India-Bangladesh Relations

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  • The India-Bangladesh Border: A New Beginning

    In the wake of the resolution of several contentious issues, India and Bangladesh must cooperate to create a border that not only enhances trade efficiency but is also secure.

    October 10, 2011

    India-Bangladesh Relations: Towards Convergence

    India-Bangladesh Relations: Towards Convergence
    • Publisher: Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

    Taking note of the strategic importance of India and Bangladesh for each other, the report cautions against complacency and argues that the Indian PM’s visit provides an opportunity to take India-Bangladesh relations to a higher trajectory and move towards a strategic partnership. The significance of strong India-Bangladesh ties goes beyond the bilateral context. Good relations between India and Bangladesh will have positive influence on the region. Regional countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar and Thailand will benefit from trade and transit connectivity between India and Bangladesh.

    • ISBN 81-86019-91-X ,
    • Price: ₹. 175/-
    • E-copy available

    Illegal Bangladeshi Migration to India: Impact on Internal Security

    Migration, a worldwide phenomenon, has often been seen as beneficial for both the sending and receiving countries. However, post-9/11, the phenomenon is seen as a mixed blessing. It is also being realised that it is impossible to check illegal migration unless the sending country cooperates. In South Asia, India has been at the receiving end of the problem of illegal immigration from Bangladesh. This paper argues that such illegal migration is posing a threat to internal security because the issue has not been properly securitised.

    January 2011

    India's Neighbourhood Policy: Perceptions from Bangladesh

    Security has been a major driving force of India's neighbourhood policy. India's sympathies with democratic forces and its aversion to extra-regional presence are all geared to optimise its security interest, which is ensconced in its principal belief of a stable neighbourhood while engaging in a mutually beneficial relationship. Within this broad framework, this paper attempts to study Bangladesh's reaction to these parameters of India's neighbourhood policy.

    January 2011

    Enclaves and Adverse Possessions: Time to deliver on the promise

    With a friendly dispensation in Dhaka, it is an opportune moment for India to deliver on its promise to exchange the enclaves and surrender adverse possessions.

    December 27, 2010

    Water Security for India: The External Dynamics

    Water Security for India: The External Dynamics
    • Publisher: Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

    India is facing a serious water resource problem and as trends suggest, it is expected to become 'water stressed' by 2025 and 'water scarce' by 2050. Premised on this, this IDSA Report raises fundamental questions about the forces driving water demand and the political dynamics of riparian relations, both in terms of hindrances and opportunities, amongst states in the subcontinent.

    • ISBN 81-86019-83-9 ,
    • Price: ₹. 350/-
    • E-copy available

    Abhishek Madhukar Chaudhari asked: Why is India is so selective in choosing partners in its neighborhood? E.g. Awami League of Bangladesh or Democracy in Pakistan?

    Smruti Pattanaik replies: I do not agree that India is selective in choosing its partners in neighborhood. India has always liked to see democratic and secular governments in the neighbouring countries that represent people’s aspiration. The military regimes in the neighbouring countries are antithesis of these values. In the past, India has however has done business with the military regimes. But that does not detract it from these core values.

    India was closely associated with Awami League during the liberation struggle. Awami league represents some of the core principles that India represents and values democracy, pluralism and secularism. Moreover AL’s feels cooperation with India would help Bangladesh. If one looks at the BNP and the political values it represents its hesitancy to develop good relations with India is clearly apparent. Therefore, it is just not India’s preference of one over the other it depends on the domestic constituencies of the political parties and their ideological underpinnings that define the response in the neighbourhood.

    In case of Pakistan, democratic regimes there believe that confrontation with India will strengthen the Army and would be detrimental to growth of democracy. India also feels that military regimes would not help the interest of peace. Therefore, response to India’s hand of friendship is determined by regime interest in the neighbouring countries.

    Bangladesh's Extended Continental Shelf: Navigating the Course with India and Myanmar

    The Bay of Bengal is the largest bay off the coast of Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. With the exception of Bangladesh all the littoral states have reached agreements over their bilateral maritime boundaries. As signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, India and Myanmar had to file their claims by June 29, 2009 and by May 21, 2009 respectively, and Bangladesh has to file its claim by July 27, 2011 to the Commission on the limits of the continental shelf.

    September 2010

    Yoginder Rangi asked: Tell me Indo-Bangladesh relations during Indra-Mujib

    Smruti S. Pattanaik replies: India’s role in the liberation of Bangladesh, its diplomatic initiative to highlight Pakistan Army atrocities and its willingness to hold two million refugees from East Pakistan and the goodwill it generated therefrom shaped relations between the two countries. India extended all possible help to the new state which includes economic and administrative support. Bangladesh constitution which declared secularism as one of the foundational principles cemented the relations between the two countries which share liberal and pluralistic culture and societal values. Indian forces were withdrawn from Bangladesh in March 1972 and Indira Gandhi paid an official visit and the two countries signed the Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1972.

    Mujib’s failure to deal with his opposition, address issues of corruption by his party members and his adoption of Islamic symbolism to enhance his Islamic credentials had implications for India-Bangladesh relations. To enhance his political credibility, since he was seen as a major ally of India, he started blaming India for his failures that solely arose from the misgovernance of his government. His tendency to centralize power in the form of BAKSAL also created resentment in the country. India was critical of Mujib’s assassination and the subsequent military takeover in Bangladesh. This added to an already deteriorating bilateral relations.

    Yoginder Rangi asked: What are the major irritants between India and Bangladesh and how do they really affect Indian security?

    Smruti Pattanaik Replies: There are several major irritants between India and Bangladesh. For example: demarcation of land and maritime boundary, exchange of enclaves, illegal migration, balance of trade, transit, and sanctuary to Indian insurgent groups. The issues that India considers as major irritants are not the same as that of Bangladesh. For India, shelter to Indian insurgent groups, ISI activities, transit and illegal immigration are major irritants that need to be addressed by Dhaka. For Bangladesh balance of trade, firing across the border, and demarcation of boundaries are more important.

    These irritants affect India's security in a decisive manner. Hosting of Indian insurgents by Bangladesh and illegal migration of Bangladeshis impinges on India's security. Dhaka in the past took a stand that there no insurgent groups are provided sanctuary in Bangladesh and that there is also no illegal migration. However, things have changed after the Awami League has assumed power.