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Updated: January 12, 2010 01:31 IST

Will not allow our soil to be used against India: Hasina

Special Correspondent
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina before a meeting in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: PTI
PTI
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina before a meeting in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: PTI

The five agreements relate to mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, transfer of sentenced persons, fight against terror, organised crime and illegal drug trafficking, power cooperation and cultural exchange programmes.

India and Bangladesh on Monday signed five pacts in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart Sheikh Hasina to add impetus to the bilateral ties that had been on the upswing since the last one year.

In a series of high-level meetings, Ms. Hasina assured New Delhi that Dhaka would not allow its soil to be used as a base of operations by groups inimical to India, her Advisor, Abul Kalam Azad, said.

The five agreements relate to mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, transfer of sentenced persons, fight against terror, organised crime and illegal drug trafficking, power cooperation and cultural exchange programmes.

“We are confident that this visit would serve to underline that strong India-Bangladesh relations are vital; not just for both our countries, but for the entire region and the international community,” noted Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

“The intention is to put in place mechanisms that would be irreversible regardless of the nature of the regimes in both countries,” said official sources.

The two sides also discussed an Indian credit line to build railway track in Bangladesh, an easier trading and investment environment and assistance in dredging of rivers.

Ms. Hasina, who arrived here on a four-day state visit on Sunday, began her official engagements by laying a wreath at Rajghat, samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi. Later, she called on President Pratibha Patil.

Before the delegation-level talks with Dr. Singh, during which the five agreements were signed, she met United Progressive Alliance chairperson and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Indira Gandhi Prize

On Tuesday, Ms. Hasina will be conferred the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

The same day, she will call on the ailing former Prime Minister, I. K. Gujral.

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