Bangla expects review of ties with Pak during Khar's visit



Dhaka: Bangladesh expects to review its ties with Pakistan, including all outstanding issues, during the one-day visit of Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar starting tomorrow, officials said on Thursday.

"This will be a brief tour of hers (Khar) in Dhaka while her talks with our Foreign Minister Dipu Moni could last as high as 45 minutes if her flight schedule remains unchanged," a senior Bangladesh Foreign Ministry official said.

Khar is also expected to call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The official said Khar's meeting with her Bangladeshi counterpart was "certainly expected to review the bilateral issues including the outstanding ones" like sharing of pre-1971 assets and repatriation of stranded Pakistanis and official apology from Islamabad for the 1971 atrocities and security issues.

But, the official said, the two countries currently also have a vibrant economic relation with a Pakistani investment worth USD 1 billion employing some 10,000 people while Pakistan recently bought a Bangladeshi built ship and wants to procure more.

Khar is to be the first such high profile Pakistani figure to visit Dhaka since the Awami League-led grand alliance assumed office after the December 2008 general elections.

Bangladesh's education and commerce ministers, however, had visited Islamabad during the period.

Khar's Dhaka visit was originally set for October 25 but was postponed to what officials said "unavoidable reasons".

PTI