India and Bangladesh have agreed to take "swift action" on actionable intelligence on insurgents and fugitives to be shared between law enforcement agencies of the two countries.
Indian security officials describe the understanding to designate nodal points on intelligence sharing at the two-day home secretary level talks as a significant forward movement. This will be the fourth tier for interactions between the security establishments on both sides.
There are already provisions for interaction at the level of home secretary, joint working group at the level of joint secretary of the home ministry and director general of the border guarding force. The second tier, at the level of joint secretary, had, however, fallen into disuse over the last three years. Home secretary Madhukar Gupta said they had decided to revive the JS level interaction.
Several militant groups from the Northeast and West Bengal are operating from Bangladesh. ULFA’s Paresh Barua and Arabinda Rajkhowa operate from Bangladesh and are believed to be working at the behest of Pakistan’s ISI.
A joint statement released at the conclusion of the talks reiterated commitments from both sides not to allow use of territory of either country for terrorist and criminal activities against the other country. “Both sides agreed to initiate swift action on information received about groups and elements and other fugitives from the law of either country taking shelter in the other country,” the joint statement, that called terrorism a “common threat”, read.
During discussions, Dhaka is understood to have underlined its commitment to act against the insurgents and suggested that action against them had already started in some measure. “There was a perceptible difference in their approach, it was far more positive this time,” an Indian official later commented.
Bangladesh home secretary Mohd Abdul Karim said he had come to India with an “open mind”.
Dhaka has also agreed to expedite their internal consultations on the drafts of extradition treaty, mutual legal assistance treaty in criminal matters and another agreement to combat international terrorism and organised crime. There was no clear indication if this would be possible before the Saarc home ministers conference scheduled in October 2007.