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Chidambaram to visit Bangladesh next month

Home Minister P Chidambaram will visit Bangladesh next month to discuss a range of security-related issues.

world Updated: Apr 15, 2010 12:16 IST

Home Minister P Chidambaram will visit Bangladesh next month to discuss a range of security-related issues.

Chidambaram has accepted an invitation from his Bangladeshi counterpart, Sahara Khatun, to visit Bangladesh "in the shortest possible time", Star Online, website of The Daily Star newspaper said on Thursday.

Bangladesh High Commissioner to India Tariq Ahmed Karim called on Chidambaram in New Delhi and handed over the invitation on behalf of the minister.

Cooperation in security matters and fighting terrorism figured during the 15-minute talk.

The visit may take place after the budget session of Indian parliament, which resumed Thursday and ends next month.

This will be the first visit by Chidambaram to Bangladesh as the home minister.

The South Asian neighbours have stepped up cooperation in the last 15 months since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took office.

Bangladesh has nabbed a number of Indian and Pakistani fugitive Islamist activists, including a Pakistani citizen linked to terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), along with a number of its own who are believed to be part of the international terror network.

Some of them have been found to be coordinating activities with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Indian underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.

Bangladesh has been a safe haven for these groups, particularly since 1991, according to senior officials of Bangladesh's elite para-military organisation, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

India has been fighting against Islamist groups, the militant groups based in its northeastern region, who it says use Bangladesh as a staging post for their operations.

Activities of Indian insurgents belonging to the United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa), some of whose top leaders were nabbed with Dhaka's help also came up in their discussion, the website reported quoting unnamed sources.

The LeT has for long been a security concern for India. It has come under sharper focus after 10 LeT terrorists carried out the November 2008 attack in Mumbai.