Security cooperation high point of Indo-Bangla relations: FM, The Independent, 01 December 2014

Date: 1 December 2014

Security cooperation has been the high point of Bangladesh-India relations in the recent years, and recent incidents, such as the Bardhaman blast, have brought the importance of security regarding cooperation between the two countries to the fore yet again, foreign minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said on Saturday.

Bangladesh is extending all possible support to India regarding the Bardhaman blast, he said. “Dhaka and New Delhi took significant steps to formalise security cooperation when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited New Delhi in January 2010,” the foreign minister said, while inaugurating the sixth two-day Bangladesh-India Security Dialogue, organised by Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), in partnership with Indian thinktank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), at a hotel in Gulshan.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, since her assumption of office in January 2009, continued her government’s efforts in addressing the security concerns of India, which significantly strengthened the confidence of the Indian government and people,” he said.

Ali reiterated Bangladesh’s principled and unequivocal position not to tolerate any form of terrorism, and not to allow its soil to be used against the interest of any country, especially India.

“This has changed the mindset of the leaderships in both the countries, gave the relationship a new dimension, and has taken it to a different level. The same degree of cooperation, from our side, will continue,” he said.

The foreign minister described the cooperation between Bangladesh and India as one of the most important components of the engagements between the two neigbouring countries. He said, “We attach utmost importance to human security.”

“At present, 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. They have become global and serious in effect,” he said.

“The issues related to security have, therefore, become a central component of our neighbourhood policy,” he added.

BEI president Farooq Sobhan and ORF head of strategic studies, C Raja Mohan, also addressed the inaugural session of the dialogue, the main purpose of which was to examine the state of the relationship between Bangladesh and India, with a special focus on regional security.

Security experts, academics, government functionaries, and civil society members from Bangladesh and India attended the lecture.