Bangladesh FM says Land Boundary Agreement 1974 with India will be placed before parliament

Dhaka, Mar. 3 (ANI): Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on Sunday said that the Boundary Agreement 1974 with India will be placed before parliament for approval soon.

Speaking to media on the sidelines of a meeting with Indian President Pranab Mukherjee here, Moni said: "The bill for gratification for LBA 1974 will be placed in parliament. President has expressed his belief that it could be passed,"

"Preparing for gratification of LBA and its protocol. It will be done as soon as possible," she added.

It maybe recalled that the Indian Union Cabinet approves amendment bill on India - Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement, 1974 on February 14, 2013.

The draft constitutional amendment will ratify protocols added to the agreement in 2011 for exchange of land in 111 Indian and 51 Bangladeshi enclaves. The Bill will be tabled in Parliament in the budget session.

The Union Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, gave its nod to the draft of the Constitutional Bill to amend the India-Bangladesh Land Boundary Agreement, 1974, official sources said in New Delhi.

Additional protocols for 1974 Land Boundary Agreement, signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka in September 2011, require a constitutional amendment for ratification as these involve exchange of land in 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh and 51 Bangladeshi enclaves on Indian soil, they said. Bangladesh has already ratified the pact.

Indian enclaves in Bangladesh are spread over 17,149 acres, while Bangladesh enclaves in India are located in 7,110 acres of land. The Bill is expected to be tabled in the coming Budget session of Parliament for Parliamentary approval. BJP, however, has opposed the land swap agreement with Bangladesh saying that the country's territorial integrity stands to be compromised. It has also passed resolutions in the past opposing any such agreement.

The agreement on the demarcation of Land Boundary between Bangladesh and India and related matters, signed in May 1974 is a unique document that epitomized the depth of the friendship, goodwill and mutual trust and above all, the vision of peace and harmony of two great statesmen-Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Indira Gandhi.

This comprehensive agreement was intended to resolve all lingering and vexing problems that history had bequeathed on the two nations. It has been recognized by all concerned that the implementation of the agreement in letter and spirit is a sine qua non for the redress of the causes of tension and conflicts, big and small, along the long border between the two countries.

The two leaders even fixed practical time frames for completion of various steps they knew would be necessary for the Agreement to be implemented. However, the later governments in the two countries and those in authority failed their hopes. They prevaricated and procrastinated and did not do what was necessary.

The problems along the border were allowed to linger on and with the passage of time to grow in complexity. By Ravi Khandelwal(ANI)