chapter  30
11 Pages

Bangladesh and its Neighbors

ByMohammad Sajjadur Rahman

The Indo-centric South Asian sub-system has significantly shaped the contemporary foreign policy behavior of Bangladesh. The country shares a 4,096-km-long international border with India, the fifth longest land border in the world. The bilateral relations between India and Bangladesh also worsened in the post-Mujib period as a consequence of increasing tension over the sharing of Ganges water and the Farakka Barrage. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by Begum Khaleda Zia formed the first democratic government in 1991 after 16 years of military and quasi-military rule. India and Bangladesh had disputed maritime borders for decades, and in 2009, Dhaka decided to pursue international arbitration at the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the terms of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The formation of the International Crimes Tribunal by the government of Bangladesh to try to prosecute Bangladeshi individuals for crimes committed in the 1971 war stimulated public memory and the subsequent Shahbag Movement augmented anti-Pakistani feelings.