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Monmohan's Visit of Bangladesh: The implications and aftermath

Edit Date:9/24/2011 12:00:00 AM

Executive Summery

Both Bangladesh and India were making attempts for a comprehensive resolution for the pending issues. India better understands that, transit will remain a dream if all issues are not addressed. In this returning visit to his counterpart Sheikh Hasina’s one in January 2010, Monmohan Singh in fact was looking to finalize the transit deal; but domestic political complexities or last-minute strategic calculation by India resulted in the postponement of Teesta treaty. As a consequence, Bangladesh government due to the potential domestic political uproar within the country remained far from signing the transit deal with India. It is acknowledgeable that, Land Boundary Agreement dealing with some legacy issues -- exchange of enclaves and adversely possessed land, demarcation of 6.5 km of un-demarcated border, allowing Bangladeshis to use "Tin Bigha Corridor" for 24 hours is a significant development, if implemented. On the other hand, no important development is seen regarding the power deal and 1 billion dollar credit line. Similarly, no discussion took place on stopping the construction of Tipaimukh dam and dealings like overland transport connectivity in the Southeast region of Asia. There is a school of thought in Bangladesh comprising of academia, civil society and other intellectuals who tend to focus on the shared culture, traditions and history between Bangladesh and India while putting emphasis on the need for increased cooperation. There is another school in Bangladesh including many scholars in Dhaka University, especially in the department of international relations who advocate that in the age of globalization there is no reason of not having a strong connectivity between Bangladesh and India. We should not depend on a bilateral system making India utmost dominant. A viable relation with great power China is also urgent to render a balance. We have many cards to use while negotiating with India and China. We should not make mistake by being trapped by one great power in the region. This article is aimed to see the whole gamut of bilateral cooperation during the present government with a pro-Indian stance having special focus on agreements: what India took and paid back to Bangladesh, followed by a short analysis on future implication of the present venture between two governments.

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