Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj Saran met opposition leader Khaleda Zia on Thursday night and cleared India’s position on various bilateral issues.
The meeting between BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and the Indian envoy at her Gulshan office began at 8:35 pm.
BNP chairperson’s adviser Reaz Rahman was also present at the nearly 50-minute meeting.
Later, Reaz Rahman told UNB that the Indian envoy apprised Khaleda Zia in a written statement about his country’s position on various bilateral issues about which the BNP chief raised questions in her speech in Parliament on June 29.
However, there was no formal media briefing from any side after the meeting.
Reaz Rahman said issues like the much-talked-about Teesta deal, Tipaimukh dam, border killing, recent controversy over inviting a tender by India for constructing a container terminal in Narayanganj and Bangladesh’s upcoming national election came up at the meeting for discussion.
Khaleda, in her parliament speech, focused on Teesta deal, Tipaimukh dam, border killing and the tender dispute with India, and sought clarifications from the Bangladesh government over the issues.
About the election, he said Pankaj told the BNP chief that India would not side with any political party during the election in Bangladesh as they do not interfere in any country’s internal politics.
Khaleda also told Pankaj that her party’s position is clear about the next polls that it will have to be held under a non-party caretaker government so that people can exercise their franchise without fear in a level-playing field.
As the Indian envoy mentioned that BNP-backed candidates have done well in the recently held four city corporations’ polls, the opposition leader said “The results would have been even better had the election been free and fair.”
Regarding the written statement, according to Reaz Rahman, Pankaj said they also submitted a similar copy to the Bangladesh government.
He also handed Khaleda over a letter from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thanking her for sending him a letter expressing profound shock over the loss of huge lives and property in a recent flood in India.