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Updated: December 30, 2013 03:40 IST

“India’s understanding of Bangladesh will help U.S.”

Sandeep Dikshit
Comment (21)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. File photo: Shanker Chakravarty
The Hindu External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. File photo: Shanker Chakravarty

While U.S. is at some distance from Bangladesh, India is right next to it: Khurshid

As the political situation in Bangladesh becomes increasingly volatile, India has hinted at the need for a united approach between India and the United States.

“We don’t discuss democracy in third countries but we do hope the U.S. … there were obviously some differences of perception [with respect to Bangladesh] that I noticed last time I was there [Washington], particularly in the dealing of the present government with some of their own internal institutions,” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told The Hindu.

Officials in the Ministry of External Affairs said they have been trying to close this difference of approach between India and the U.S. for quite some time.

Mr. Khurshid pointed out that India’s understanding of Bangladesh should be helpful to the U.S. “While the U.S. is at some distance from Bangladesh, we are right next to it. So our understanding of the region and understanding of sentiments of the people in the region should be helpful in the positions they want to take.”

Violence has increased in Bangladesh, mainly over the coming general election that is being boycotted by the main Opposition party and its allies. Besides, violent protests hit the country each time Jamaat-e-Islami leaders were arraigned by the courts and one senior leader was hanged.

While Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina proposed an all-party interim government, Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief Khaleda Zia, the Opposition leader, wants the previous elections’ caretaker system.

“Bangladesh situation is obviously very uncertain and delicate because the Opposition and the government have not been able to come to an agreement on how to proceed,” Mr. Khurshid observed.

While this was a major concern for India, “we don’t take sides on what happens in elections in a friendly country. For democracy to prosper there should at least be a commitment that violence will not be allowed to distort the democratic process,” he added.

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It is very interesting to read the views of the readers. To summarize, the Bangladeshi readers want India to stop supporting the governing AL. It also appears that the US and India have different "understanding" on Bangladesh´s current political volcano. I am just wondering why Bangladesh cannot stand on her own feet and decide her own political destiny? Why Bangladesh should look up or down on India, US, or god knows which other country! I do not see any other country in the world whose political game is played outside its own boundary. I feel shame that Bangladesh has reached to such a disastrous situation that, India, US (and probably Pakistan, china, etc) will dictate the fate of this young but troubled nation. Bangladesh really needs a real independence. The Bangladeshi people, the mass media, the Bangladeshi intellectuals should focus to build a real independent nation based on the values the country it was born with. Can the people of Bangladesh achieve this goal, sooner?

from:  Sushil Nathan
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 18:32 IST

I would humbly request Indian government
not to support Awami league and be part of
all the evil things Awami league is doing
with its own people. If you cannot help
democracy in bangladesh please at least
do not harm it. Thank you

from:  Shumon
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 12:36 IST

I really do not understand, where from people having opinion that
India favors one party over other in Bangladesh. I totally disagree
with this. Probably, this opinion is because of India's good working
relation with the present government. It would have also true, if the
opposition party would have been in power, India would have also
maintained a good relationship. It needs to be realised that all
governments all over the world (including the US and EU)have some
limitations and barriers, and it is really difficult to break this.
Secondly and ideally, any government, which have a developed good
working relationship with other government(s)over a period of time
(say over the last five years) can not throw away this relationship. I
am sure, people in India wish and expect a fully thriving democratic
system to emerge and sustain in Bangladesh. And, it is for the people
for Bangladesh to decide what serves them best. A peaceful and growing
neighborhood is always good all concerned parties

from:  Suresh P Singh
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 11:45 IST

India must stop backing unpopular
Awamiligue government and let the people
of bangladesh choose their own
government in a free and fair election

from:  Ruhul
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 07:42 IST

I hope India will invade Bangladesh to understand better. No wonder why
most Bangladeshis never trust India even though India helped Bangladesh
to became an independent country. I apologies to say this, think
Pakistan foreign minister comments the same about India.

from:  RABIN
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 07:23 IST

The US will never understand Bangladesh. In fact, it does not want to
understand. In 1971,the Nixon administration shamelessly supported the
military regime of the Yahya. It was Nixion-supplied weapons with
which Pakistan military committed the worst Genocide in history. Even
today, Washington is making ally with Islamabad.
Washington never learns from history, it never learnt from Vietnam.
The US diplomats do not want understand the politics and political
parties either. It often says that Jamaat-e-Islami is a moderate
Islamist party. But historical documents, news reports, investigations
and witnesses all along have said that this party is nothing but a
terror outfit.
Interestingly, the US itself has paid for choosing wrong allies. Just
yesterday I was reading a NEW YORK TIMES report. It says the Benghazi
mission attack was led by the same fighters who had benefited from
Western supplies and support during the uprising against Gaddafi.
But times have changed, The US better change.

from:  anik
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 06:25 IST

It doesn't give me any sense how the foreign policy of an emerging country like India could be glued to one particular political party of its neighbor instead of maintaining a long-lasting/sustainable bilateral relation with that country. Last time, the badly-handled foreign secretary Sujata was openly being criticized during her visit to Bangladesh for taking her side to the ruling brutal and currently most hatred party of Bangladesh - BAL. India should take a note with due importance that it might have many paid Lendup Dorjies in Bangladesh but it will never be succeeded turning this nation into another Sikkim until the last patriotic man standing. Bangladesh can be a descent 'Israel' in South Asia and can destabilize the seven-sister of India even by one day, if it desires so.

from:  Salman Mukharjee
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 04:46 IST

Apparently most of the responses are from the Bangladeshis and they
all seem to want India to side with BNP. Here is the problem, all
previous BNP govts had actively supported anti-India forces such as
providing shelter and support for NE India insurgent groups, hosting
Pakistani ISI agents for subversive activities against India to name a
few. Additionally BNP is ally with virulently anti-India and anti-
minority (mainly Bangladeshi Hindu) Jamat-e-Islam party whose top
leaders have collaborated with Pakistani forces to kill, rape and
pillage minority Hindus along with pro-liberation Muslims during 1971
war. Even now BNP is against the ongoing and long overdue prosecution
for the razakars and collaborators who killed millions of Hindu and
Muslim Bangladeshis during the war of liberation. Not only that, BNP
has rehabilitated many of these killers providing high posts and
ministership to the same people while the families of their victims
cowered in fear and shame.

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Dec 31, 2013 at 01:55 IST

India is not understanding the sentiments of the people republic of Bangladesh.Everyone knows that about 90% people of Bangladesh prefer to select their candidate by a free, fair, credible and transparent election through a neutral government. But the present government has failed to convince the people this. Why India is taking the bias decision Supporting only Bangladesh AoamyLegue regarding Bangladesh? I mean India should have strong, progressive and crystal diplomatic policy to bring the real democratic atmosphere across the south Asian countries.

from:  jashim
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 23:08 IST

For the betterment of the people of both Bangladesh and India as well as
for the region, India should avoid its biased attitudes towards pro-
Indian parties. India should focus on the long prosperity of the region
avoiding its biased nature. Indian policy should be matured enough since
she is an emerging power.

from:  Shariful Islam
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 22:01 IST

Mr. Khurshid believes that India's understanding of Bangladesh is much
better than USA as they "are right next to it." I can't believe that
an Indian Foreign Minister can make such a comment!!! As if
we are still living in a prehistoric age where distance does really
matter to understand any society. I firmly believe that either Indian
policy makers are completely ignorant about today's Bangladesh
politics or they are intentionally making Bangladesh another
Afghanistan which would eventually be Frankenstein for the security of
India itself. Last month Indian Foreign Secretary visited Bangladesh
and the way in which she talked to media that was horrible: even a
domestic helper has better idea about Bangladesh politics than her!

from:  MM Islam
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 18:31 IST

Delhis Congress Government is blindly supporting Bangladesh Awami League
rather than supporting Bangladeshis fillings. The more Congress
Government will support Awami-League the more anti-Indian mind will set
among the Bangladeshis. Remember it if its going on like that way
Pakistan ISI or western power will take a big advantages of it. So our
argue to the Indian Government to see the Bangladesh as US point of view
to arrange a fair, credible election in Bangladesh.

from:  choyon
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 18:11 IST

Before making US understand about the current situations and
recommendations about Bangladesh, India should understand pulse of
Bangladeshi people. Almost 80% people are now against ruling party
Awamileague. Democracy is no longer prevail here.Awamileague are holding
power forcefully.If India get influenced by Awamileague people,It will
definitely be a great mistake.

from:  Khaled
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 18:10 IST

India should befriend the people of Bangladesh not the Awami League. It's a shame India is destroying the nascent Bangladeshi democracy!!!! ;)

from:  Mahin Khan
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 17:29 IST

I just like to say.........Be prepare for an another blood-shed!Most of the innocent people are gradually annoyed and anti India!stop your game right now, otherwise end of the only India will be the loser.

from:  Nabiul Karim
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 16:56 IST

Delhis Congress Government is blindly supporting Bangladesh Awami League
rather than supporting Bangladeshis fillings. The more Congress
Government will support Awami-League the more anti-Indian mind will set
among the Bangladeshis. Remember it if its going on like that way
Pakistan ISI or western power will take a big advantages of it. So our
argue to the Indian Government to see the Bangladesh as US point of view
to arrange a fair, credible election in Bangladesh.

from:  Rezaul Choudhury
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 16:12 IST

Installing a puppet government in Bangladesh will not ensure India's
security, quite the contrary, the cost would be 150 million enraged
Bangladeshis (majority of them the new generation who have been
disenfranchised) harboring anti-indian sentiment.

from:  Shams Reza
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 13:25 IST

Given India's huge over-reaction to Khobrgade gate, I'd stay that is a
great way to build a consensus with the US on Bangladesh situation! Now
the Mr. Kerry would surely bit down India's door to help stabilize the
volatile situation and there by cool down the fire on India's immediate
neighborhood!

from:  Suvojit Dutta
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 13:20 IST

Indian wants all including USA to converge on Bangladesh centering on
Indian approach which in my opinion is not in the long term Indian
interest in the region. India although contributed in blood and kind
to the Independence of Bangladesh in 1971 but till date has failed to
befriend the people of Bangladesh rather it remains busy finding
allies among its rulers. Bangladeshi political parties on the other
hand exploit the Indian concerns especially centering the North-east
Indian States and play it to their advantage and present Hasina led
Awami government seems to be good at it. India must understand that
USA, the West and China all have their own agenda in this region and
for India to emerge winner in the game, India must befriend the people
of South Asia including Bangladesh otherwise it must be prepared to
get surrounded by countries with unfriendly people thus making these
people pawns of the enemies of India in the fulfillment of their geo-
strategic goals.

from:  Francis Arif Niazi
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 11:31 IST

If India has little respect for the sentiments of the people of
Bangladesh then India should listen to the hearts and minds of ninety
percent of the population. This ninety percent wants a free and fair
election under a strong caretaker government. Bangladesh never had a
free and fair election in its history without a caretaker government. If
you support democracy then you should support the demand for a free and
fair election.

from:  Ruhul Shahi
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 05:23 IST

India's policy of supporting an extremely unpopular government in
Bangladesh deserves some sort of serious evaluation from the
policymakers both in Delhi and bordering states as well. As the
country dips into serious political trouble Delhi's one eyed support
for ruling Awamiliigue is pushing the party to systematic autocracy.
In last five years Priminister Hasina transformed herself from a
popular leader to a notorious dictator. Her popularity now hits rock
bottom. In 2008 she won the election and in 2013 as big defeat waits
for her in the national election, she decided to go for a uncontested
election like some military rulers where she made election commission
announce her party already the winner in a election that yet to be
held.
India should give itself some space to re-evaluate its Bangladesh
policy and keep itself away from this repressive regime. Any policy
that is fair with the country as a whole instead of one particular
party would bring good result in long run for sure.

from:  Ruhul Shahi
Posted on: Dec 30, 2013 at 04:57 IST
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