The ministers are expected to discuss issues related to security, border management, cooperation in countering illegal activities and travel arrangements
The sixth Bangladesh-India home minister level talks on Sunday decided to work in closer cooperation to ensure a crime free border, training of policemen and combating militancy.
Briefing newsmen after the talks with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said security issues largely featured their meeting with particular focus on border management, cross-border crimes and illegal activities.
“Discussions were held to ease travel arrangements between the two countries as well,” he said adding that under a revised travel agreement signed today Bangladeshi freedom fighters and elderly nationals would get five years’ multiple Indian visa.
He said the meeting decided to increase facilities at the entry points on the border and simultaneously discussions were held to make easier the visa issuance process for students and medical treatment seekers in India.
“We had a successful meeting,” Singh said in a brief comment the Indian home minister said but did not join Kamal in the media briefing.
An Indian High Commission, however, issued a statement saying 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, and consular issues.”
It said the two home ministers noted the significant progress was made in the bilateral relationship under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her counterpart Narendra Modi while both sides reiterated their commitment to further strengthen the ties on the basis of friendship, trust and understanding for the mutual benefit of the two peoples.
India and Bangladesh signed the Revised Travel Arrangement (RTA)-2018 in Dhaka. pic.twitter.com/uKabcFseS7— HMO India (@HMOIndia) July 15, 2018
The two ministers also witnessed the signing of the Revised Travel Arrangement 2018 (RTA 2018) amending the earlier RTA 2013 for further liberalizing the visa regime between the two countries, including enhanced duration for employment and student visas.
In a tweet later Singh said “India and Bangladesh signed the Revised Travel Arrangement (RTA)-2018 in Dhaka” as the meeting came at the fag-end of his three-day visit.
“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,” he wrote.
Kamal said Bangladesh reassured India that “we will not allow its soil to be used for any terrorist activities particularly against India in line with our zero tolerance policy about to terrorism and militancy”.
He said India so far extended all types of supports to Bangladesh as sought to counter terrorism and militancy and “they are now exchanging militancy related information with us.”
Kamal said the Rohingya issue came up in the talks when his counterpart conveyed India’s commitment to extend their assistance for safe, speedy and sustainable return of the forcibly displaced people to Myanmar’s Rakhine state.
Asked about the development on the return of two Bangabandhu murder trial convicts believed to be hiding in India, he said “a committee was formed earlier to look into the matter and they are working on it” Kamal said his counterpart also assured Bangladesh side of providing higher training to “our law enforcement agencies.”
The two ministers co-chaired the meeting when Kamal led 13-member Bangladesh side while Singh led 9-member delegation of his country.
Prior to beginning of the meeting Rajnath Singh was given a ‘guard of honour’.
Earlier, the Indian Minister visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum and paid tribute to the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Later, he visited the Dhakeswari National Temple in old part of the capital and placed offerings there.
Singh arrived in Dhaka on July 13, on a three day official visit, to attend the home ministerial level meeting while the previous home ministerial level meeting was held in New Delhi in India in 2016. He departed four home in a special Indian aircraft in the afternoon.