INDIA BANGLADESH. RELATIONSHIP

In 1971, the war of independence between east Pakistan(Bangladesh) and the West Pakistan , the independence of Bangladesh, India was the first country to recognise Bangladesh as a separate and independent nation and established diplomatic relations immediately after its independence. Our relationship is based on the shared values of secularism, democracy, and various other commonalities between the two nations. Both countries as a united India  before Independence  contribute their efforts to fight against colonialism.

India and Bangladesh shares 4096.7 km of border, which is the longest land boundary that India shares among its neighbours. India – Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement which was signed in 1974 and came into force in June 2015 following the exchange of instrument of ratification. On July 31, 2015 both countries exchanged enclaves and strip maps were signed. Maritime Boundary was also settled as per UNCLOS award on 7th July 2014.

River waters

India and Bangladesh shares 54 common rivers among them. A bilateral Joint Rivers Commission (JRC) is working since June 1972 to maintain liaison and to maximize benefits from common river systems. The Ganga Waters Treaty signed in 1996 for sharing  of waters is working very successfully.

Teesta River dispute: Historically the root of the dispute over the River can be located in the report of the boundary Commission Which was set up in 1947 under Sir cyril redcliff to demarcate the boundary line between West Bengal (India) and East Bengal (Pakistan, then  Bangladesh from 1971). During East Bengal’s days as a part of Pakistan no serious dialogue took place on water issues between India and East Pakistan. In 1972, India Bangladesh joint River Commission was established . The River is Bangladesh’s 4th largest trans boundary river for irrigation and fishing. In 1983 an ad hoc arrangement on sharing of waters  from the Teesta was made, according to which Bangladesh got 36% and India 39% of the waters while the remaining 25% remain unallocated.

TRADE AND ECONOMY

India -. Bangladesh first trade agreement was signed in 1972. Bilateral trade among  both countris has grown steadily grown over the last decade. India has provided  quota free duty free access to Bangladesh on all tariff lines except alcohol and tobacco under South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) since 2011. Four Border Haats, two each in Tripura and Maghalya are being operating for the benefit of bordering communities. Total Indian investment proposals in Bangladesh registered with Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) has exceed over US$ 3 billion. India’s FDI in 2015-16 has reached over US$ 88 million.

POWER

Government to government power trade from India to Bangladesh is more than 1300 MW. India’s state run Bharat Electrical  Limited (BHEL) is building rampal coal fired power plant in Bangladesh. Indian private sector fiants such as TATA and ADANI are also investion in Banglsdesh’s power sector.

CONNECTIVITY

As a confidential building measure and boosting connectivity both nations have signed various agreements such as , two trans services, Maitri and Bandhan run between Kolkata and Dhaka. The new Kolkata – Dhaka – Agartala bus service via Dhaka was started in  2016. So in order to counter threat to connectivity to north-eastern states of India via silguri corridor India has taken several steps to boost connectivity via Bangladesh. In 2017 Bangladesh allowed indian vessels to dock at Chttagong port. Trucks carrying indian goods reached tripura from Ashuganj port in Bangladesh on June 19 2016, making the long cherished idea of trans shipment into reality.

Diesel pipeline, which India is constructing from silguri to Parbatpur(Bangladesh) for supply of speed diesel as a grant in aid.

Both countries also have defence cooperation pacts to fight against terrorism, illegal trafficking, black marketing etc. There is joint – military exercises among both the nations which shows  good cooperation, trust and friendship between the nations.

ISSUES TO BE RESOLVED:

  • The Teesta Water issues in not fully resolved yet.
  • Tipaimukh project on the River Barak has been a sensitive issue for Bandladesh.
  • The issur of illegal immigrants is a major issue among north eastern states which Bangladesh denies
  • The Ganges River Water Treaty will expire in 2026
  • Rohingya issue

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