Journalists from Bangladesh and India have stressed the need for strengthening relations between the two neighbouring countries to curb terrorism, militancy and other security concerns.
They were speaking at the first session of the third day of ‘Bangladesh-India Media Dialogue-2018’ at Radisson Blu Dhaka Water Garden in the capital on Wednesday.
The journalists highlighted issues relating to border killings, human trafficking and smuggling among the many challenges pertaining to border security between the two neighbours.
With the theme, ‘Bangladesh-India security concern and mutual cooperation’, Institute of Conflict, Law and Development Studies (ICLDS) organised the three-day dialogue.
With Dr Mashiur Rahman, economic affairs adviser to the Prime Minister, in the chair, Zayadul Ahsan Pintu, editor of DBC News, and Bharat Bhushan, ex-editor of Catch News, presented two keynote papers at the event.
Mozammel Babu, chief editor of private satellite television channel Ekattor TV and advisor of ICLDS, moderated the session.
In the keynote speech, Zayadul Ahsan Pintu said, “Dhaka has already suffered from India’s neutral stand on the Rohingya crisis because India needs Myanmar to counter China.”
“As the China-India competition is getting more and more tense, Dhaka will be put in a more difficult position with Delhi,” he added.
In the keynote speech, Bharat Bhushan said, “Security agencies blamed porous border for smuggling. Smugglers use India-Bangladesh border for smuggling of arms and other things.”
He termed the Rohingya refugee issue a major security threat.
Mentioning the citizenship crisis in Assam of India, Dr Mashiur Rahman said Assamese citizenship issue is a security concern for Bangladesh.
Media Adviser to Awami League president Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury said Bangladesh’s relations with China should not be misunderstood by India.
He said this is an election year and we have sought a positive role from Indian media.
Chowdhury further said the Indian Prime Minister assured Bangladesh of resolving the Teesta issue within the period of the current government.
From Indian side, Kallol Bhattacherjee, Vineeta Panday and Proloy Shawarma, took part in the open discussion of the session.
From Bangladesh side, Lt Gen M Harun-Ar-Rashid, Ishfaq Ilahi, Col Sajjad Zahir, former IGP Dr Enamul Haq, Haroon Habib, acting secretary general of the Sector Commanders’ Forum, and journalist Masuda Bhatti spoke on the occasion.
Kallol Bhattacherjee said the role of the politicians is the most important to address security issues.
Ishfaq Ilahi said, “If we could stop smuggling through border then we can stop killing in the border.
Around 70 prominent journalists from the both countries, including 23 from India, took part in the bilateral dialogue.