India, Bangladesh working for better border management says Foreign Secretary, APN: News & Current Affairs, Wed 02 of April, 2014
New Delhi: With a view to prevent export of crime and terrorism India and Bangladesh are putting in place a better border management system along their 4,000-km-long boundary, informed Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh.
A MoU is also being signed between the countries to prevent infiltration, organised crime, human trafficking, illegal drug trafficking, circulation of fake currency notes (FICN), she said.
“If India is secure, Bangladesh is also secure. This issue goes to the core of what our common understanding should be,” she said.
Singh was speaking at the two-day conclave on India-Bangladesh Security organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI).
Her father TV Rajeswar, who was former Intelligence Bureau chief and later became a governor, was among the audience. This was the first where the Foreign Secretary’s father was present while she was speaking as a chief guest.
The Indian Foreign Secretary said while the “porous” India-Bangladesh border has led to various illegal activities which need to be tackled effectively, the two countries should further explore cooperation in areas power, water, trade and connectivity.
Noting the difficult topography along the border, she said both countries were working towards a better border management system.
Listing steps to check illegal activities, she said officials at various levels including the director generals of Narcotics Control Bureau of both the countries were holding talks to address the issue.
In a veiled attack on Pakistan, the Foreign Secretary said the terror infrastructure being sheltered will come back to haunt those who are providing “sustenance” to it.
“We have seen from the experiences of another neighbour, our neighbour to the West that the forces of terrorism that are sheltered or encouraged will come back to destroy the very support structure that gave them sustenance in the first instance,” she said.
The Foreign Secretary pointed out that both India and Bangladesh have come to a clear resolve that “we do not wish to harm each other. We wish to contribute to each others’ ecomonic progress, socio economic progress, development and stability”.
“Most of our neighbours are changing in the positive direction… the economic growth figures are encouraging and more importantly they bring with them growing demand and growing aspiration.”
The Foreign Secretary noted the changing multi-party democracy route taken up by most countries in the Asian region is a good democratic transformation taking place in the region.
“The democratic process that is starting in Myanmar will have profound implication for India’s Northeast and for Bangladesh and for our common engagement with ASEAN,” she said.
The Foreign Secretary noted that SAARC and BIMSTEC play an important role in terms of giving platform to interact with neighbouring countries for a better understanding.
“I would like to envisage a power grid traversing Bangladesh from the Northeast through West Bengal must be worked upon to benefit both countries,” She said.
She also said, like the sub-regional cooperation meeting between Joint Working Groups held last year for power, water, trade, connectivity, both the governments were working toward holding a second meeting soon as this area needs to be further explored.
India-Bangladesh bilateral trade reached new peak. Bangladesh has replaced Sri Lanka as India’s largest trading partner in South Asia with trade increasing to $5.8 billion in 2012-13 from $3.7 billion in 2007-08.
All these trajectories in the bilateral relations were due to the landmark visits of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in January 2010 and Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s visit to Bangladesh in September 2011 and “a path-breaking agreements” signed on these occasions.