Sonia in Dhaka for conference on autism

July 25th, 2011 - 1:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi Dhaka, July 25 (IANS) Sonia Gandhi, chairperson of India’s ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), is here to attend the inaugural session of a two-day conference on autism.

Gandhi is Monday scheduled to address the conference on ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Disabilities in Bangladesh and South Asia’, reports the Daily Star.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi paid floral tribute to martyrs of the Liberation War at the National Memorial in Savar.

She arrived in Dhaka Sunday night on an invitation from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and was accorded a red carpet welcome at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

The visit comes three weeks after a remark by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Bangladesh triggered protests by Bangladesh opposition parties and groups.

In an interaction with a group of editors here June 29, Manmohan Singh had said: “…Bangladesh, our relations are quite good. But we must reckon that at least 25 percent of the population of Bangladesh swear by the Jamaat-e-Islami and they are very anti-Indian, and they are in the clutches, many times, of the ISI.”

The Inter-Services Intelligence is Pakistan’s spy agency.

The remarks were intended to be off the record, but figured in the official transcript of the interaction. They were later deleted.

Gandhi is expected to meet Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and call on the prime minister as well as President Zillur Rahman during her 24-hour stay, the media report said.

Besides attending the conference, Gandhi will also attend a special ceremony at Bangabhaban where President Zillur Rahman will confer the Bangladesh Freedom Honour posthumously to former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi.

She will receive the award on behalf of her mother-in-law who was assassinated in 1984.

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