The visit, second by Shringla this year, is intended to discuss and take forward cooperation on matters of mutual interest, says Indian high commission in Dhaka
Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday on a two-day visit to discuss and advance collaboration on issues of mutual interest.
"Harsh Vardhan Shringla, foreign secretary of India, is on a visit to Dhaka from August 18-19, 2020, to discuss and take forward cooperation on matters of mutual interest," said a statement issued by the Indian high commission in Bangladesh on Tuesday.
A special plane carrying Shringla, who was the Indian high commissioner to Bangladesh, and a joint secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at around 11:30am, according to two senior immigration officials and a Foreign Ministry official.
The visit of the Indian foreign secretary, his second this year, is taking place against a backdrop of high confidentiality. Earlier, he visited Bangladesh in early March.
There has been no word from either the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry or Indian External Affairs Ministry prior to the trip. The Indian high commission issued a short statement on Tuesday.
Such confidentiality is being maintained that an official of the Indian high commission in Dhaka, who deals with the press, would not disclose the schedule of Shringla during his time in Bangladesh. Even, he would not say who received him at the airport.
“I don’t know anything as to who the foreign secretary will meet,” he told Dhaka Tribune.
The attitude of the Foreign Ministry and Bangladesh high commission in Delhi appears to be the same.
“Look, I don’t know who received him at the airport. I don’t know who he will meet and reasons behind his visit,” an official of the Foreign Ministry told this correspondent.
“But I can say that Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen did not receive his counterpart at the airport and there is no meeting scheduled for today (Tuesday) with the foreign minister and the foreign secretary,” he added.
A source familiar with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s daily schedule said at 1:30pm on Tuesday: “So far, there is no meeting fixed today between the prime minister and the Indian foreign secretary.”
“As far as I know, he will convey a special message to the prime minister,” said an official of the Bangladesh high commission in Delhi without elaborating further.
“Since he is there, he will certainly have a couple of meetings,” he said.
Replying to a query, the official said: “I have heard that he may return today (Tuesday). He may also stay overnight.”
It is anticipated that the visit is important and intended to enhance the bilateral ties that have been experiencing strains for a while.