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Sunday, July 3, 2011

PMO's Bangla Bungling: Indian envoy summoned in Dhaka over PM's 'gaffe'!

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Indrani Bagchi, TNN | Jul 3, 2011, 12.53am IST.

NEW DELHI: Rajit Mitter, India's High Commissioner to Bangladesh, has been summoned by the government in Dhaka to explain Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's remarks against Bangladeshis earlier this week. The prime minister's office posted a transcript of the PM's meeting with editors earlier this week, where the PMO quoted him saying, "we must reckon that at least 25% of the population of Bangladesh swear by the Jamaat-ul-Islami and they are very anti-Indian, and they are in the clutches, many times, of the ISI (of Pakistan)."

The prime minister's publicized remarks on Bangladesh have not only embarrassed India and the PM personally, but created a storm in the neighbouring country. Its timing could not have been worse. Foreign minister S M Krishna is expected to visit Dhaka from July 6 to 8, and sources said he can expect some tough questioning there. Krishna's visit is expected to prepare for Singh's trip to Dhaka later this year.

The MEA put out an apology against the gaffe. The spokesperson, clarifying that the remarks "we're not intended to be judgmental" said, "Prime Minister and his Government and the people of India have the greatest affection for the people of Bangladesh and hold our relations with Bangladesh to be of the highest importance." 

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