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Kamal: Bangladesh will stand by India

  • Published at 05:20 pm October 4th, 2016
  • Last updated at 02:01 am October 5th, 2016
Kamal: Bangladesh will stand by India

Bangladesh will stay beside India if the next door neighbour comes under attack centring the ongoing tense situation prevailing with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said echoing the prime minister.

The minister yesterday told reporters at his Secretariat office that Pakistan’s threats of war against India would not affect Bangladesh.

“We have no borderline with Pakistan and their area is 1,200 miles [1,931km] away from us. So their roar has no effect on us. We already defeated them and send them back in 1971, so we do not want to think about them now,” Asaduzzaman said when asked about the preparation taken by the government.

The recent unrest in Kashmir began after the death of Burhan Wani, a top commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen group, in July this year that sparked violent protests, prompting the authorities to impose an indefinite curfew in most parts of Indian-administered Kashmir.

The curfew was lifted in August but schools, shops and most banks remain shut and mobile and internet services remain suspended. At least 68 civilians and two security officials died and more than 9,000 people injured in over 50 days of violence, according to official tallies.

The tension escalated last month after 18 Indian soldiers were killed in a raid by gunmen on an army base at Uri, Kashmir on September 18. In retaliation, India says it has carried out “surgical strikes” against suspected militants along the de-facto border with Pakistan in Kashmir on September 29. Pakistan, however, rejects the claims.

The Pakistan defence minister also threatened to launch nuclear attack against India.

The recent development in Kashmir is a much-talked issue in social media among the Bangladeshis.

After the Uri attack, Hasina told her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Bangladesh “firmly stands beside India at this difficult hour.”

The home minister yesterday said that he had been asked by Indian journalists about Dhaka’s stance regarding the Kashmir issue during his recent visit to New Delhi.

“I replied that as a friendship atmosphere is prevailing between Bangladesh and India, and India used to help Bangladesh over different issues, Bangladesh will definitely remain beside India, if it is attacked.”

Regarding Bangladesh’s pulling out from the Saarc Summit in Pakistan, the home minister said: “We will not attend the event due to persistent intervention of Pakistan in our internal issue [war crimes trials].”

Saarc Chairperson Nepal postponed the Summit after four countries including Bangladesh refused to join the event next month.

Also read: PM wants peaceful solution to Kashmir tension

Border killing by BSF Regarding the deaths of Bangladeshi citizens by Indian Border Security Force, Home Minister Asaduzzman said that the government was working to bring down border killings to zero. “Some over-enthusiast BSF members are behind such killings. “We do not want that a single person is killed along the border. We always protested whenever a Bangladeshi citizen is killed by the BSF,” he told reporters. “We are trying to stop the killings mutually.” The killings along Bangladesh-India border have been a commonplace despite different measures taken by the two countries. In 2010, both the countries agreed that BSF would use non-lethal weapons, but the initiative has apparently failed. The victims include cattle traders, trespassers and even innocent farmers. According to rights group Ain o Salish Kendra, the BSF shot dead 21 Bangladeshis and tortured to death six others along the border from January to September. The reason behind another death could not be ascertained. At least 28 others were injured in attacks by the BSF personnel and 19 abducted during the same time. All but one were returned to the Bangladesh authorities. The home minister also said that the government was holding talks with India about working together to combat militancy and terrorism. India has already expressed interest to extend assistance in this regard. Asked about bringing back most-wanted criminals from India, Asaduzzaman said: “Bangladesh has an extradition treaty with India to exchange prisoners. Our foreign ministry is working on the issue.”