Ministry of External Affairs has hailed India’s excellent security partnership with two of India’s closest neighbours Bangladesh and Bhutan and has informed Parliament that both these neighbours are regularly assisting India in controlling cross-border terror; fight insurgency in the region and transnational crimes including smuggling of fake Indian currency Notes and narcotics.
“There has been excellent coordination and cooperation between the security and border guarding forces of India and Bangladesh, particularly in taking action on the anti-India activities on its soil as well as in extradition cases and transfer of Indian prisoners under the Transfer of Sentenced Persons (TSP) agreement, including deportation of ULFA "General Secretary” Anup Chetia to India in November 2015,” MoS MEA V Muraleedharan told Parliament last week in a written reply.
“Apart from this, the issues related to security, crime, violent extremism, narcotics, fake currency etc. are regularly taken up with the Government of Bangladesh through various bilateral mechanisms that exist between both the countries, including at the level of Home Minister,” according to the MoS.
In 2010, India and Bangladesh signed a bilateral agreement on combating international terrorism, organized crime and illicit drug trafficking. “Both countries will cooperate in their joint fight against terrorism in all its forms and shall exchange information and intelligence on the activities of any terrorist groups and their associates including those providing front or cover to individuals or groups engaged in planning, promoting or executing acts of terrorism against the parties as well as those which may operate from or use territories of either country,” reads the agreement.
With regard to Bhutan the Minister informed that India has extensive engagement with Royal Government of Bhutan through regular exchange of high-level visits and bilateral mechanisms like Secretary-level Border Management and Security Meeting, Border District Coordination Meetings.
“All issues of relevance and importance, including security related issues like activities of the Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs), measures to check smuggling etc, are discussed with Bhutan. Royal Government of Bhutan has assured that it would not allow any activities from its soil that would endanger peace and security of India and has extended full co-operation in this regard to Government of India.”
The MEA also informed Parliament that ONGC Videsh Limited(OVL) has been awarded two offshore oil and gas exploratory blocks in Bangladesh. Both the blocks are located in the offshore Bengal Basin. Apart from OVL, other partners are Oil India Limited (OIL) and Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (BAPEX).