BD-India Home Ministers' meet
THIS is the for the first time that the home ministers of the two countries have met since assumption of the office of the Alliance government in Bangladesh, and while one hopes that it might have come sooner we welcome the assurances made by India to address the outstanding border issues that have been lingering since the Mujib-India border agreement of 1974, in its entirety.
In fact it is the management of the border, and perhaps mismanagement in certain cases, that has been a sore point in the bilateral relationship. And for Bangladesh, indiscriminate firing and killing of unarmed Bangladeshis have been frankly an inexplicable behaviour of the BSF.
We have been given the assurance by the Indian home minister that the BSF will freeze-guns except in self defence. But regrettably, such assurances had also been given in the past and that too by none other than the Indian home secretary, without any result on the ground. We very much hope that this time assurances would be seen through, and the border killings would stop forthwith.
The two countries have penned a joint border management agreement which we understand will help address the most sensitive spots along the more than 4000 kilometer border, and one would hope that whatever mechanism is employed to oversee the border, it would help prevent unfortunate killings of Bangladeshi as well as screen the border from the criminals and trouble mongers and use of our territory for illegal trade in weapons and drugs.
The border management plan is but only one aspect of long outstanding border issues. And we feel heartened to note the Indian home minister's assurance that the issues related to Teen Bigha, the enclaves, the undemarcated stretch of border etc, would be finally resolved during the Indian prime minister visit in September.
Bangladesh India border being what it is given its sensitive nature, we would hope that all arrangements to inculcate confidence and peace along the border would be in position soon.