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The neighbour you can't trust

Mohammed K. Rahman

India can not be a trusted neighbour of Bangladesh. The pre-history of the sub-continent proves that India by virtue of her Hindu religious country is a threat to the peaceful co-existence of her small neighbours. The present atrocities in Sri Lanka are the result of espionage policy of India. Kashmir, the muslim majority state, is occupied by India followed by an adultary concession between Mountbatten and Nehru while Mountbatten left the Muslim administered princely states plus Muslim majority Kashmir as disputed territory without settlement. Since Delhi was the headquarter of British local administration, India won most of the military equipment after partition, made them stronger to occupy the disputed territories mentioned above and established her brutal administration and that continued.

India managed the present government in Bangladesh to sign most of the treaties detrimental to the sovereignity of Bangladesh. The Chittagong Hilltracts treaty between Santu Larma and Sheikh Hasina brokered by India is a loss of one tenth of the land of Bangladesh to India. The 30 years Farakka agreement between Hasina and India without gurantee clause and arbitration presence is a permanent loss of the share of the Ganges water resources.

India, due to her nacked neighbouring policy shamelessly occupied the newly emerged Talpatti land of Bangladesh in the Bay of Bengal; is a great threat to the existence of Bangladesh and not opening the Tin Bigha corridor to Bangladesh nationals while Sheikh Mujib handed over Berubari in 1974 to satisfy the Indians. The present political termoil and disburbance in the economic development of Bangladesh is an organised plan of Indian diplomacy. India cannot be trusted., October 14, 1999
Has PM Vajpayee a new Agenda for Bangladesh?

Shamsuddin Ahmed

The BJP-led Hindu nationalist front, the National Democratic Alliance, has won a convincing victory in the Indian general elections. The BJP leader, Atal Behari Vajpayee, returns to power at the head of a prospective stable government. The Indian Congress and its allies, who stood for secularism, had the worst beating in the election in Indian history. It is clear that buoyed by the strong winds of Hindu nationalism sweeping across the country and the victory in Kargil war against the Kashmiri Mujaheedins backed by Pakistan have given BJP the massive election victory.

During the election campaign Vajpayee had promised to establish peace in the region and bring about prosperity for millions of impoverished people living in his country. The Harvard economists have predicted that India would emerge as the fourth largest economy in the world. This will, indeed, require stability and peace in India as well as in the region.

When the BJP leader Vajpayee first came to power in 1996, a sizeable section of intellectuals in Dhaka had expressed uneasiness. They voiced skepticism about the future of the subcontinent and the region as well. A western diplomat at a small gathering at that time, however, ruled out the prospect of anything worse. He rated Vajpayee as a moderate force in the BJP who will be able to keep control over the Hindu fanatics in RSS, a militant organ of the party. The diplomat also referred to his role as Foreign Minster during the Morarji Desai government in late 70s which is considered as the happiest chapter of Indo-Bangladesh relationship and peaceful co-existence of South-east Asian countries.

But it is during Vajpayee's rule that triggered tension in the region by nuclear tests in May 1998 provoking Pakistan to take counter action. The Indian government launched a programme to annihilate Muslim population in Kashmir where the death toll mounted to more than 60,000 in less than a decade.

Barry Beark writing in New Times in August said that India maintains about 200,000 regular troops, 125,000 paramilitary and police. Besides, 80,000 Hindu villagers, called defence committees, were given arms. Narrating the horrendous situation Beark said; "It is not difficult to locate men with convincing tales of recent torture, ugly engravings on their skin, a palette of black and blue on their limbs. Parents wait by the gates of army camps and police stations, holding photos of their sons who have been taken into custody and never seen again."

This came in the backdrop of tirade launched by BJP's front organisation RSS. Weekly Panchakamua, the mouthpiece of RSS, in its editorial on June 20 demanded of the Vajpayee government to use nuclear weapon against the 'Muslims' as the final solution to centuries old aggression from Mohammad Bin Kasim (in 872 AD) and Mian Nawaz Sharif (of Pakistan). Indian columnist Praful Bidwai writing from New Delhi in July said RSS mouthpiece demands India use nuclear weapons against Pakistan. This is because "all the Muslims are barbarians by their very nature. Nuclear weapons will finally settle scores with them."

This has alarmed the world leaders who have expressed concern at the prospect of renewed clash between India and Pakistan that might escalate into limited but deadly nuclear war. Former US defence secretary William Perry predicted on October 2 that another war between India and Pakistan could escalate into a nuclear exchange. Indeed, the losing side would be tempted to use nuclear weapons in a desperate attempt to save the day.

Reports form Ayodhya said that emboldened by the BJP's victory in the election, the Hindu zealots are preparing to construct Ram Mandir at the site of the 400-year-old Babri Mosque, which was demolished in 1990. The determined action of the fanatic Hindus may lead to another round of communal riot and hurting the religious sentiment of the Muslims within and outside India. More than 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were butchered in the first round following demolition of the mosque with the tacit support of the Indian rulers. It was the congress then in power in Delhi.

The prospect of Bangladesh's friendly relationship with the BJP government in the days to come is a matter of guess. The mandarins in the foreign office do not seem over enthusiastic. Some of the politicians in their private discussions feel that there may be more pronounced manifestation of India's principled policy towards its smaller neighbours. The policy woven by New Delhi's South Block was disclosed by Ashok Roy, an Indian scholar. In his lengthy article Roy said the policy towards Bangladesh is to pursue activities to destabilise the situation. This would retard democratic and economic process. Bangladesh with high rate of illiteracy and unemployment provide a soft ground for carrying out such activities to destabilise the situation and weaken the administration. A weak government in Bangladesh can be easily pedaled to follow New Delhi's brief on national and international issues.

The recent incidents of border incursion and explosion in many a part of the country are not isolated affairs. The border security force of India (BSF) have killed half a dozen Bangladeshi citizens, kidnapped some others and taken an aggressive posture all along the northern border. Their unprovoked actions have created panic among the villagers close to the border and many of them fled home in fear. The deadly explosion in a mosque in Khulna killing six during the Jumma prayers has shaken the administration. Planting of bombs was unearthed in some other places. The enture national now suffers from bomb scare.

The Inspector General of Police was reported to have said that the explosion in Khulna mosque is part of a conspiracy to destabilise the situation in the country. He has not, however, disclosed the people or forces behind the conspiracy. But we believe that our intelligence force is intelligent enough to find them out. In todays' world a country can win another without the firepower. It needs innovating methods of financial manipulation, cyber war, drug trafficking, terrorism, environmental attack, etc. Financial manipulation allegedly by George Sorrows of USA had nearly collapsed Malaysia two years ago. Export of drugs and terrorism to Bangladesh from India are enough to cripple the nation.

Unfortunately for Bangladesh, US business interest has combined with that of India. US oil companies have been persistently lobbying for sale of gas to India. The situation has come to such a pass that either you give the transit and gas to India or face the trouble. To overcome the trouble, the nation needs to be united like a rock.

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