Bangladesh, Indian home ministers agree to ensure crime free border

DHAKA, July 15, 2018 : The sixth Bangladesh-India home minister level
talks today decided to work in closer cooperation to ensure a crime free
border, training of policemen and combating militancy.

Briefing newsmen after the talks with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh,
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said security issues largely featured
their meeting with particular focus on border management, cross-border crimes
and illegal activities.

“Discussions were held to ease travel arrangements between the two
countries as well,” he said adding that under a revised travel agreement
signed today Bangladeshi freedom fighters and elderly nationals would get
five years’ multiple Indian visa.

He said the meeting decided to increase facilities at the entry points on
the border and simultaneously discussions were held to make easier the visa
issuance process for students and medical treatment seekers in India.

“We had a successful meeting,” Singh said in a brief comment the Indian
home minister said but did not join Kamal in the media briefing.

An Indian High Commission, however, issued a statement saying the meeting
discussed “all security related matters of interest including counter
terrorism, capacity building and increased cooperation between security
agencies, border management, countering illegal activities like fake
currency, drug and human trafficking, consular issues ets”.

It said the two home ministers noted the significant progress was made in
the bilateral relationship under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her
counterpart Narendra Modi while both sides reiterated their commitment to
further strengthen the ties on the basis of friendship, trust and
understanding for the mutual benefit of the two peoples.

The two ministers also witnessed the signing of the Revised Travel
Arrangement 2018 (RTA 2018) amending the earlier RTA 2013 for further
liberalizing the visa regime between the two countries, including enhanced
duration for employment and student visas.

In a tweet later Singh said “India and Bangladesh signed the Revised
Travel Arrangement (RTA)-2018 in Dhaka” as the meeting came at the fag-end of
his three-day visit.

“After spending three days in Bangladesh I am heading back to New Delhi. I
am deeply touched by the warmth and hospitality of the people of Bangladesh.
Bharat-Bangladesh Moitree Chirojeebi Hok,” he wrote.

Kamal said Bangladesh reassured India that “we will not allow its soil to
be used for any terrorist activities particularly against India in line with
our zero tolerance policy about to terrorism and militancy”.

He said India so far extended all types of supports to Bangladesh as
sought to counter terrorism and militancy and “they are now exchanging
militancy related information with us”.

Kamal said the Rohingya issue came up in the talks when his counterpart
conveyed India’s commitment to extend their assistance for safe, speedy and
sustainable return of the forcibly displaced people to Myanmar’s Rakhine
state.

Asked about the development on the return of two Bangabandhu murder trial
convicts believed to be hiding in India, he said “a committee was formed
earlier to look into the matter and they are working on it” Kamal said his
counterpart also assured Bangladesh side of providing higher training to “our
law enforcement agencies”.

The two ministers co-chaired the meeting when Kamal led 13-member
Bangladesh side while Singh led 9-member delegation of his country.

Prior to beginning of the meeting Rajnath Singh was given a ‘guard of
honour’.

Earlier, the Indian Minister visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum and paid
tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Later,
he visited the Dhakeswari National Temple in old part of the capital and
placed offerings there.

Singh arrived in Dhaka on July 13, on a three day official visit, to attend
the home ministerial level meeting while the previous home ministerial level
meeting was held in New Delhi in India in 2016. He departed four home in a
special Indian aircraft in the afternoon.

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