Dhaka: Providing further boost to improved bilateral relations, Bangladesh and India are said to be in 'serious moves' to exchange enclaves in each other's territory, a media report said Sunday.
The talks involve settlement of 162 enclaves - 111 in India and 51 in Bangladesh – which would seal the fate of 144,000 people and resolve ownership of 17,158 acres of land. These issues have been pending settlement since the partition of India in 1947.
According to Bangladesh home ministry sources, recent meetings of the Joint Boundary Working Group have made significant progress in resolving outstanding issues of 6.5km of un-demarcated border, 162 enclaves and 6,500 acres of disputed land in each other's territories.
As the matter concerning the swap of enclaves was relatively uncomplicated both sides agreed to settle it first and continue talks on un-demarcated border and disputed land.
An attempt will be made to wrap up the pact in time for Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh's visit this year, local reports said, quoting unnamed diplomatic sources.
According to unofficial estimates, the population of the 111 Indian enclaves is over 100,000 while the 51 Bangladeshi enclaves inside India have around 44,000 people.