Dhaka terror pledge to Delhi

Union home minister Rajnath Singh greets Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Saturday. (PTI)

Dhaka: Bangladesh assured India on Sunday that it would not let its soil be used for terrorist activities against the neighbour, as visiting home minister Rajnath Singh discussed security issues with counterpart Asaduzzaman Khan.

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", the Indian high commission in Dhaka said.

"We had a successful meeting," Rajnath, who ended a three-day visit to Dhaka on Sunday, said in a brief comment. He did not join Khan at the media briefing.

Khan said Bangladesh had reassured India that "we will not allow its (Bangladesh's) soil to be used for any terrorist activities, particularly against India, in line with our zero tolerance policy to terrorism and militancy".

He said India had extended every support to Bangladesh to fight terror. "They are now exchanging militancy-related information with us," he said.

Khan added: "Discussions were held to ease travel arrangements between the two countries as well."

He said that under a revised travel agreement signed on Sunday, India will issue five-year multiple entry visas to Bangladeshi freedom fighters and senior citizens.

Khan said he and Rajnath had discussed ways of easing the visa issuance process for Bangladeshi students and those who seek medical treatment in India.

He said Rajnath had conveyed India's commitment to help with the safe, speedy and sustainable return of the Rohingya refugees to Myanmar's Rakhine province.

New Delhi has offered more relief material to help Dhaka deal with the needs of the more than six lakh Rohingya who have fled to Bangladesh following violence in Rakhine last August.

India is also working on a project to build pre-fabricated housing in Rakhine to help resettle the Rohingya after their return.

Rajnath had held an "extremely fruitful" meeting with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday, discussing terrorism and other issues.

An Indian high commission statement said Rajnath had sincerely thanked Hasina for her cooperation in addressing New Delhi's "security concerns".

The statement said Hasina had agreed that the joint bilateral efforts to combat militancy and terrorism had yielded "special success".

According to a spokesperson for the Bangladesh Prime Minister's office, Rajnath had said without naming any country that the expected regional collaborative actions against militancy had not been possible because of the role played by some nations in the region.

"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 (Long live India-Bangladesh friendship)," Singh tweeted before his return to New Delhi. 


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