Advani lauds Sheikh Hasina for anti-terror pledge


New Delhi : Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani has congratulated Bangladeshi leader Sheikh Hasina on her party’s landslide victory in the recent polls and praised her for her statement against allowing Bangladesh to be used for anti-India terror activities.

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“The people of India rejoice in the triumphant return of democracy in Bangladesh,” Advani wrote in a letter to Sheikh Hasina Thursday.

“They are especially delighted to read in the media your categorical statement that your government will not allow the territory of Bangladesh to be used by terrorist and extremist organisations operating across the border in India,” Advani’s letter said.

Advani also hoped for building “robust relations” with Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina and urged the Bangladeshi leader to choose India as her first foreign destination during her prime ministerial tenure.

“It is my firm belief that with mutual understanding and sensitivity towards mutual concerns, we can indeed build robust good-neighbourly relations,” Advani said.

“Let India be the first foreign country you visit upon taking over the reins of prime ministership,” Advani said.

Advani made a similar request to the Bangladeshi leader when he telephoned her Wednesday to congratulate her on her victory in the polls held Monday.

In a stunning victory, ex-premier Sheikh Hasina, leader of the Awami League, defeated her archrival and former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led four-party grouping in the elections that took place after nearly two years of army-backed rule.

Hasina’s win brought much cheer in New Delhi as she took some tough steps against the anti-India militant groups when she was in power mid-1990s.

Soon after her victory, Hasina underlined that her government would not allow Bangladeshi territory to be used for export of terror to neighbours.

“I hope it will be a new beginning and the terrorist forces having sanctuary in Bangladesh will be neutralised,” Home Minister P. Chidambaram said in Guwahati Friday hours after three blasts shook the city Thursday, killing six people.