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Call to make Bangla acknowledge influx: report

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Sept 2 � In the face of the problem of illegal migration assuming serious dimension, a strategic think-tank has suggested that India should persuade Bangladesh to acknowledge the problem of illegal migration.

A task force report on �India and Bangladesh: Moving towards Convergence� was unveiled today at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). The report released on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh�s visit to Dhaka, next week, said that the demarcation issue and exchange of enclaves should be settled as a package.

Authored by IDSA scholars, Dr Arvind Gupta, Dr Anand Kumar, Dr Smruti Pattanaik, Dr Sreeradha Datta and Dr Ashok Behuria, the report takes note of the strategic importance of India and Bangladesh for each other. The report says that the Prime Minister�s visit provides an opportunity to take India-Bangladesh relations to a higher trajectory and move towards a strategic partnership.

The 98-page report deals with whole gamut of issues including the security scenario, handing over of wanted militants, the problem of illegal migration, demarcation of land boundary to domestic developments in Bangladesh, recent trends in the neighbouring country�s foreign policy.

The 18 recommendations include suggestions that India should persuade Bangladesh to acknowledge the problem of illegal migration. Both sides should try to create an environment where this issue can be amicably dealt with. Innovative methods like work permits can be considered.

On the vexed problem of boundary demarcation, it was recommended that the legacy issues� demarcation of the land border, exchange of enclaves and adverse possessions, Teen Bigha corridor flyover � should be settled as a package.

Bangladesh shares borders with many Indian states. The Government of India should encourage participation of the state governments and people in formulating polices, which would encourage people to people contacts between the two countries.

On the issue of militancy, the Task Force report said that India is satisfied with Bangladesh�s unilateral action as the ULFA insurgency in Assam has begun to wind down.

The Sheikh Hasina Government�s next step was to encourage connectivity between India and Bangladesh. Transit, a politically sensitive word in Bangladesh, has been replaced by the buzzword �connectivity�. Several major projects, unthinkable just a few years ago have been announced. If these are implemented in the agreed time frame, India- Bangladesh relations would soon be on a higher trajectory.

India and Bangladesh have been engaged in a process to seek a comprehensive resolution of outstanding land boundary issues. India has offered a reasonable package to finalise the 6.5 km undemarcated border issue.

The two countries have recently concluded a joint headcount in on both sides of the border. The people living in the 162 enclaves have largely been well integrated in the area where they lived. As far as the adverse possession of land was concerned, the residents have been administered directly by the state occupying the land and they have legal rights including voting and they are mostly unwilling to move. Even though no formal agreements have been concluded, the results of these surveys could serve as the basic parameters for any eventual settlement

The report acknowledges that Bangladesh had its own list of grievances. It resented the large imbalance in bilateral trade, lack of progress on water sharing issues, non-ratification of Indira-Mujib Land Boundary Agreement. Bangladesh also protested against India�s allegations that it was providing sanctuary to ULFA insurgents. It saw India as an unreliable partner. India loomed large in Bangladesh�s threat perception.

Some sections of the Bangladeshi elite perceive India as a threat especially since the military came to power after Mujib�s assassination. The fact that Bangladesh is surrounded by India on all the three sides creates a natural apprehension in the minds of the Bangladeshis that any external threat has to emanate from India. This feeling has been accentuated by the mistrust that exists between the two countries. In view of this threat perception, Bangladesh has sourced its weapons from China and built its army with India in mind, the report said.

However, lately, Bangladesh is realising that the non-military challenges that the country is facing are far more overwhelming than the perceived conventional threat posed by India.

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Call to make Bangla acknowledge influx: report

NEW DELHI, Sept 2 � In the face of the problem of illegal migration assuming serious dimension, a strategic think-tank has suggested that India should persuade Bangladesh to acknowledge the problem of illegal migration.

A task force report on �India and Bangladesh: Moving towards Convergence� was unveiled today at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA). The report released on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh�s visit to Dhaka, next week, said that the demarcation issue and exchange of enclaves should be settled as a package.

Authored by IDSA scholars, Dr Arvind Gupta, Dr Anand Kumar, Dr Smruti Pattanaik, Dr Sreeradha Datta and Dr Ashok Behuria, the report takes note of the strategic importance of India and Bangladesh for each other. The report says that the Prime Minister�s visit provides an opportunity to take India-Bangladesh relations to a higher trajectory and move towards a strategic partnership.

The 98-page report deals with whole gamut of issues including the security scenario, handing over of wanted militants, the problem of illegal migration, demarcation of land boundary to domestic developments in Bangladesh, recent trends in the neighbouring country�s foreign policy.

The 18 recommendations include suggestions that India should persuade Bangladesh to acknowledge the problem of illegal migration. Both sides should try to create an environment where this issue can be amicably dealt with. Innovative methods like work permits can be considered.

On the vexed problem of boundary demarcation, it was recommended that the legacy issues� demarcation of the land border, exchange of enclaves and adverse possessions, Teen Bigha corridor flyover � should be settled as a package.

Bangladesh shares borders with many Indian states. The Government of India should encourage participation of the state governments and people in formulating polices, which would encourage people to people contacts between the two countries.

On the issue of militancy, the Task Force report said that India is satisfied with Bangladesh�s unilateral action as the ULFA insurgency in Assam has begun to wind down.

The Sheikh Hasina Government�s next step was to encourage connectivity between India and Bangladesh. Transit, a politically sensitive word in Bangladesh, has been replaced by the buzzword �connectivity�. Several major projects, unthinkable just a few years ago have been announced. If these are implemented in the agreed time frame, India- Bangladesh relations would soon be on a higher trajectory.

India and Bangladesh have been engaged in a process to seek a comprehensive resolution of outstanding land boundary issues. India has offered a reasonable package to finalise the 6.5 km undemarcated border issue.

The two countries have recently concluded a joint headcount in on both sides of the border. The people living in the 162 enclaves have largely been well integrated in the area where they lived. As far as the adverse possession of land was concerned, the residents have been administered directly by the state occupying the land and they have legal rights including voting and they are mostly unwilling to move. Even though no formal agreements have been concluded, the results of these surveys could serve as the basic parameters for any eventual settlement

The report acknowledges that Bangladesh had its own list of grievances. It resented the large imbalance in bilateral trade, lack of progress on water sharing issues, non-ratification of Indira-Mujib Land Boundary Agreement. Bangladesh also protested against India�s allegations that it was providing sanctuary to ULFA insurgents. It saw India as an unreliable partner. India loomed large in Bangladesh�s threat perception.

Some sections of the Bangladeshi elite perceive India as a threat especially since the military came to power after Mujib�s assassination. The fact that Bangladesh is surrounded by India on all the three sides creates a natural apprehension in the minds of the Bangladeshis that any external threat has to emanate from India. This feeling has been accentuated by the mistrust that exists between the two countries. In view of this threat perception, Bangladesh has sourced its weapons from China and built its army with India in mind, the report said.

However, lately, Bangladesh is realising that the non-military challenges that the country is facing are far more overwhelming than the perceived conventional threat posed by India.