Friday, 19 July, 2019

Delhi sees no change in BNP’s anti-India stance

Published on: 11:11 am - Friday | June 15, 2018
Diplomatic sources have informed that India still has not found any credible evidence about the change of Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) anti-India standpoint. Reportedly Indian External Affairs Ministry has expressed such opinions following three BNP leaders’ recent visit to India. However, Indian External Affairs Ministry has not yet stated its reactions officially.
A few days ago BNP standing committee member Ameer Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, vice chairman Abdul Awal Mintu and international affairs secretary Humayun Kabir visited Delhi. They held meetings with the dignitaries of some Indian think-tanks including Rajib Gandhi Foundation, Observer Research Foundation, Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) and Institute for Defense Studies (IDS).
These BNP leaders also gave an interview to an Indian newspaper. News sources have said that the BNP leaders have admitted that their anti-India sentiment while they were in power was mistaken and unwise. BNP intends to correct those mistakes and rebuild relationship with India on the basis of mutual confidence and respect, these BNP leaders told while speaking to Indian media, according to news agencies.Political sources have reported that BNP top brass Tareq Rahman wants to leave behind the phenomena of 1980s and 1990s and looks forward to better and friendly ties with India.
The visit by BNP leaders to India was broadly addressed by the newspapers of Bangladesh and India. The major political fronts of India have reportedly called upon BNP to abandon Jamaat to secure good ties with India.
However, BNP leaders have not yet said anything whether they would really quit their alliance with Jamaat or not. It would be very hard for BNP to break off political relations with Jamaat which is why the growth of fraternal attachments between BNP and India is still a far cry, political analysts have remarked.
Awami League, the current ruling party of Bangladesh, has always preserved a very strong and amicable relationship with India. Awami League’s good bonds with India have stood all tests of time since independence till now. On the other hand, BNP has been all along known as an anti-Indian party.
Awami League is the largest pro-liberation political party in Bangladesh. But BNP’s approach to the Liberation War often comes under questions due to its close affiliations with Jamaat.
Jamaat vehemently opposed Bangladesh’s Liberation War during 1971. Several Jamaat leaders were later on executed on charges of war crimes. Jamaat is also known to have direct connections with international religious fanatic groups.
Veena Sikri, former Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh, told media that the people of Bangladesh will be casting their ballots to decide which party would win or lose.
India never ever had any role to play in other countries’ elections, she asserted. Veena Sikri added that India will continue to keep away from other countries’ internal issues in future too.  Another former High Commissioner Dev Mukhopaddhay conveyed similar opinions like Veena Sikri.
On the other hand, it is not yet clear whether these three BNP leaders visited India with consent from the party’s hierarchy. Some BNP higher-ups have said they have no idea about this trip by BNP leaders to India. This is a reflection of the divides within BNP regarding India, political observers have suggested.
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