Constraints and Opportunities in India-Bangladesh Transit Dispute

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Indian Journal of Asian Affairs




This research note explores the transit issue that has become one of the most problematic disputes overtime between India and Bangladesh. It also analyzes its long-term implication in the bilateral relations between them. The history dates back to the pre independence period when Bangladesh and India were part of the British colony. The roads, water and railways were then integrated in the communication system. The outlets to the sea were through Chittagong port or via the rivers of Bangladesh reaching the ports of Kolkata. India had pressed Bangladesh to provide transit facilities through the hearts of Bangladesh to connect West Bengal in the west and Tripura in the east. India claims that it will use this transit facility solely for the transport of freight and goods between two remotely connected parts of India. But Bangladesh has persistently denied any such agreement fearing it as a threat to national security.