bangladesh will grow from 500 MegaWatts to 1100 Megawatts in next two years, says Modi.
  • Will try to make trade between the two countries easier and smoother: Modi.
  • India and Bangladesh are bound by ties of cricket and culture: Modi
  • Earlier today, we launched two bus services between India and Bangladesh, Modi tells in joint conference with Bangladesh PM. 
  • There is a wonderful feeling of visiting a close neighbour, says PM Modi.
  • We agreed to establish special economic zones in Mongla and Bhermara for India: Bangladesh PM
  • We discussed the issues of sharing of water of 54 common rivers, Also pledged zero tolerance against terrorism, said Hasina.
  • PM Narendra Modi's visit has instilled new dynamism and confidence in our relationship: Hasina
  • Modi and Hasina jointly unveil foundation stone to inaugurate development cooperation projects. 
  • A few weeks ago, the Indian Parliament unanimously approved a Constitution amendment bill to give full effect to the Land Boundary Agreement of 1974 with Bangladesh and the related 2011 Protocol. The agreement aims at the acquiring of territories by India and the transfer of territories to Bangladesh through retaining of adverse possession in pursuance of the 1974 agreement between the two nations. Assam, West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya all fall under the bill.
  • The bus services -- Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati -- will link West Bengal to three North Eastern states of India via Bangaldeshi capital Dhaka.
  • Two bus services have been flagged off by India and Bangladesh to boost connectivity between the two countries.
  • A short while back, PM Modi presented a hand-woven tapestry from Venkatagiri, Andhra Pradesh, woven in Jamdani style to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina.
  • India and Bangladesh have ratified the historic Land Boundary Agreement. The Instruments of Ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement are being exchanged in the presence of PMs of two countries – Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is also present.  
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have just flagged off the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati bus services.

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina will shortly flag-off two bus services – Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is also likely to be present during the flag-off ceremony.

    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Dhaka for talks.
    • PM Modi pays respects to Bangladesh's first PM Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at Bangabandhu Memorial Museum.
    • PM Narendra Modi arrives at Bangabandhu Museum in Dhaka.
    • PM Modi pays homage to the martyrs of the Liberation War of 1971 at the National Martyrs' Memorial in Dhaka.
    • PM Narendra visits the National Martyrs' Memorial in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka.
    • PM Modi tweets in English and Bangla, thanks his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina for the warm welcome.
    • PM Modi receives guard of honour at the Dhaka airport.
    • National anthems of the two nations are being played.
    • PM Modi embarks from IAF plane, is received by Sheikh Hasina.
    • Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina arrives at Dhaka airport to receive PM Modi.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Indian Air Force Rajdoot plane has landed at the Dhaka airport. He is expected to be received at the airport by Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina.  
    • Gowher Rizvi, Foreign Policy Advisor to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina, has spoken to ANI. He said, “India and Bangladesh have developed into a relationship of win-win situation. I consider PM Modi's visit as a landmark visit.”

    “Impressive thing about PM Modi is that he has an outstanding reputation as a "doer" in the international scene. PM Modi is able to separate national politics from national interest,” Gowher Rizvi added.

    Rizvi expressed hope that the agreement on Teesta water sharing deal will be signed “sooner than later”. He also stated that Bangladesh has taken sternest possible action to end cross border movement and all forms of terrorism.”

    • Preparations are underway at the Dhaka airport to receive PM Modi. Bangladesh armed forces personnel are preparing to welcome the Indian PM.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to arrive in the Bangladeshi capital shortly. He will be received at the Dhaka airport by his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina. A 19-gun salute will be given to PM Modi at the airport.
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday morning left for a two-day "historic" visit to Bangladesh where he will hold talks with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina and ink several agreements, especially in the field of connectivity and trade.

    "Leaving for Bangladesh. This visit is going to strengthen the bond between our Nations, benefitting people of our countries and our region," the Prime Minister tweeted before leaving.

    "Ready for a historic visit to Bangladesh. IAF Rajdoot awaits PM @narendramodi," Vikas Swarup, spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs tweeted.

    • Bangladesh is all set to roll out a red carpet welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will arrive here on Saturday on his maiden visit to the country, amid expectations on both sides to take bilateral ties to a new level and unleash the potential of economic and trade ties.

    Ahead of Modi's two-day visit, the capital city Dhaka is having a festive look with streets adorned with life-size cutouts of Modi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

    Banerjee arrived here Friday night and will take part in the flag-off ceremony of Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service and signing of the LBA agreement.

    Large cutouts of Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi were also seen on the streets as a token of an age old relationship between both the two countries and India's role in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

    "We are really overwhelmed by Prime Minister Modi's visit. We believe that the signing of LBA and Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala bus service will open new avenues and strengthen the bilateral ties," Awami League MP Md Monirul Islam told PTI.

    Islam said strong bilateral ties will also help in fighting the menace of terrorism and fundamentalism.

    "We can never forget the role that India had played during our liberation war. We, the Awami League government, always want friendly relations with the Indian government. India is the biggest friend of Bangladesh. The friendship between Narendra Modi government and Sheikh Hasina government along with our Mamata di will help us to evolve as power," another Awami League MP Sk Afil Udin said.

    Writer and noted social activist Shariyar Kabir said, "It is not only a historic day for Bangladesh but also a milestone in Indo-Bangla relations. Both the countries especially two Bengals don't have any difference in culture, language and heritage. We are happy that this long standing issue of LBA is being solved."

    A West Bengal delegation, which entered Bangladesh Thursday night through road, was given a rousing welcome at every checkpoint with public representatives and with hundreds of local people and children lined along the route to cheer the delegation, waving flags of both the countries.

    Several welcome arches with cutouts of Modi and Hasina added to the festival-like atmosphere.

    One arch proclaimed: 'Bangladesh takes pleasure welcoming our close friend Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee'.

    Another was dedicated to 'Bangladesh and India - a shining testimony of bilateral relations'. Another arch said, 'Long Live Sheikh Hasina, Narendra Modi'.

    Enhancing rail, road and water connectivity, boosting economic engagement and expanding security cooperation are likely to be major focus areas during Modi's visit. Both sides are likely to sign a number of deals including on enhancing connectivity to ensure greater people-to-people contact.

    Modi and Hasina are set to flag-off the bus service between Kolkata and Agartala via Dhaka and the Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati bus service. The two countries are keen to strengthen railway connectivity, particularly to revive railway links which were in existence prior to 1965.

    The two countries are also set to sign a coastal shipping agreement to facilitate sailing of small vessels from India to various ports in Bangladesh which now go through Singapore.

    India will also push for involvement of Indian companies in setting up of ports in that country.

    The issue of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement is also likely to figure in the talks Modi will have with Hasina. The agreement, minus Pakistan, is likely to be signed soon.

    India feels improving connectivity with Bangladesh will help linking the Northeastern region with Southeast Asia.

    (With PTI inputs)

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