Bangladesh wants Visa office but India 'not so keen': Sobhan

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Guwahati, Sep 16 (UNI) Former foreign secretary of Bangladesh Farooq Sobhan insisted that there should be a visa office at Guwahati, along with direct flight and bus service between Dhaka and Guwahati.

''Unfortunately, Indian authorities are not so enthusiastic about the whole proposal, which was submitted from Bangladesh side more than a decade ago but are now gathering dust,'' said Mr Sobhan, a close friend of Union Northeast Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar from their foreign service days.

It was a paradox that India, which was pushing for the 'look east' policy, was by-passing the proposals when the easiest foreign trade for the region was with Bangladesh, Mr Sobhan, who has been an old Indian hand with Ambassadorial assignment at New Delhi between 1992-95, said.

In fact, former Lok Sabha Speaker and Meghalaya strongman P A Sangma was also talking of a bus service with Tura becoming the biggest hub, he added. For Guwahati-Dhaka bus service, Tura will be the mid-point.

Later, addressing the valedictory function, Mr Sobhan put forward more than 25 proposals to enhance foreign trade between the region and Bangladesh.


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