New Delhi: As part of its ongoing engagement with a democratic and multi-party polity in Bangladesh, India will host Begum Khaleda Zia, Leader of the Opposition and former Prime Minister of that country from October 28 to November 3.
Visiting India at the invitation of the External Affairs Minister, Zia, who is Chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), is scheduled to call on the President and the Prime Minister during her visit, official spokesperson in the external affairs ministry said here on Friday.
"The visit is part of our ongoing engagement with a democratic and multi-party polity in Bangladesh. It would provide an opportunity to exchange views on all matters of mutual interest with a view to building upon the positive momentum in India-Bangladesh relations," he said.
Zia`s visit comes in the backdrop of India and Bangladesh failing to ink the crucial Teesta water sharing pact despite the broad agreement between the two sides, mainly because of the opposition by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
There were efforts to sign the agreement during the PM’s visit to Dhaka last year.
With its decision to invite Zia, India is trying to dispel the impression that its diplomatic engagement and comfort level was limited to the Sheikh Hasina-led government in Bangladesh, which is going for general election in 2014.
Zia would also meet the External Affairs Minister, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha, National Security Adviser and Foreign Secretary. She is also expected to visit Ajmer Sharif.
Begum Khaleda Zia`s last official visit to India was in 2006 as the then Prime Minister of Bangladesh.