Zero tolerance for any form of terrorism : FM, The News Today, 01 December 2014
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali on Sunday iterated that Bangladesh will not tolerate any form of terrorism and will never allow its soil to be used against the interest of any country, particularly India, reports UNB. “It is the principled and unequivocal position of Bangladesh not to tolerate terrorism in any form and not to allow its soil to be used against the interest of any country, particularly India,” he told the inaugural session of a security dialogue in the morning. Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) in partnership with the Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation (ORF) organised the sixth ‘Bangladesh-India Security Dialogue’ at a city hotel. Speaking as the chief guest, Mahmood Ali said security cooperation has been the high point of India-Bangladesh relations in the recent years. “We attach utmost importance to human security. In the present times, security is directly related to globalisation due to growing inter-dependence of all aspects of our lives.” At the root of threat to security lies a variety of forces that have become global in scope and more serious in their effects, he said, adding that the issues related to security have, therefore, become a central component of Bangladesh’s neighbourhood policy. The Foreign Minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, since assuming office in January 2009, continued her government’s sincere efforts in addressing the security concerns of India. “This changed mindset of the leaderships in both the countries gave the relationship a new dimension and took it to a different level. The same degree of cooperation from our side will continue,” he said. Mahmood Ali said the recent Burdwan blast has brought to the fore yet again the importance of security cooperation between the two neighbouring countries and Bangladesh is extending all possible support to India in this regard. He said that under the Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) signed by two sides in August 2011, the border guard forces of the two countries are carrying out certain actions which have significantly improved the situation at the border. “Subsequently, with the signing of the Extradition Treaty in January 2013 all security related enabling instruments are now in place.” Recalling the historical Indo-Bangla relations, the Foreign Minister said Bangladesh attaches highest importance to its relations with India while India also recognises that a stable and economically robust Bangladesh is in its own interest. He said excellent relationship continues to thrive between the two countries following the assumption of office by the Awami League-led present government in Bangladesh after the January 2014 elections and also assumption of office by the BJP-led NDA government in India in May 2014 after the 16th Lok Sabha elections. “We are confident that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s leaderships would usher in a newer era of bilateral relations building on the successes of the previous years.” About regional connectivity, Mahmood Ali said Bangladesh is located at the confluence of Bhutan, Nepal and the North-eastern States of India and is also straddling the crossroad of South and Southeast Asia. “Taking advantage of this unique geographical location, Bangladesh is poised to play its natural role as hub of connectivity and it is keen to establish seamless connectivity for the whole region, including India, because this would bring about unprecedented prosperity for all the countries.” He said the sub-regional cooperation on connectivity has been taken up involving Bangladesh, India, Bhutan and Nepal. The Foreign Minister said the eagerness of the two governments to enhance economic ties is a very good sign and the accruing economic dividends would certainly have a more congenial impact on overall Bangladesh-India relations. “We’re offering Special Economic Zone for India, and hope the Indian investors would make the best use of this enabling situation,” he added. BEI president Farooq Sobhan and ORF’s head of strategic studies C Raja Mohan also spoke on the occasion.