New Delhi, Apr 8 (UNI) Bangladesh today asserted that it will not allow terrorists or criminals to use its soil for carrying out subversive activities against India and sought timely exchange of intelligence and information between the two neighbouring countries.
''We wish to state it emphatically that we will not allow Bangladeshi territory to be used by forces (individuals or groups) inimical to India,'' Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) chief Major General Shakil Ahmed told journalists here on the margins of five-day India- Bangladesh Border Coordination Conference which began here today.
The Indian side was led by Border Security Force (BSF) Director General A K Mitra.
He said the most important issue for them would be timely exchange of information regarding terrorist and criminal activities near the Indo-Bangla border so that timely action could be initiated.
Maj Gen Ahmed, who is leading a strong 21-member delegation from Bangladesh, said Dhaka was ready to cooperate with New Delhi on all important bilateral issues.
''It is very important to stay one step ahead of criminals. If there is cooperation on information sharing, we can achieve better results and will be able to maintain a peaceful border.'' The BSF raised the issue of terrorists using the Bangladeshi soil for carrying out subversive activities against India and pointed towards the involvement of militant groups operating from the neighbouring country such as Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HuJI) in several terror acts, including bomb blasts in Uttar Pradesh.
In a counter-point, Mr Ahmed said the BDR has information on the use of Indian territory for perpetuating crimes in Bangladesh.
''We have information today that might not be valid six months later. We are trying to evolve a system to deal with the criminals as soon as they perpetuate the crime,'' he added.
Bilateral issues of mutual interest such as influx of Bangladeshi nationals into India, obstruction to development works within 150 yards from the international border, smuggling of cattle, weapons, narcotics and fake Indian currency notes would be taken up for deliberation at the Conference.
Indian insurgent groups in Bangladesh, inadvertent and advertent crossing of international border by BDR personnel and that country's nationals into India, boundary pillars related matters and more confidence building measures were the other vital issues to be discussed threadbare at the meeting.
UNI AG RR BD1755