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Experts for developing BIMSTEC security model

FE Report | July 31, 2019 00:00:00

Security analysts on Tuesday suggested the Bay of Bengal countries develop a cooperative security model to enhance peace and stability in the region.

They were speaking at the inaugural session of the second meeting of the Track 1.5 BIMSTEC Security Dialogue Forum at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) here.

At the event, Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, security affairs adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said cooperative security can serve as an ideal mode of security cooperation.

Such cooperation might enhance regional security among the littoral states which have more common interests and common threats than opposing interests, he added.

Following Bangladesh's success in combating terrorism, Mr Siddique said, Sheikh Hasina has adopted a "zero-tolerance" policy against illicit drugs.

He accentuated the development of a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mechanism under BIMSTEC (The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation).

Representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand are participating in the three-day dialogue.

Track 1.5 BIMSTEC Security Dialogue Forum is a platform to facilitate security dialogue among the BIMSTEC strategic community.

Its first meeting took place in New Delhi in September 2017 with the participation of both government officials and scholars from member states.

BIMSTEC was established in 1997 with intent to enhance economic, physical and people-to-people connectivity in the region.

It has subsequently added counter-terrorism and transnational crime (CTTC) as a new sector of cooperation as it sees peace and stability as a prerequisite for sustainable economic development.

At the event, BIMSTEC secretary general Ambassador M Shahidul Islam said CTTC has become the most active sector of cooperation with frequent meetings and a well-developed institutional mechanism.

Over the years, he said, the scope to include subjects like maritime security, cyber-security, space security, disaster management, climate change and other traditional and non-traditional concerns in CTTC has expanded.

Presided by BIISS director general Maj Gen AKM Abdur Rahman and acting foreign secretary of Bangladesh Kamrul Ahsan also spoke at the session.

He reiterated a strong commitment of Bangladesh to the regional cooperation process under the BIMSTEC framework.


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