Mani delays visit to Bangladesh after bomb blasts

Vol 9, PW 10 (25 Aug 05) News in Brief

Mani Shankar Aiyar has been forced to delay his planned visit to Dhaka this week, following the mass bomb blasts across Bangladesh on 17th August.

Last week, Delhi submitted a formal request asking Dhaka to host Aiyar on 27th and 28th August for talks to move forward the proposed pipeline from Myanmar to India across Bangladesh. Dhaka has yet to issue a formal reply but junior home minister Lutfur Zaman Babar tells this report: I dont think we can host Aiyar or any other Indian minister now.

Babar adds that Dhaka will cancel visits by most foreign dignitaries to allow security agencies to carry out a fresh review after the blasts, which killed two people and injured scores. Early this month Dhaka made a significant concession when it told visiting Indian foreign minister Natwar Singh that it would look at the pipeline from a purely commercial angle and not a political angle.