Pranab arrives Sunday on a 5-day visit | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 10, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 10, 2018

Pranab arrives Sunday on a 5-day visit

Former Indian president Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh on January 14 on a five-day personal tour.

It is going to be his first foreign trip after retirement in July last year.

During his stay, the veteran politician is set to join an international Bangla literature conference and the special convocation of Chittagong University, according to sources in the Indian High Commission in Dhaka.

Pranab, who served as the 13th president of India, would also visit the home of Martyr Masterda Surya Sen at Noapara village under Raozan upazila in Chittagong.

He would also meet President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Pranab was a senior leader of the Indian National Congress. In a political career spanning six decades, he occupied several ministerial portfolios in the central government. Prior to his election as the president, he was the union finance minister from 2009 to 2012.

A trusted friend of Bangladesh, he played a crucial role in the country's Liberation War in 1971. He visited Bangladesh twice in 2013 and 2015. His first foreign visit to Bangladesh was on March 13, 2013 as the Indian president.

On January 14, the Indian High Commission would host a dinner in honour of their former president.

The next day, Pranab would join the concluding ceremony of the three-day “International Bengali Literature Conference-2018” at Bangla Academy which would be inaugurated by Prime

Minister Sheikh Hasina at the city's Osmani Auditorium.

Apart from Bangladesh, around 200 distinguished personalities including poets, novelists, singers and journalists from Japan and the Indian states of Tripura, Assam, Kolkata and Jharkhand are scheduled to attend the conference, Nasir Uddin Yousuff, chief coordinator, International Bengali Literature Conference Organiser Parishad, told The Daily Star on Monday.

This would be the second such event after 1974, the year Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman inaugurated the maiden international Bangla literature conference on the Bangla Academy premises, added Nasir Uddin.

The distinguished personalities include Kazuhiro Watanabe, chief programme director, Bangla Section, Radio Japan, NHK, who translated the book “The Unfinished Memoirs” by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Japanese, and from India writer and novelist Samaresh Majumdar, Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Sumon Chattopadhyay and lawmaker Jogen Chowdhury.

The title of the conference is “Be a Bangalee wholeheartedly if you want to be a world citizen”.

On the conference's concluding day, Pranab would also join a dinner at Bangabhaban hosted by President Abdul Hamid.

He would visit Chittagong on January 16 and join the CU convocation. The university would confer an honorary doctorate degree to the former Indian president.

That day, he would also pay a visit to home of Masterda Surya Sen, an influential leader of the Indian Independence Movement.

The following day, he would return to Dhaka and join a dinner at Gono Bhaban hosted by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He is scheduled to fly back to India on January 18.

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