Should Bangladesh provide the TRANSIT facility to India?

I can remember the topic became a burning issue during the reign of Awami League Government. It is believed that India has always had a soft corner and better relation with Awami League. That’s why there was a pressure from the Indian side upon the Awami League Government to allow India the transit facility. Thanks to the mass opposition by the people of Bangladesh which literaly resulted in not giving the transit to India. Before describing what problems or benefits this transit may cause let me tell you that the inforecement has started again. Yes, the Indian high commissioner in Bangladesh has proposed again to the current caretaker (!!!) government.

What is this “TRANSIT” ?

Let’s now discuss on what the term “Transit” means. According to the International Transit Law, there should be three parties (or countries) and transit is given by the country between the two other countries which don’t share common border. For Example Bangladesh and Nepal can seek transit facility from India to transport goods through her since India lie between Bangladesh and Nepal and since they don’t have any common border.

What is the “Transit” proposal from India?

India wants the transit through Bangladesh from one part of India to another part of India. Mr. Pinak Ranjan – the high commissioner of India, tried his best to brighten up the financial benefit that Bangladesh might get by giving away the facility. They’ve estimated the monetary value to be around 2000 crore taka per year.

What is wrong here?

  •  2000 crore taka!!A very alluring amount. Specially when it is from our neighbouring Friendly (!) country – India, which really helped us earning the Independence in 1971. But, what level of faith could India earn since then as a friendly nation??
  • India has always dominated and showed the attitude like a big brother. It’s not many days ago when India refused to sell any rice when Bangladesh was in brink of a major crisis.
  • Now when, India is having problem with the rebel group in the eastern India they want to use Bangladesh, so that they can reach and demolish the rebel militants easily. How do you think the rebel group will treat Bangladesh if this so called “transit” is given to India.
  • I am saying “so called” because it actually is not what Transit is as you can learn from the definition of “Transit”. It is like permitting India to use our territory to ensure their sovereignty. But is it worthy for Bangladesh to cause damage to her own sovereignty in the excuse for 2000 crore taka!!! It will cost thousand crore to maintain the road networks which will be used by Indian carriers.
  • There are other social and cultural disruption that this transit facility may cause since it will be literaly impossible to track down the transit vehicle drivers’/helpers’ activities. Bangladesh being a very religious country is still free from the massive disease – AIDS. It is believed that the main reason of spreading AIDS in India are the truck drivers. How can the Bangladesh governement handle that?

What do you think? What should be the decision of our government? or who should really decide it?


Hasibul Islam


The Article is also available at: NSUers Online Community

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