Pakistani premier telephones Bangladeshi counterpart

DHAKA, Bangladesh

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan telephoned his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday, a day before her visit to India.

Hasina will leave on Thursday for a four-day visit to neighboring India where she will meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, state-run news agency Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) reported.

“Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan phoned Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina this [Wednesday] afternoon and had a polite conversation,” the ministry’s press secretary told BSS.

Hasina is scheduled to fly to India to take part in the Indian Economic Summit organized by the World Economic Forum.

She will meet Modi on Saturday, and will also receive the Tagore Peace Award in Delhi.

Issues at the meeting will include the Rohingya crisis, water sharing, citizenship in the Assam state, and border killings along the Bangladesh-India border, said Foreign Minister A. K. Abdul Momen in a media briefing on Wednesday.

Bangladesh will also seek support from India during the visit to resolve the Rohingya crisis.

Hasina and Modi also met on the sidelines of last month’s UN General Assembly in New York, but there was no meeting between Hasina and Khan.

Hasina is scheduled to visit India amid heightened hostility between Pakistan and India over Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir has been under a near-complete clampdown since Aug. 5, when India revoked Article 370 of its Constitution, which conferred the region a special status.

India did not support Bangladesh on the Rohingya issue at the UN. Bangladesh, however, has sought India’s support in repatriating Rohingya to Myanmar since the Rohingya crisis emerged in August 2017.

The Bangladeshi government has taken a neutral stance on the Kashmir issue, calling it an internal issue of India.

India and Pakistan hold Kashmir in parts and claim it in full. China also controls part of the contested region, but it is India and Pakistan who have fought two wars over Kashmir.
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