India, Bangladesh move ahead to eliminate cross-border terrorism

New Delhi, Mar 21 (ANI): India's relations with Bangladesh have improved significantly with both nations moving ahead to eliminate cross-border terrorism.

Recently, delegates of the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) met for the 33rd co-ordination conference here to resolve various security issues.

BSF Director General Raman Srivastava led the 23-member Indian team while BGB chief Major General Rafiqul Islam headed the 20-member contingent of his country at the meeting.

Both sides agreed to complete the joint inspection of the remaining 20 patches out of the 46-unfenced priority patches proposed by India within 150 yards of the border.

"We have decided to continue mutual cooperation on all security-related issues. We have exchanged lists of insurgents, terrorists and miscreants and their camps and have decided to maintain close coordination and cooperation to prevent smuggling of drugs and narcotics into Bangladesh, and with regard to smuggling of fake Indian currency notes into India," said Srivastava.

To address Bangladesh's concerns over the killing of its nationals along the borders, the Indian border force has also agreed to arm its personnel with "non-lethal" weapons on trial basis to reduce causalities.

Both forces also agreed to have a weekly meeting of commanding officers and quick sharing of actionable information.

"The common problem along the borders are smuggling, cattle-trading, drug trafficking, illegal child and women trafficking. I think both the sides have no rules to be again relaxed but to go for a tougher action against that common menace of both the people of the country. I shall be very happy to note that information by the company commanders and the battalion commanders on a weekly basis will definitely yield better results, and personally we have committed that we are going to check the system, whether that system works better or not," said Major General Islam.

To further boost ties, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram are expected to visit Bangladesh after the end of current Parliament session.

During Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India in January 2010, New Delhi and Dhaka signed several agreements to improve trade and business, communications and people to people contact. (ANI)