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IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Boundary news Headlines

India and Bangladesh agree to territory swap

(18 June 2015)

India and Bangladesh have signed an agreement to exchange more than 150 territorial enclaves, ending an over forty year boundary dispute that affects nearly 52,000 residents on either side of the border. The agreement was signed by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during Modi’s visit to Dhaka, and involves the exchange of territorial enclaves as well as allowing residents to determine where they want to live and their new nationality.

The territorial dispute between India and Bangladesh dates back to colonial-era border demarcation, when an agreement between princely states resulted in enclaves of foreign territory inside each country. Residents of the enclaves lack public services and are, as the BBC noted, “in effect stateless.” The land swap will simplify the boundary and is accompanied by the establishment of bus services along the border.

Both countries applauded the agreement, with Modi stating that, "We have shown political consolidation and goodwill with the signing of this deal.” The Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali described the agreement as "a historic milestone in the relationship between the two neighbouring south Asian countries." The two countries also signed trade and security investment deals during their meeting, including £2.8 billion investments in power and £1.2 billion credit line for Bangladesh.

Sources:

India and Bangladesh sign historic territory swap deal, 6 June 2015, BBC News, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-33033342

India, Bangladesh sign historic land boundary agreement, 6 June 2015, by Serajul Quadir for Reuters, http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/06/06/bangladesh-india-land-treaty-idINKBN0OM0IV20150606