India and Bangladesh on Monday signed two landmark agreements to extradite criminals and terrorists and liberalise the visa regime.
Home Minister Sushilkumar Shindhe and his Bangladesh counterpart, Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, signed the agreements on the first of the two-day Home Ministers’ meeting here.
However, refusal provisions have been built into the extradition treaty, which India waited for long. If extradition of someone poses a threat to national security, a country may refuse the deportation request. No political detainee will be brought under the purview of the treaty. If a controversy arose during an extradition process, officials explained, the matter will be settled as per the laws of the country concerned.
The other agreement provides for a friendlier visa regime for Bangladeshis. Businessmen will be given a five-year, multiple-entry visa. Those travelling on medical grounds will get a two-year, multiple-entry visa, which can be extended for one more year. Three attendants of a patient will also be entitled to visa. Until now, India has been granting Bangladeshi tourists visas for up to six months and has allowed one person to accompany a patient.
Earlier in the day, the Bangladesh Cabinet approved the extradition treaty at its regular meeting presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Indian Cabinet approved it on January 24.
The signing ceremony was attended, among others, by the International Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister, Gowher Rizvi, State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku, Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Tariq A. Karim and Indian High Commissioner Pankaj Saran.