India, Bangladesh resolve to fight terror together

Bilateral relations see a growth

India, Bangladesh resolve to fight terror together

India and Bangladesh on Sunday discussed the common challenge of terrorism and resolved to fight it together even as New Delhi reaffirmed its status as a reliable development partner of Dhaka.

"We are both determined to protect our societies from the threat of ideologies of hate, violence and terror by adopting a zero tolerance policy and a comprehensive approach in fighting violent extremism and terrorism at all levels," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said after talks with the Bangladeshi side as part of the fourth Joint Consultative Commission.

Swaraj, who arrived here on a two-day visit, said "India has been a longstanding and reliable development partner of Bangladesh".

"Totally, three lines of credit amounting to $ 8 billion have been extended by India to Bangladesh so far. This is by far the largest development assistance that India has extended to any country worldwide," she said.

She said restoration of pre-1965 links encompassing road, rail, water and coastal shipping links is being planned to increase connectivity, citing increase in frequency of the Dhaka-Maitri express and added that the Indian Mission and Posts in Bangladesh issued 9.76 lakh visas in 2016 and it is expected to grow to about 14 lakh visas in 2017.

Swaraj said India will also offer five-year multiple entry visas for Bangladeshi freedom fighters and is planning a scheme for their medical treatment in India.

The development is also seen as India's attempt to counter rising Chinese influence in Bangladesh, where Beijing is trying to make inroads in infrastructure ventures.

Fuel deal signed

Bangladesh on Sunday signed a long-term sales and purchase agreement with an Indian refiner to import gasoil to meet the country's energy demand, officials said.

The deal between Bangladesh Petroleum Corp (BPC) and Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), a majority of which is owned by Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), was signed in presence of India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Under the deal, BPC will take up to 2,50,000 tonnes of gasoil each year from NRL for the first three years of the deal to the BPC's northern fuel depot via a 131-km pipeline, which will be built by India.

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