India, Bangladesh finalise drafts of 3 pacts

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Bangladesh Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder (left) and his Indian counterpart, Gopal K. Pillai, after a joint press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Bangladesh Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder (left) and his Indian counterpart, Gopal K. Pillai, after a joint press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday.

Vinay Kumar

Focus on combating terror, drug trafficking and transfer of sentenced persons

NEW DELHI: India and Bangladesh on Wednesday finalised drafts of three pacts — on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters, on combating international terrorism, organised crime and illicit drug trafficking and on transfer of sentenced persons.

The drafts were finalised during a three-day meeting of the Home Secretaries of India and Bangladesh held here. The agreements will be signed during the three-day state visit of Sheikh Hasina here which begins on December 18.

“Both sides agreed to develop mechanisms to further hasten the process of verification of nationality status of prisoners lodged in jails of either country, particularly of those who have completed their sentence, to enable their early repatriation,” Bangladesh Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder told journalists here.

“Both sides condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed their commitment not to allow the use of territory of either country for any activity inimical to each other’s interests,” Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said.

Replying to queries about reports of Indian insurgent groups setting up bases on Bangladesh soil, Mr. Sikder said: “Our position is clear, we do not support or harbour any terrorist or organisation. We do not allow any elements to use our soil. We have arrested a number of militants belonging to different outfits in the past.”

The two sides also resolved to take immediate action on the basis of real time and actionable information and agreed to redouble efforts to locate subjects of Interpol Red Corner Notices in either country.

Currency smuggling

India expressed its concern over smuggling of fake Indian currency notes into the country and sought Bangladesh’s cooperation for preventing such activities.

Both sides agreed that there was a need to expedite the settlement of land boundary related issues and it was agreed that these would be discussed in the next meeting of the Joint Border Working Group.

Mr. Pillai thanked Dhaka for its cooperation on different issues, especially for timely action to prevent attack on the Indian mission in Bangladesh.

The two sides noted the menace of trafficking of women and children along the Indo-Bangla border and agreed to designate nodal points on both sides for coordinated action against individuals/ touts/agents involved in human trafficking.



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