Home Secretary to open India-Bangladesh security conference in Delhi

Thursday, March 18, 2010

NEW DELHI – As India strives for safe neighbourhood with intensified engagements with its neighbours, an India-Bangladesh Security Dialogue is being organised later this week in Delhi by two premier think tanks of these countries.

The Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), Dhaka, led by former Foreign Secretary Mr. Farooq Sobhan, has joined Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, in organizing this two-day Dialogue, which will begin on March 19 with the inaugural address by the Union Home Secretary, Mr. G.K. Pillai.

The conference, the second in the series, will discuss various security aspects affecting both the countries like radicalization, militancy and terrorism in Bangladesh, radicalization and terrorism in India: role of Lashker-e-Toibba, terror financing in South East Asia, combating terrorism: regional cooperation in South Asia, the North East factor in India-Bangladesh relations, etc.

The conference will also discuss developments since the organization of the first Dialogue in December 2009 in Dhaka – a month before the successful state visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister to India in January this year.

The importance of the Dialogue can be gauged from the involvement of high leadership of the Government. The Finance Minister, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, who was earlier the External Affairs Minister, is hosting high tea for the delegates at his house while the Foreign Secretary, Ms Nirupama Rao, is hosting lunch at the Hyderabad House.

At the Dhaka Dialogue, the Foreign Minister and the Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh had addressed the conference. Apart from a general discussion of India-Bangladesh relations, the focus of the first meeting was also on “Security and Terrorism”.

The BEI President, Mr. Farooq Sobhan, who is the leader of the Bangladeshi delegation, is bringing a high-powered delegation of 16 scholars and experts, including several serving officials for the New Delhi Dialogue.

Mr. M.K. Rasgotra, a former Foreign Secretary and now the President of the ORF Centre for International Affairs, is heading the Indian side which comprises of many eminent scholars, security analysts, terrorism experts, retired army generals and former diplomats.

The meeting will focus on issues with ramifications for both the internal and external security of both the countries. The issues those are likely to find prominence at the dialogue include radicalization, militancy, terrorism, terrorist finances and will also look for areas of cooperation.

The dialogues will be followed a Memorandum of Understanding signed between ORF and BEI to organize conferences on matters of mutual interest. (ANI).

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18 March, 2010