India, Bangladesh to sign extradition treaty soon: Officials

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 11:50 hrs

Agartala, Oct 15 (IANS) India and Bangladesh will soon sign an extradition treaty after completing the required formalities, the home secretaries of the two countries said here Monday.

"We have already agreed to sign the extradition treaty with India in near future. However, it would take some more time to complete the necessary formalities before signing of the accord. We have given full concentration on this issue," said Bangladesh Home Secretary C.Q.K. Mustaq Ahmed.

His Indian counterpart, Home Secretary R.K. Singh said: "Bangladesh government is very positive to sign the extradition treaty with India. Draft of the treaty had already been exchanged between the two countries."

The proposed treaty will help India deal with northeastern militants hiding or arrested in Bangladesh. They include the banned United Liberation Front of Asom's general secretary Anup Chetia, who has been in a Dhaka jail since his arrest in 1997.

The three-day India-Bangladesh home secretary-level talks began in Dhaka Monday. As part of the talks, both officials accompanied by India's High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pankaj Saran reviewed the under-construction Integrated Check Post (ICP) in Akhaurah border, adjoining Tripura's capital Agartala.

R.K. Singh told reporters the Bangladesh government has already taken very affective action against the militants from northeast India hiding in the country.

"In view of the proactive action of Bangladesh government, most of the northeastern India terrorists had left that country and taken shelter in another neighbouring country," he said without naming Myanmar.

India is very much happy with the full cooperation accorded by the Bangladesh government on various issues, Singh said. "We are looking forward to more cooperation from their side."

Ahmed said: "We are always proactive to maintain friendly relations with India. Bangladesh government always wants speedy solution to those issues mutually beneficial for both countries."

"It would be very useful if direct bus services are introduced between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh to carry the passengers of the northeastern states. It would save time and money once the direct bus services are introduced," he said.

R.K. Singh is leading a 10-member Indian delegation in the 13th round home secretary level talks in Dhaka. The last meeting of the home secretaries was held Nov 19-21, 2011, in New Delhi.

An Indian official told IANS that the talks would focus on further expanding and strengthening mutual cooperation on the security and border related issues between the two countries and capacity building of Bangladesh police officers.

Border management, human trafficking, setting up of camps by the northeast India militants in Bangladesh, border firing, and border crimes would also be discussed.

To a question on the Bangladesh government's discontent about border firing, the Indian home secretary said the Border Security Force now has started using non-lethal weapons to deal with the border crimes and smugglers.

The home secretary level talks were preceded by a meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Working Group on Security Monday in Dhaka.

Shambhu Singh, joint secretary (northeast) in India's home ministry, and Kamal Uddin Ahmed, additional secretary in Bangladesh's home affairs ministry, have been leading their respective delegations to the JWG meeting.

More from Sify: