Bangladesh and India have long been facing almost identical challenges of terror attack with the upsurge of Islamic Extremism, the acute problem confronting the secular ideals upon which the Independent Bangladesh was founded. Terrorism has also emerged as a main cause of frequent social unrest in Bangladesh. The social virus of extremism, which was born to disturb and disrupt the path of peace, progress and prosperity, is increasingly growing and it must be dealt with eternal vigilance and joint efforts of Bangladesh and India.
The same forces have been behind the bomb-blast in the Indian Parliament in December 13, 2001 and the terror attack at the Taaj Hotel in November 26, 2019 which claimed lives of several hundred people. On the other hand, the assassination of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August 1975, and several other gruesome killings including the brutal Jail killing and the unprecedented grenade attack launched by the BNP-Jamaat government on the AL anti-terror rally, were rare incidents of savage cruelty in the history of mankind. These brutal acts were perpetrated in a bid to destroy the leading forces of Independence and the leadership of Bangladesh Awami League, which led the War of Independence.
The geo-political condition and the ground reality allow neither Bangladesh nor India to keep this catastrophic problem alive, which is out to jeopardize the Independence earned at the cost of millions of lives. The terror problem should not be allowed to generate further challenges and there has been no other option but to create the atmosphere of making an all out cooperation for getting rid of evil forces permanently.
The government of Sheikh Hasina is also braving the challenges of catastrophic problems from the people, who had been playing major role in opposing the Liberation War and helping the Pakistan Army conducting genocide in Bangladesh during the War of Liberation in 1971. The anti-liberation forces are united under BNP and they are seriously engaged in opposing the government of Sheikh Hasina and its development program.
The anti-liberation forces, under BNP, have chalked out a plan to spread nationwide subversive activities keeping the next election in mind and in materializing their devilish design they have opened up different fronts. Jamaat and BNP armed cadres are working together. Clandestine anti-government plots and national and international conspiracies are being hatched and they have already mobilized a huge fund to carry out sabotages before and during the elections, the intelligence agencies understand. They are increasingly widening the network as the elections are coming closer. Their main target is Sheikh Hasina and it was decided long before she was made president of the Bangladesh Awami League.
It has been proved that Sheikh Hasina is the right person to deal with those extremists and the anti-liberation forces, who have not a bit of love and sympathy for the people and the country, with an iron hand. How she pinned down the terrorists after the Holey Artisan incident, which had claimed dozens of lives of the local and foreign guests is a glaring example of her capability to tame the terrors. She had been engaged in nation building work and humanitarian work.
If the government of Sheikh Hasina is completely successful in achieving the goals of making Bangladesh an economically prosperous, socially developed and technologically advanced country, then those opposition political parties and the anti-liberation forces know well that their ill motivated plan to make Bangladesh a failed nation will be jeopardized. And that’s why they are dead against Sheikh Hasina and her development work. History tells us that when the anti-liberation forces came to power, the regional non cooperation happened in many ways. Non-cooperation in international forum and the hostile attitude to India, a tested friend during our liberation war, became a regular phenomenon.
The change of government in India does not reflect in its foreign or basic policies. But in the case of Bangladesh it reflects upside down in the foreign policy and in the basic principles as well.
It has been recognized by all conscious people that since the formation of government of Bangladesh by Sheikh Hasina of Awami League, which led the War of Liberation, in January 2009, peace has been ensured in the vast border areas of Bangladesh and India. No terror activities, which had created terrible situation on the seven sisters of India, were allowed in the soil of Bangladesh and a sustainable peace has been achieved in those bordering areas. And accordingly the Indian Chief Ministers of those states have recently expressed their gratitude to the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The pro-liberation people know and acknowledge very correctly that Indian presence was related to the just existence of the Independent Bangladesh during the War of Liberation. The relation between India and Bangladesh was written with the blood of Martyrs of two countries and it can only be upheld by the government led by Sheikh Hasina which has firm belief in the ideals of Independent Bangladesh. Moreover, the geo-political condition will never allow hostility against each other as the national interests of both the governments are committed to their respective people.
Bangladesh could not overcome the situation prevailing before the Independence and even after half a century elapsed the problems have not yet been solved, rather those have increased manifold.
The hard reality is that the people of Bangladesh still today are in a grim battle to fight the enemies (the defeated forces who had been engaged in fighting against the concept of Independent Bangladesh) and it is not known how long the battle will continue. The anti-liberation forces are not small in number. With the general amnesty granted by the country’s father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who had been killed by those defeated forces, the number of enemies has grown further and they have appeared as monsters in the society. Under the influence of those monsters, the society is increasingly moving towards extremism and the intolerance has developed among people in a devastating form. Any moment they can confuse the people by spreading rumor and creating misunderstanding among the people and this can lead the country to a political instability.
Bangladesh has numerous issues with India to resolve. Because of its vast bordering areas interaction among millions of people of the two countries are continuing every day and new issues are coming up creating new concerns.
The border killing, which has been reduced significantly over the years, was a long- standing problem with India. Recent Land port issues also created a great concern as the Bangladesh side is facing a huge amount of extortion for goods per truck by the West Bengal Authorities and due to that wide-ranging resentment has been created among the business people of Bangladesh. The Teesta Barrage is a burning issue today for the people of this region. Millions of people have been suffering from the impact of the Teesta.
Transit, transshipment of Indian goods through land, sea and airports are going on smoothly. On the other hand, the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina didn’t allow terror activities on Bangladesh soil and that is why, the Indian states bordering Bangladesh are reaping its benefits.