Border settlement key issue between India, Bangladesh: Envoy

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

AGARTALA - Resolving the long-pending boundary disputes between India and Bangladesh is the core issue between the two neighbours, Bangladesh High Commissioner Tariq A. Karim said Wednesday.

“Besides the 6.5-km disputed boundary, there are undemarcated enclaves and adverse possession of land along the border with India and Bangladesh,” Karim told IANS.

“There are borders which are peculiarly configured. Without knowing the social and cultural history, Sir Cyril Radcliffe (then Border Commissions chairman) demarcated the border,” he said.

Five Indian states - West Bengal, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Assam and Tripura - share a 4,095-km border with Bangladesh. This include 2,979 km of land border and 1,116 km of riverine.

According to Karim, the Joint Boundary Working Group of Bangladesh and India is holding talks in New Delhi to broadly address long-pending boundary disputes.

The Bangladesh envoy, who visited Agartala in connection with the two-day visit of Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, said: “Both Bangladesh and India are now developing infrastructure along the border to boost trade and business between the two neighbours.”

He said the Joint Working Group on Trade has identified 14 of the 26 integrated checkposts and land customs stations along the India-Bangladesh border to enhance the trade and business.

“Infrastructure of these stations is being upgraded,” he said.

Karim said that he would soon propose to set up Bangladesh deputy high commission offices in Mumbai, Chennai and Guwahati.

The Bangladesh deputy high commission in Kolkata held visa camps at Siliguri in West Bengal and Guwahati in Assam recently to ease the inconvenience to visa-seekers who want to visit Bangladesh.

“If more Indians are willing to go to Bangladesh frequently, such visa camps would be held in different places of northeast and eastern India more often,” said Karim, accompanied by Kolkata-based Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner Mustafizur Rahman.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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