Dhaka, Aug 1 (IANS) The exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh is another milestone in the ties between the two countries, a leading daily said here on Saturday.
An editorial “End of 68 years of statelessness” in the Daily Star said that at long last an historical aberration related to the demarcation of land boundary between Bangladesh and India has been corrected.
“Finally the people of the 166 enclaves and the lands in adverse possession can really claim to belong to either Bangladesh or India. This will end nearly seven decades of deprivation the people of the enclaves have had to suffer being virtually owned by no one,” it said.
Around 14,000 people living for so long in 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in the Indian territory, and another 37,000 residing in 111 Indian enclaves in Bangladesh, now have a country of their own. The Bangladeshi enclaves are now a part of India, while the Indian enclaves join Bangladesh.
The daily said that this is “another milestone in the relationship between Bangladesh and India, coming in the wake of the maritime boundary agreement last year; the current leadership of the two countries deserve our compliments for this achievement”.
“We also compliment the officials of the two countries for the speed with which the final phase of the agreement was implemented, so soon after it was finalised in June this year,” it added.
The editorial went on to say that although it has been 41 years since the landmark Mujib – Indira land boundary agreement was signed, “that the agreement has been finally implemented through swapping of the enclaves as of the stroke of midnight on Aug 1 shows that extraneous impediments cannot stand in the way of fulfilling mutual commitments between two countries if there is the goodwill to do so”.
It hoped that issues relating to the “remaining two kilometers of border in Muhurir Char area would also be resolved in the same spirit and the demarcation completed soon”.
The daily noted that this is an only one of its kind situation and there are likely to be unforeseen matters that a unique situation like this will throw up. “We trust that our government would be equal to the task and address those swiftly.”