BGB-BSF talks begin today

Muktadir Rashid | Published: 09:39, Sep 15,2020 | Updated: 01:17, Sep 16,2020


The top-level border conference between the Border Guard Bangladesh and the Indian Border Security Force, which was postponed on Sunday, would begin today, officials in Dhaka said on Tuesday.

It will now be a four-day meeting till September 19, which was initially scheduled to be a six-day event from September 13 to 18, Bangladesh officials told New Age on Monday night.

The conference was postponed in the last minute citing a ‘technical glitch’ in the aircraft that was set to fly the BSF delegation to Dhaka, according to an announcement of the BGB.

BGB public relations officer Shariful Islam in a  statement on Tuesday said that the director general-level conference would begin on Wednesday and continue until September 19.

The statement read that the formal talks would begin at 10:45am on Thursday at the BGB headquarters at Pilkhana in the capital.

BGB DG Major General Md Shafeenul Islam would lead a 13-member team comprising his commanders and members from the prime minister’s office and the foreign ministry, among others.

The six-member Indian delegation would be led by BSF’s newly-appointed director general Rakesh Asthana, a 1984-batch Indian Police Service officer from the Gujarat cadre.

Prior to his current position, Asthana was the director-general of India’s Bureau of Civil Aviation Security with the additional charge of the director-general of the country’s Narcotics Control Bureau.

The BGB said that the conference would conclude with the signing of a Joint Record of Discussions at 8:30am on September 19. The BSF delegation would leave Dhaka the same day.

Earlier on Sunday, the postponement of the conference followed the failure of the BSF aircraft carrying the delegation to take off due to a reported technical glitch in the aircraft, according to officials in Dhaka.

The Bangladesh side is expected to once again push for a halt to killings of people along the border by the Indian BSF, while both sides are likely to discuss how to contain cross-border smuggling.

Different aspects of border management would also figure in the talks, officials said.

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