Dhaka is all set to welcome former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee today and accord the highest honour to the time-tested friend of Bangladesh.
The great Indian leader is scheduled to arrive in the capital this afternoon by a Jet Airways flight on a four-day visit.Though he is coming to Bangladesh on a private visit, he will enjoy full state protocol during his trip, according to diplomatic sources.
A high official of the foreign ministry said Pranab is a celebrated politician of the subcontinent and his name is studded with the history of the independence of Bangladesh.
That is why Dhaka would like to accord all due honour to the great and respected leader, the official explained.
Diplomats think Pranab honoured Bangladesh through launching his foreign trips as he first came to Dhaka after becoming the President of India. Now the great politician honours Bangladesh again by coming to Dhaka first after his retirement as the president, they continued.
In token of significance of the visit, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali will welcome Pranab at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport upon his arrival. During his visit, the former president will have some engagements in Dhaka and Chittagong.
In the wake of his arrival in Dhaka, Pranab is expected to put in the Pan Pacific Sonargaon in the capital in the afternoon.The former president will join a reception at the Indian High Commission in Dhaka this evening.
In honour of Pranab, the high commission has arranged the reception to be attended by politicians, diplomats and other dignitaries.
He will attend a launch hosted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday and will be chief guest at the closing ceremony of the Nikhil Banga Sahitya Sammelan in the afternoon.
Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the Sammelan at Bangla Academy as the chief guest in the morning.
The former president will attend an event at Chittagong University and exchange views with the Bangladeshi intellectuals there on Tuesday.
Chittagong University (CU) will award honorary D Litt degree to the former Indian President at a special convocation ceremony on the university campus that day.
He will also visit the home of Masterda Surya Sen, an influential leader of Indian independence movement against British Rule, at Noapara village under Raozan Upazila in Chittagong. Pranab will stay overnight at Chittagong and this would be his first-ever Chittagong visit.
He will return to Dhaka to join the launch hosted by President Abdul Hamid on Wednesday.
Finance Minister AH Muhith will host a dinner in honour of the former president in the evening.
Pranab will leave Dhaka for New Delhi on Thursday, wrapping up his four day visit to Bangladesh.
The Indian former president will be accompanied by his daughter, Sharmistha Mukherjee, president of Delhi Mahila Congress, during his visit to Bangladesh.