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NRC May Take Centre Stage at Modi-Hasina Meeting, Pacts to Strengthen Bilateral Ties Also on Agenda

On Thursday, Sheikh Hasina said she was satisfied with Narendra Modi’s assurance that her country will not be perturbed over the implementation of NRC in Assam.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will on Saturday jointly inaugurate three projects during a bilateral meeting to strengthen ties. Around six-seven pacts are also likely to be inked in areas like transport, connectivity, capacity building and culture.

The issue of implementation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam is also likely to surface during the meeting between the two leaders.

On Thursday, the Bangladesh Prime Minister said she was satisfied with Modi’s assurance that her country will not be perturbed over the implementation of NRC in Assam.

According to a report in The Indian Express, speaking about the NRC at a reception hosted by Bangladesh envoy Syed Muazzem Ali, Hasina said that she doesn’t ‘see a problem’ with the exercise. “I had a talk with PM Modi. Everything is okay,” she was quoted as saying.

Her remarks came a week after she met Modi in New York and said that the NRC has become a matter of ‘great concern’ for Bangladeshis. The Indian PM is learnt to have assured his Bangladeshi counterpart and said that there is ‘nothing to be worried’ about since the two countries shared good relations.

Meanwhile, Raveesh Kumar, ministry of external affairs spokesperson, did not elaborate much 0n the said three projects that will be jointly inaugurated by PM Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart on Saturday.

“The relations (between India and Bangladesh) have never been so close. Naturally, the focus of discussion will be bilateral relationship. When I say bilateral relationship, we are talking about the next steps the two countries should take now to get the relationship in a different trajectory,” Kumar said.

He said talks will revolve around trade and connectivity, development cooperation people to people contact, culture and other issues of mutual interest.

On National Register of Citizens, Kumar said it is a Supreme Court mandated process and it is an on-going exercise. “From the MEA perspective, there is nothing I can add at this stage. I think, it is important to understand the due process has to be completed first. And there are appellate process before you reach that stage,” he said.

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