Indo-Bangla special passport to go

After Bangladesh, India will no more issue special passports to its nationals for travel to Bangladesh after 41 years.

Nurul Islam
Published : 13 Nov 2013, 12:45 PM
Updated : 13 Nov 2013, 12:45 PM

India’s Ministry of External Affairs has decided not to issue fresh ‘India-Bangladesh Passport’ for its nationals after this month.

The decision came following the revised travel arrangements (RTA) that the two countries signed on Jan 28 this year in Dhaka.

However, the passports issued will remain valid until they expire.

Deputy Director General of Bangladesh’s Immigration and Passport Md Rafiqul Islam told that Bangladesh stopped issuing such passport at least three years back.

“It was dark reddish-purple colour passport called Bangladesh Special Passport,” he said.

For Indians, it was ‘India-Bangladesh passport’.

The revised travel arrangements liberalised visa regime between the two countries, but kept a provision to stop issuing new special passport after Nov 30.

The special passport was introduced in Aug 1972 soon after Bangladesh’s independence to facilitate travel only between the two countries.

Indian news agency IANS quoting government official said they would not accept fresh application for new special passport after Nov 15 and no new passport will be issued after Nov 30.

Bangladesh’s foreign ministry’s spokesperson Md Shameem Ahsan told that there had been a clause in this regard in the RTA.

State governments of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and West Bengal bordering Bangladesh have the authority to issue special passport to their residents willing to visit Bangladesh only.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher