Secret! India & Bangladesh Refuse to Discuss Radar Memorandum

  • With the help of such a system, it is possible to receive advance news of a terrorist attack on the seafront.
  • Neither India nor Bangladesh has officially revealed the details of what is in that document.
  • Bangladesh has developed a very close economic and military relationship with China since the last three years.

India and Bangladesh signed a series of memorandums of understanding Saturday, one of which will  jointly launch a ‘coastal surveillance’ system. Although no details have been provided by the two countries, it is initially known that India will help establish a modern radar system in the coastal areas of Bangladesh according to this agreement. The move is also said to ensure maritime security in the Bay of Bengal.

Sheikh Hasina is a Bangladeshi politician serving as the 10th Prime Minister of Bangladesh, having held the office since January 2009. She is the longest serving prime minister in the history of Bangladesh.

The last of the seven surveillance memorandums between the two countries was handed over to the Coastal Surveillance in the presence of the Prime Ministers of India and Bangladesh at Hyderabad House in Delhi on Saturday. The document was titled ‘MoU to provide a coastal surveillance system’ to Bangladesh.

With the help of such a system, it is possible to receive advance news of a terrorist attack on the seafront – as it did in the commercial capital of India a decade ago. In the presence of Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina, the document was handed over to India by Mostafa Kamal Uddin, Home Secretary of Bangladesh.

The Indian ambassador to Dhaka, Riva Ganguly Das, handed over their document to Bangladesh on behalf of India. However, 24 hours later, neither India nor Bangladesh has officially revealed the details of what is in that document. India’s official sources are saying just that this will be a very important step in ensuring maritime security along the Bay of Bengal.

According to this agreement, the same type of radar system that India will set up on the coast of Bangladesh has already been installed in the Indian Ocean Islands, such as Mauritius, Seychelles, and Maldives. Apart from this, there is the talk of setting up another such radar system on the Indian side of Myanmar. It is also said that such a deal could pave the way for a “White Shipping Agreement” between India and Bangladesh in the coming days.

If such agreements are between the two countries, their naval forces are already exchanging all information with each other about the movement of commercial vessels. The details of why India is willing to deploy this modern radar system on the coast of Bangladesh have not yet been explained.

However, Syed Mahmood Ali, from the Kuala Lumpur Malay University believes that whatever the official agreement on behalf of the two countries, the real purpose of the state-of-the-art surveillance system that is being developed in different islands of the Indian Ocean is to monitor the movement of the Chinese navy. He says, “India’s concern about China, and China’s deep ties with Bangladesh, must be activated by the Indian government, to prove that they have some influence on Bangladesh as well.” He believes that such a radar system would be established if it was placed on the territory of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh and India are South Asian neighbors. Relations have been friendly, although sometimes there are border disputes. In December 1971, India intervened in the Bangladesh Liberation War, on behalf of East Pakistan, and helped secure its independence from Pakistan as the country of Bangladesh.

Challenge of Balance of Bangladesh

Bangladesh has developed a very close economic and military relationship with China for the last three years. This relationship has taken a profound form over the past six years, that is, during the current government. Bangladesh has received enormous help and cooperation from China in the modernization of its armed forces, especially airplanes and navy, for the last 27 years.

“There is no end to India’s anger over this,” a former Indian Navy chief criticized Bangladesh in very rude language. He added that Bangladesh’s Prime Minister told Indian journalists that the country will take whatever help it can for the sake of its own development, and for the sake of the country’s security. “There is no reason to worry about India.”

He says that India, China, and the US has created ‘Strategic Triangle Dynamics’, which has global importance. Since Bangladesh is close to both India and China, it is bound to have an impact on the country.

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Benedict Kasigara

I have been working as a freelance editor/writer since 2006. My specialist subject is film and television having worked for over 10 years from 2005 during which time I was the editor of the BFI Film and Television.


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