“This marks a new beginning. Let’s look forward and not look back in the rear view mirror.” This was the former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s observation when she met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid here on Tuesday, said Syed Akbaruddin, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs. She is the first foreign dignitary to meet Mr. Khurshid after he took over as External Affairs Minister on Sunday.
Mr. Akbaruddin quoted Ms. Zia when asked whether she would stay the course in improving ties, in case she was elected to the post at the general election next year, or whether she would revert to the anti-India stance witnessed during her five years at the helm from 2001 to 2006.
Ms. Zia is here for a week-long visit during which she will also visit the shrine of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.She met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday and articulated her concerns about the killing of Bangladeshi civilians by the Border Security Force and the pending Teesta River water sharing agreement, stalled because of opposition by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. At the same time she appreciated India’s security-related concerns and assured that terrorists and anti-India elements would not be allowed to use Bangladesh as sanctuary.