India-Bangladesh DG-Level Bilateral Talks to Begin tomorrow

NEW DELHI: With the historic exchange of enclaves along the India-Bangladesh border accomplished, high-level delegations of both the country’s border guarding forces will commence their annual DG level bilateral talks in New Delhi beginning tomorrow.

A 22-member delegation of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will sit across the table with their counterparts Border Security Force (BSF) for their four-day annual Director General level talks on a host of border issues at the paramilitary forces’ headquarter in New Delhi.

The visit assumes significance as this is the first official Bangladeshi team to arrive in Delhi after the historic Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) has been conducted with the exchanges happening between the two countries.

The BGB delegation, set to arrive here today, is led by BGB DG Maj Gen Aziz Ahmed while the BSF side will be headed by BSF DG D K Pathak with representatives from Ministry of Home Affairs, External Affairs, Survey of India, NIA and other law enforcement agencies.

The two sides will sign a joint declaration on August 6, a day before the Bangladeshi delegation leaves for Dhaka.

The BSF said the two sides are expected to discuss issues related to trans-border crimes including instances of cattle smuggling, illegal movement of fake Indian currency, activities of Indian insurgent groups based in Bangladesh, prevention of illegal migration, joint efforts for effective implementation of common agenda programmes and host of other confidence building measures.

“The emerging border scenario after the LBA will also be discussed,” a senior official said.

At the stroke of Friday mid-night, 51,000 stateless people of India and Bangladesh attained freedom when the two countries ended decades of their lingering wait for citizenship by exchanging 162 adversely-held enclaves between them.

Amongst the other things on the discussion table, the two sides will also discuss long-term issues related to border management, activities of insurgents and smugglers along the 4,096km border that the two neighbours share.

The Bangladeshi side is also expected to take up the issue of the trial of the killing of a young girl Felani Khatun, who was allegedly shot dead on the border in 2011 by a BSF troop.

A special force court had recently acquitted the border guard of these charges.

The delegation will also call on Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other senior officials of the ministry during the course of their stay in New Delhi.

The last times the two sides met was in December last year when the BSF delegation travelled to Dhaka and this is the 41st meeting between the two forces at the level of top force commanders.

A special ‘maitri’ (friendly) handball match between the troops of the two forces will also be held here during the course of the visit.