Connect with us

Chari Talks

India and Bangladesh Sign Enclaves Agreement

Sheshadri Chari

Published

on

The first two Constituent Assemblies of Pakistan (1947 and 1955) were elected indirectly by provincial assemblies. The provincial level elections were held on the basis of universal adult franchise in 1951-54. The provincial assemblies in the Punjab and Sindh were elected in March and December 1951 respectively. North-Western Frontier Province, NWFP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) held the provincial election in March 1953 and the East Bengal (East Pakistan) Provincial Assembly was elected in March 1954.
General Ayub Khan, Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army, assumed power in October 1958 in a coup against the tottering civilian government. He introduced a new Presidential Constitution in 1962 that provided for indirect elections for the national and provincial assemblies. The electoral-college comprised the elected members of local bodies called the Basic Democracy who were elected directly in 1959 and 1964. Eighty-thousand members of Basic Democracy elected the National Assembly and the two Provincial Assemblies of East and West Pakistan in 1962 and 1965. The same electoral-college reposed confidence in Ayub Khan as the President and Chief Martial Law Administrator in a referendum held in February 1960.
He was elected by the members of Basic Democracy for the second term in January 1965. No direct elections were held at the national/federal level during 1947-1970.
The 1970 elections laid the foundations for the creation of Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and the 2013 elections laid the foundations of a secular democratic Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh’s daughter Sheikh Hasina. India’s role then and now is equally important and significant.

India’s ties with Bangladesh comprise various dimensions—civilisational; cultural/religious; social; and economic. These two countries, like two children born of the same mother, are organically linked—with their common heritage and shared history, common memories of tragic loss and the separation of families in massive scales following epic events in their contemporary histories. The cultural cords that tie them to each other are strong as is their peoples’ passion for music, literature and the arts. These historical ties translate into multi-dimensional—and ever-expanding—bilateral relations between the two nations.

Geographical locations of India and Bangladesh complement each other and present an opportunity for both nations to further strengthen their connectivities and economies. Prior to the partition of India in 1947, the trade and commerce of India’s northeastern regions with the rest of the country used to pass through the territories of what is now Bangladesh. Rail and river transit across the erstwhile East Pakistan continued until March 1965 when, as a consequence of the India-Pakistan War, all transit traffic was suspended. Only river transit was restored in 1972 without much progress however until fairly recently. Enhancing bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh promises to provide exponential benefits for both countries. For India, in particular, transit and transshipment across Bangladesh is important as it is expected to boost the economy of India’s Northeast. Developments in connectivity hold a well of promise for transforming India’s eastern and northeastern states, including the city of Kolkata in West Bengal. India’s northeastern regions are resource-rich: they are home to huge reservoirs of oil and gas, coal, limestone, forest wealth, and fauna and flora. The region is a vibrant source of India’s largest perennial water system, the river Brahmaputra and its tributaries, which can be tapped for energy, irrigation and transportation. India’s Northeast may serve as a gateway for Bangladesh’s enhanced access to India as the country is surrounded by India from three sides and may, in the long run, promote bilateral trade relations. West Bengal is positioned to be a major beneficiary of enhanced India-Bangladesh connectivity. India and Bangladesh share a border of some 4,096 km., of which almost 1,880 km is within India’s Northeast (1,434 km is land border; 446 km is riverine tract). Besides West Bengal, four northeastern states—namely, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram—share international borders with Bangladesh.1 With the exception of Meghalaya, the remaining northeastern states share both land and riverine borders with Bangladesh, and among them, Tripura and Mizoram have the longest land and riverine borders with Bangladesh. India’s Northeast is connected with the rest of India by a 22-km-wide stretch of land called the Chicken’s Neck, which passes through a hilly terrain with steep roads and multiple hairpin bends. Agartala is 1,650 km from Kolkata via Shillong and Guwahati, while the distance between Agartala and Kolkata via Bangladesh is just about 350 km. Moreover, the distance between important cities of Bangladesh and northeast India falls within the range of 20 to 200 km.
Both New Delhi and Dhaka have sought to overcome this longstanding distrust in recent years, with reciprocal state visits as well as negotiations for some important agreements to advance trade and commercial ties, resolve long-standing border disputes, and facilitate river-water sharing and land connectivity across Bangladesh. For example, while the Land Border and River Water sharing agreements still face obstacles in India, relations are at present the best that have been in many years: economic ties have improved and counterterrorism cooperation is being strengthened. Still, the question remains: Can the formal ‘bilateral communiqué’ of 2010 be a game-changer for India-Bangladesh relations?
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Chari Talks

Good Drama Bad Governance

Sheshadri Chari

Published

on


Delhi chief minister Mr.Arvind Kejriwal seems to be suffering from a pathological condition of confronting with any constitutional authority. His constant theatrics and instant dramatics has ruined his party’s credibility and chance of winning future elections

Continue Reading

Chari Talks

If Terrorism has no Religion what is the logic behind ramzan ceasefire ?

Sheshadri Chari

Published

on

If terrorism has no religion, how can ceasefire have religion? Ramzan ceasefire failure. It was a one-sided announcement by the GOI which was not respected by the terrorists. The GOI will have to serious rethinking on its policy towards fighting terrorism. Also, there is an urgent need to infuse fresh blood into teams that are entrusted with the task of taking care of internal security in Jammu and Kashmir or in Naxal-Maoist affected areas or elsewhere.

Continue Reading

Chari Talks

North East votes for development

Sheshadri Chari

Published

on

 The BJP’s spectacular victory in the recently held elections in three states of North East reiterates the faith people have in its development agenda. The victory also underlines the need for BJP to take the electoral victory seriously and develop North East so as to be the gateway to South East Asia.
Continue Reading

HW News Live TV

Headline

One Min News

Popular Stories