We’re Against Border Killings; It’s Unfortunate: Hasan Mahmud

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud. Photo: Collected

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud. Photo: Collected

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud on Wednesday said border killing is very unfortunate and they are in regular consultations with India to ensure that border forces don’t apply any force that might cause fatalities.

“We are against border killings. We – the two countries - are working so that it does not happen. We are working in that direction. We are in regular consultations,” he told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The foreign minister made the remarks when a journalist wanted to know Bangladesh’s position regarding recent border killings.

Two young men from Bangladesh were reportedly shot and killed by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) on Wednesday, as they allegedly tried to cross into India near Tetulia upazila in Panchagarh.

Minister Hasan said the issue of killings along the border will be discussed when Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra comes to Bangladesh.

He said India is Bangladesh’s immediate neighbour and they have many issues with India. “Naturally, different issues will be discussed.”

Kwarta is likely to be in Dhaka tonight (Wednesday) as part of "high-level exchanges" between the two countries.

He is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud on Thursday.

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen will host a lunch in honour of his Indian counterpart during his brief visit.

Speculations are rife regarding the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India within the next couple of months.

The preparatory issues may also come up for discussion during Indian FS's engagements in Dhaka, said a diplomatic source.

Though there was no official announcement from Dhaka and New Delhi regarding the visit, the Indian FS was scheduled to be in Dhaka on a brief visit on April 20 but it was postponed.

“Look, elections are underway there (in India). It (visit) was postponed because of various internal (India's) reasons,” Foreign Minister Hasan told reporters when asked about the reasons behind the postponement of the visit at that time.

Diplomatic sources indicate that PM Hasina's visit to India is planned for early July, after the conclusion of the neighbouring country’s election.

Pre-election surveys suggest a strong showing for the coalition led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is widely anticipated to secure re-election.

"Prime Minister's (Sheikh Hasina) India visit will definitely take place. However, it will take place after the election in India," FM Hasan said recently.

He said it is not yet discussed at the official level when the visit will exactly take place.

In January, Modi extended warm congratulations to PM Hasina on her electoral victory, expressing hopes for the continued strengthening of the historically close ties between India and Bangladesh.

The last bilateral engagement between the two prime ministers occurred during the G-20 Leaders Summit in September 2023, where Bangladesh was the guest country.

PM Modi is expected to extend invitations to South Asian and BIMSTEC country leaders for his swearing-in ceremony, fostering regional cooperation.

The government of India in March extended Kwatra's tenure by six months.

Kwatra assumed charge as India’s foreign secretary on 1 May, 2022 and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1988._UNB 

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