Indo-Bangla border row to be resolved within 2011?

Seeking to resolve their vexed boundary dispute, India and Bangladesh have completed joint survey along the international border in 80 per cent areas.

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2011, 19:43 PM IST

New Delhi: Seeking to resolve their vexed
boundary dispute, India and Bangladesh have completed joint survey along the international border in 80 per cent areas.

As a first step, both India and Bangladesh have
started identifying adversely-held enclaves which is expected
to be completed within a month.

There are around 130 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and
95 Bangladeshi enclaves within Indian territory along the
4,098-km-long border between the two countries.

Before, the identification of the enclaves, India will
complete the head count at the adversely held enclaves by May
15. A similar exercise is also undergoing in Bangladesh.

"Once both sides agree upon areas that the other side
possesses, the only task remaining would be to exchange them,"
a government official said.

The key challenge remaining now for both the countries
is overcoming the "difference of opinion" on patches located
in Meghalaya, which is hardly 20 per cent of the total areas
under dispute. There are 11 such areas in Meghalaya.

"We hope to resolve the dispute in Meghalaya as soon
as possible," the official said.

Once the problem on the ground is resolved, Home
Minister P Chidambaram may undertake a visit to Dhaka to carry forward the process into its logical conclusion.
Either Chidambaram or Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
who is also expected to visit the neighbouring country by
year-end, will sign the agreements with the Bangladeshi
counterpart.

The pact will cover all outstanding border issues in
line with the Land Boundary Agreement, 1974.

The fresh initiative has been taken following an
agreement at the Home Secretary-level talks between India and
Bangladesh held in Dhaka early this year.

Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai and his Bangladeshi
counterpart Abdus Sobhan Sikdar had agreed to initiate steps
to resolve the common border dispute.

PTI