NEW DELHI, Oct 29 (BSS): The talks between Bangladesh and India home secretaries ended here today with both sides agreeing to work in security related issues "closely," according to a joint statement issued at the end of the talks.
The talks originally set for two days, took the two sides an extra day for choosing the appropriate wording and punctuation for an agreed minutes and the statement for the media.
Instead of the two home secretaries, Safar Raj Hossain of Bangladesh and Vinod Kumar Duggal of India signed the minutes before the media at the conference room of Indian Home Ministry.
Both in their opening remarks to the press expressed the hope that the two governments desired to "further strengthen" friendly ties and cooperation between the two close neighbours.
Hossain read out the joint press statement. But they did not take any questions stating that all the issues and concerns had been dealt with as the self explanatory joint press statement made clear.
On security related issues, the statement stated, both sides agreed to work on security related issues "closely." Both Bangladesh and India raised security concerns at the annual talks of their home secretaries. Their last meeting took place in Dhaka in September last year.
It further stated that both the countries agreed to provide consular access to the insurgents or criminals arrested by either side and share information about activities of insurgents.
It said that both sides also agreed to take all possible steps to prevent smuggling of arms and explosives. Both sides also agreed to enhance vigilance and action to check trans-border crimes.
On trans border crimes both sides stated that their governments did not 'encourage' any type of smuggling and were "resolute" in their determination to effectively curb smuggling.
On cooperation in combating the problems of drugs and narcotics, both sides stressed the need for early signing of the agreement for cooperation in checking the problem particularly of phensidyl and to cooperate and exchange information, it added.
At the talks, the two sides approached all issues on the basis of 'mutual understanding and appreciation of each other's position and sensitivities, on the basis of reciprocity and mutual confidence."
The joint statement said that both sides noted that the relations between the two countries were 'multifaceted and rich in content and scope'.
The Bangladesh side clarified that media reports about India's involvement in the bomb blasts in Bangladesh in August did not reflect the official position of the government of Bangladesh. The Bangladesh side also mentioned that the investigation "was on."
It said that the Bangladesh side agreed to convey dates for the early meetings of the joint boundary working groups after the SAARC Summit.
It said that the Bangladesh side agreed to expedite its response to the Indian proposal for an extradition treaty and agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.
Bangladesh side noted the Indian suggestion to set up a joint committee to review the revised travel arrangements (RTA) signed in 2001, the statement added.
Bangladesh High Commi-ssioner to India Liaquat Ali Chowdhury, Additional Foreign Secretary Tauhid Hossain, Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Veena Sikri, senior officials from the two home ministries, BDR and water experts from the two sides, as well as the BSF Director General Mushahari were present at the minutes signing ceremony.