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After 41 years, India settles border with Bangladesh

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Staff writer ▼ | May 11, 2015
Parliament has cleared a historic land agreement with Bangladesh to settle India's border with its eastern neighbor.
India Bangladesh
Neighbors   India and Bangladesh are talking land swap since 1974
The two countries share a 4,096-kilometer-long international border, the fifth-longest in the world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Congress leader Sonia Gandhi in the Lok Sabha after lawmakers showed rare unanimity in passing the constitutional amendment on Thursday. The bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha a day earlier.

Fifteen states will now also have to clear the agreement for it to be implemented - this is not likely to be a problem given the cross-party support.

India and Bangladesh have been negotiating a land swap since 1974. Nearly 160 enclaves exist on either side of the border that are encircled by the other nation's territory – an odd situation left over from Partition in 1947.

According to NDTV, the proposed solution would enable each side to acquire the enclaves within its borders. People living in these enclaves would have the choice to move to live in their original country of nationality or to become nationals of their 'new' country after the exchange.

This would end decades of uncertainty for tens of thousands of citizens living in enclaves on the "wrong" side of the border.