Friday, 12 March 2010

BDR, BSF to sign 'Joint Record of Discussions' today

Pallab Bhattacharya, New Delhi

The border guards of Bangladesh and India sign the "Joint Record of Discussions" here today, culminating the annual summit-level talks, amidst expectations that each side will seek to address other's main concerns.

The document will be signed at a function by visiting BDR Director General Maj Gen Mainul Islam and his BSF counterpart Raman Srivastava at the latter's headquarters at 10:00 am. It will be followed by a joint press conference.

The Joint Record of Discussions is likely to record that no innocent life should be lost at the border due to the guards' actions as such a development was totally unacceptable because this involves local civilian populations.

It is also likely to bring out Bangladesh's willingness to motivate its people not to undertake any act, which may force BSF to take tough measures.

The Joint Record of Discussions is likely to suggest maintaining status quo and exercising restraint by both BDR and BSF in their moves in the adverse possession of enclaves.

India is understood to have conveyed at the talks that it would take care of Bangladesh's grievances relating to alleged intrusion by BSF and civilians near Jaintia Hills along the border with Sylhet.

Both sides agreed that tension along the border should be scaled down to the extent possible and should not be allowed to affect bilateral relations.

India, which has security concern upper most, in turn is understood to have been assured of Bangladesh's continued cooperation in apprehending northeastern Indian insurgents.

This the two sides hope would help lowering tension along the border substantially as these are the areas where disputes among locals on both sides of the border are sharper.

Sources said the Joint Record of Discussions is likely to reflect recognition in both sides that the resolve at the highest level of leaderships of the two countries should percolate down to the field level to avoid impression of a communication gap and lack of coordination.

BDR delegation led by its chief Mainul had the four-hour talks with Indian team and later met Indian Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram and Home Secretary GK Pillai on Monday.

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