Modi govt softens stance on Bangladesh border disputes

Dhaka: The Indian leadership apparently has softened its stance towards Bangladesh on its long-running border disputes though there was a credibility deficiency in the past.

Dhaka: The Indian leadership apparently has softened its stance towards Bangladesh on its long-running border disputes though there was a credibility deficiency in the past.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s parliamentary advisor Shuranjit Sengupta expressed optimism when his attention was drawn to a press report from New Delhi that the Land Boundary Agreement(LBA) would not be passed by the winter session of the Indian Parliament that ended Tuesday.

“I firmly believe that the LBA agreement would be settled this time,” Sengupta told IANS.

“So what if the bill is not passed by the current session? We had waited almost four decades for ratification of the bill. We will wait for one or two sessions of Indian parliament. I believe the Narendra Modi government would settle the dispute.”

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Sheikh Hasina twice in recent months - first in New York and then in Nepal. During their meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and SAARC summit, Modi assured Hasina that the LBA and the Teesta water sharing issues would soon be resolved.

Sengupta, who is also a member of the ruling Awami League(AL) advisory council, said now new realities have arisen to get the positive attitude of the Indian government towards passing the bill, thereby strengthening bilateral relations.

He said the people of Bangladesh were looking forward to get the LBA bill passed to implement Mujib-Indira agreement signed in 1974. Bangladesh shares a 4,100-km porous border with India. Both sides have over 100 enclaves each, many of adverse possession.

Sengupta expressed the hope that the next session of the Indian parliament would pass the bill.