Bangladesh not tolerating anti-India interests : Says foreign minister, The Daily Star, 01 December 2014

Date: 1 December 2014

It is the principal 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, said Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali yesterday.

The recent Burdwan blast exemplifies the importance of security cooperation and Bangladesh is extending all possible support, he told the inauguration of a two-day “Bangladesh-India Security Dialogue” in a hotel in the capital.

Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) and New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation (ORF) jointly organised the dialogue.

Hassan said, “…straddling the crossroad of south and Southeast Asia, taking advantage of this unique geographical location Bangladesh is poised to play its natural role as the hub of connectivity.

“We are keen to establish connectivity for the whole region including India, because this would bring about unprecedented prosperity for all the countries.”

Dr C Raja Mohon, head, Strategic Studies of ORF, said only leadership was not enough in advancing bilateral relations for think tanks have a great role as the new, positive and bold initiatives come from them.

Though there are some road blocks, the new government of Delhi has strong will to improve relations with Bangladesh, he added.

BEI President Farooq Sobhan, chairing the event, said, “The threats that we face, both of the countries, are increasing. Emergence of ISIS is a matter of great concern for both Bangladesh and India.

“The recent announcement by Al-Qaeda about its interest or intention to increase its activities in South Asia also should not be taken lightly. We have high trends of activities of JMB as well as Hizb-ut Tahrir in Bangladesh and equally India has multiple challenges with respect to security threats.

Coordination, cooperation, exchange of information and undertaking joint training between two countries can not be sufficient, he said.

“Research institutes, think tanks of both countries are equally important in giving special attention in undertaking researches which can contribute and assist the government of both sides with the works in combating terrorism and reactions of extremist groups that engage in violence,” he added.