The 5-day director general (DG) level border conference between Border Guard Bangladesh (BSF) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) ended here at BGB headquarters renewing the consensus in bringing down the border killings to zero level.
The conference, which began on July 17, ended today (Thursday) with signing a Joint Record of Discussion (JRD).
DG BGB Major General Shakil Ahmed was leading 20-member Bangladesh delegation, while his counterpart DG BSF Shri Pankaj Kumar Singh led a 9-member Indian delegation at the talks.
Both sides agreed to bring down the killing, injuring and beating unarmed nationals of both countries to zero by adopting extra precautionary measures along the border, such as, increasing Coordinated Patrols specially during the latter part of Night until morning.
Both sides also agreed to undertake joint efforts to bring down the number of incidents of assault and border crime by intensifying various initiatives like public awareness programmes, undertaking appropriate socio-economic developmental programmes in vulnerable areas, educating border population about the sanctity of IB (international Border) and also agreed to preventing criminals and inhabitants from crossing the IB.
Briefing reporters at the BGB headquarters after signing the JRD, BGB DG Maj Gen Shakil Ahmed said that they have both agreed to bring down the border killings to zero with the joint initiatives of the two countries.
The BGB chief also said that the issue of border killings was discussed in the meeting very seriously and "we agreed that both sides not only will reduce border killings, but reduce the incidents to zero level."
He said the two sides openly discussed all issues related to the border including killings at the border. "We have agreed on everything," he said.
When asked why casualties are not stopped despite agreement reached every year BSF chief Pankaj Kumar Singh said, "we hear the same question every year. Our relationship with Bangladesh is very different and different from western countries. We are constantly discussing the border issue at various levels."
Criminals are in both countries. Both countries have good and bad people. The improvement in border killing situation was good last year. This year is getting better. There are good and bad people in every society of the two countries, the DG BSF added.
Claiming that relationship between the two border forces are better than before, he also said that the BSF have started using non-lethal weapons to reduce border killings.
Meanwhile, the conference highlighted the importance of Coordinated Border Management Plan (CBMP) in curbing the menace of smuggling contrabands, such as, various narcotics (especially Yaba), fire arms, FICN, gold etc and both sides agreed to remain cautious and steadfast to stop smuggling through sharing of real time information and also agreed to active anti-smuggling efforts through optimum involvement and pursuance.
To enhance mutual understanding and bi-lateral relation between the two friendly forces both sides agreed to resume all activities under the framework of CBMP (Coordinated Border Management Plan) as the COVID situation improves gradually.
Finally, both sides agreed to reflect the commitment and decision of the conference at the ground level in true spirit to maintain the peace and tranquility at the border.