Friday, November 24, 2017

ISPR dismisses Times of India report on Indian Army chief's Dhaka visit as 'baseless'

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-04-22 00:56:53 BdST


Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has brushed aside as 'baseless' a Times of India report that Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat will be visiting Bangladesh again less than a month after his recent trip.

Lt Col Mohammad Rashidul Hasan, director at the Inter Services Public Relations Directorate, told on Friday: "The news of the Indian Army chief coming to Bangladesh is baseless. There is no visit scheduled. We don't have any information on the visit."

The Times of India, citing unnamed sources, reported on Thursday that Gen Rawat would visit Bangladesh from Apr 27 to 30.

It reported that Gen Rawat would discuss the different steps being taken to build military-to-military ties as focused on during his visit to Bangladesh from Mar 31 to Apr 2. 

In a Facebook status, the Press Minister at Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi, Farid Hossain, said “I am told that a couple of media outlets reported Indian Army chief will (sic) visit Dhaka for the second time in a month. The source of the report Times of India immediately withdrew the wrong report, but some Dhaka media didn't.”

He termed it “highly irresponsible journalism” on the part of Bangladeshi media.

However, the Times of India website was still carrying the story with the headline, “Army chief to visit Bangladesh next week”, on Friday night.

For its part, the opposition BNP has questioned the 'frequent visits of Gen Rawat' to Dhaka. It alleged the defence deals signed between the two countries during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to New Delhi had 'put Bangladesh's existence at an endangered level'.