Shahriar Alam, latest Bangladesh minister to skip Delhi visit amid an all-is-not-well perception
New Delhi, Jan 12: Bangladesh Deputy Foreign Minister Shahriar Alam on Saturday cancelled his visit to Delhi scheduled for this week, making this the fourth visit by senior officials from Dhaka that has been cancelled in the past month.
Shahriar Alam was suppose to attend the Ministry of External Affairs' annual Raisina Dialogue Conference from January 14 to 16, PTI reported.
However, the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry rejected 'misleading' reports that Alam's visit was cancelled because of tensions between New Delhi and Dhaka over the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens exercise.
The ministry said the decision has been conveyed to the MEA's organising partner thinktank, Observer Research Foundation, that he would be travelling to the United Arab Emirates to accompany Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on a visit there.
""The ministry would like to convey that State Minister Mohammad Shahriar Alam was invited as a speaker in the Raisina Dialogue which coincides with his visit to UAE to accompany the Prime Minister of Bangladesh," the ministry said in a statement. The statement added that the inability of Alam's participation in the event had 'no other connection'.
Last month, Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen had cancelled his his three-day India visit on December 12. Momen was scheduled to arrive in New Delhi to participate in the combined session of the Delhi Dialogue XI and the Indian Ocean Dialogue VI, and a breakfast meeting with counterpart S. Jaishankar the following day.
A day later his Cabinet colleague, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan cancelled a scheduled personal visit to Meghalaya's capital Shillong
The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 was officially enforced on Friday by the Centre. The Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. The Centre notified it in its official gazette on Friday, making it applicable from January 10.