India, Bangla border forces to intensify cooperation
After cooperating in boycotting the SAARC summit in Islamabad, India and Bangladesh have reiterated the need for effective implementation of the coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) for better border management so as to prevent cross-border criminal activities, incidents of violence and tragic loss of lives and the number of deaths at the border and to ensure that such incidents are brought down to minimum.
Both sides have agreed to take measures like mounting additional vigilance in areas vulnerable in curbing the menace of Trans-border crimes like smuggling of drugs/ narcotics, cattle smuggling, Gold smuggling, Fake Currency Notes. Increasing Coordinated Patrols especially in the night to vulnerable areas, deployment of quick reaction teams (QRTs) and educating border population about the sanctity of the International Border etc will be some of these measures adopted.
This was decided at the 43rd Border Coordination Conference in New Delhi held from September 30-October5. The conference was attended by Major General Aziz Ahmed, BGBM, PBGM, Director General (DG), Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and his 22 Member Bangladesh delegation. The 25 member Indian delegation to the conference was led by DG BSF K K Sharma, IPS. The two delegations comprised senior officials of Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Department of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), National Investigation Agency (NIA), Joint River Commission (JRC), Survey of India and the senior officers of BSF and BGB.
The Awami League government under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina has been working hard to revive its historic good relations with India. While some Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs) leaders were handed over to India on August 11, 2015, Bangladesh and India resolved a decades-old border issue through a land swap agreement that started with a physical exchange of enclaves on July 31, 2015, that continued in phases until June 30, 2016.
In view of the highest leadership of the two countries laying the foundation of a lasting and mutually beneficial relationship, the conference agreed on continued cooperation from BGB for taking action against Indian Insurgent Groups and safe release of Indian nationals abducted by IIGs. DG BGB specially stated that “Bangladesh does not allow its soil to be used by any entity or element hostile to any country”. Both sides also agreed to take effective steps for prevention of human trafficking and illegal trans-border movement.
Both the sides appreciated the efforts made so far to improve relations through various already agreed upon Confidence Building Measures (CBMs). After detailed discussion, following CBMs were agreed upon:
(i) A special course for BGB departmental officers with BSF Officers would be planned and organized by BSF.
(ii) A commando course for BGB personnel would be organized by BSF.
(iii) It was also agreed that all CBMs agreed upon in earlier meetings shall continue.
Both the sides agreed for expeditious implementation of the decisions taken in the conference. It was decided that next DG-level conference would be held in Dhaka in the last week of February 2017.