'Bangladesh Does Not Harbour Anti-India Terrorists'

New Delhi
'Bangladesh Does Not Harbour Anti-India Terrorists'
Bangladesh today said it does not harbour any anti-India terrorist on its soil and gave an assurance that the much awaited extradition treaty between the two countries would be signed soon.

At a joint press conference here with her counterpart P Chidambaram, Bangladesh Home Minister Shahara Khatun said like India, her country too was a victim of terrorism and would do everything to eradicate the menace from its soil.

"Bangladesh will not tolerate any anti-India activity on its soil. We have not allowed in the past, nor we will do in the future. Both countries are victims of terrorism. So, there is no question of harbouring any one," she said after the Home Minister-level dialogue between the two sides.

She said this when asked about terrorists, who carried out heinous acts in India, having links with Bangladesh.

Khatun, said joint efforts were required to eliminate terrorists and Dhaka has taken many steps to deal with the extremists forces.

Asked when the extradition treaty between the two countries would be signed, Khatun said the issue was discussed threadbare at the meeting and hoped that it would be concluded in the "near future".

Chidambaram said the extradition pact was in the final stages of consideration by the Bangladesh government and "I think it is moving forward".

The treaty would facilitate handing over of ULFA leader Anup Chetia, currently lodged in a Dhaka jail, to India.

The Indian Home Minister described the bilateral meeting as extremely cordial and fruitful, saying the India-Bangladesh relation has reached a new high.

Chidambaram said the issues discussed at the delegation- level meeting include border management, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, repatriation of prisoners and visa-related issues.

"We hope that the few outstanding issues will be resolved soon. Good relations are a continuous process. As we move forward, there will be more opportunities to work together. We will identify difficulties and we will overcome those difficulties," he said.

Asked about the problem of illegal migration from Bangladesh, the Home Minister said it was no longer a big issue as in 2011 India has given visas to 50 lakh Bangladeshi nationals to travel here and therefore there was no reason for any Bangladeshi to cross over illegally.

"But I do admit that some crossings do take place. We have to strengthen the border management. We have identified the border out posts which are vulnerable and both sides will strengthen border management in these BoPs," he said.

Referring to Bangladesh's concern on firing by BSF along international border, Chidambaram said there was "dramatic decline" in such incidents in last few months and the government of India has taken steps to ensure that no such incident take place in future.

He said he had given a dossier to Khatun explaining the circumstances leading to the recent incidents, in which four cattle smugglers who had taken BSF jawans as hostages, were killed by the personnel of the border guarding force to save their colleagues.
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