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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 106

Khaleda Zia's Lackadaisical Visit and the Way Ahead

[b]Khaleda Zia's Lackadaisical Visit and the Way Ahead[/b]

By Alok Bansal

Begum Khaleda Zia’s farewell trip to India from March 20 to March 22 coming towards the end of her tenure did not create ripples in either New Delhi or Dhaka. The visit by Begum Zia, the first in her four years in power, could have been used to repair a relationship that has gone sour in recent years. It was an opportunity to iron out differences over an entire gamut of issues, including the demarcation of border, militancy and illegal migration, trade and transhipment of natural gas, which continues to cast their shadow over bilateral relations.

Unfortunately neither country intended to use it to mend the relations and nothing could be achieved. The fact that Begum Zia chose to visit India so late in her term exhibited the importance she assigns to India. Her decision to visit Pakistan before coming to India, where she also signed a bilateral free trade agreement clearly showed where her sympathies lie.

Indo- Bangladesh relations have gone sour over the years and have really deteriorated during the current regime in Bangladesh. A number of mutually beneficial agreements have been signed but have failed to make any headway in the all pervasive atmosphere of suspicion that engulfs Bangladesh. An agreement was signed to transport natural gas from Myanmar through Bangladesh.

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