Friday December 17, 2021

Bangladesh To Send Ministerial-Level Delegation To Pakistan

Dhaka: Bangladesh is sending a ministerial-level delegation to Pakistan for the first time in nine years.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Muhammad Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen will fly out to Islamabad to join a special session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the situation in Afghanistan.

Foreign Secretary Momen said that he will join the senior officials’ meeting on Saturday while State Minister Shahriar will attend the ministerial-level meeting the next day.

Asked whether there would be bilateral talks with Pakistan on the sidelines of the OIC session, the top Bangladeshi diplomat said, “No, nothing like that is on the cards.”

In 2012, Gowher Rizvi, prime minister’s adviser on international relations, went to Pakistan to attend a D8 Summit.

Before that, in 2010, Mijarul Quayes, then foreign secretary, went to Pakistan to attend the fifth bilateral foreign secretary-level meeting.

In a rare incident, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made a phone call to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina in July 2020, as Dhaka had declared that it would pursue a foreign policy of “friendship to all and malice to none”.

Both Dhaka and Islamabad are in agreement that they need to hold long-pending foreign office consultations which were last held in 2010, a foreign ministry statement said in January.

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