India to pass bill over exchanges of enclaves with Bangladesh

Indian parliament admits bill which enables to exchange some enclaves with Bangladesh in accordance with 1974 Land Boundary Agreement

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Indian parliament on Thursday passed a legislation bill that changes one of the country’s historic constitutional amendments regarding the Land Boundary Agreement signed with Bangladesh in 1974.

The parliamentary bill reviewed India’s demarcation with Bangladesh by ensuring the exchange of several enclaves between the two countries.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has eulogised the parliamentary act that redraws the long-disputed borders between India and its former constituent state of Bangladesh.

"Today a historic milestone has been reached in India-Bangladesh relations after the passing of the Constitutional Amendment by Parliament," Indian PM Modi wrote on his official Twitter account on Thursday.

Modi stated that the parliamentary changes will provide a “permanent settlement" and resolve all "long-pending boundary issues" with Bangladesh which India has border problems since 1971.

"This would contribute to a stable and peaceful boundary, better management and coordination of the border and will lead to enhanced security as well," said the one-year incumbent Indian PM.

"This reflects the collective will of the nation to build constructive relations with our neighbours," Modi added.

India and Bangladesh have almost 200 enclaves alongside their wide borders, 106 of which belong to New Delhi while 92 others owned by Dakka.

Bangladesh’s war of liberation against Pakistan brought its sovereignty in 1971 when the country was named as Bangladesh instead of East Pakistan.

However, border problems which occupy a central place in the agenda of Indian-Pakistani and Indian-Bangladeshi relations can be traced back to the partition of British India in 1947.

Since then the parties have some porous borders especially in Kashmir region which was divided between India and Pakistan and that caused some military conflicts in the days of yore.

Fighting between Indian forces and rebels seeking independence or a merger of the territory with Pakistan has killed tens of thousands- mostly civilians- since 1989.

The two countries went to war over the territory twice, in 1947 and 1965, and fought a smaller scale conflict in 1999.


TRTWorld and agencies