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Sonia, Hasina vow to root out terrorism

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday lauded Bangladesh's efforts to root out terrorism in the region and vowed to work with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to thwart the scourge.

world Updated: Jul 25, 2011 21:40 IST

Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday lauded Bangladesh's efforts to root out terrorism in the region and vowed to work with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to thwart the scourge.

"Sonia Gandhi praised Bangladesh initiatives to combat terrorism and uproot militancy but said the countries in South Asia need to join their hands to thwart its threats" as she held a meeting with Hasina, Bangladesh premier's press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told PTI.

"It's (militancy) not problem of India or Bangladesh alone," Azad quoted the visiting UPA chairperson as saying.

During a one-to-one meeting, both the leaders agreed that "due to its gravity and manifestation" it was not possible by a single country to work against terrorism and militancy.

Azad said Hasina called terrorism a major threat to the sustainable development of the regional nations as the two leaders met on the sidelines of an international conference on autism here.

Both the leaders, he said, echoed similar sentiment of working together to prevent terrorism and militancy saying that Bangladesh and India were against all sorts of terrorism and militancy that hindered development process of the countries.

Security cooperation, particularly relating to terrorism and insurgency, between India and Bangladesh had figured high on the agenda during the visit of external affairs minister SM Krishna earlier this month.

"Both the countries expressed determination to jointly combat the menace of terrorism and insurgency and agreed not to allow their territories to be used by elements inimical to each other," Kishna had said.

Hasina administration had facilitated the arrest and handed over five top leaders of the banned outfit ULFA, including its 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa.

"The two leaders also discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral interests and discussed ways to boost further regional cooperation to face the social menaces and achieve economic progress," Azad said.

Later, receiving an award on behalf of her late mother -in-law Indira Gandhi at the Bangabhaban presidential palace, Gandhi said Bangladesh and India could cooperate with each other in a spirit of mutual respect and equality for greater common good of the two peoples.

"That is what Indira Gandhi would have wanted and this is what I hope we will constantly endeavour to do," she said.