Taslima Nasreen, the fugitive anti-Bangladeshi/anti-Islamic author recently wrote about the Bangladesh Prime Minister in a very personal and targeted twitter post voicing her disagreement with Bangladesh’s foreign policy adjustment.
She wrote “India helped Bangladesh to be born in 1971. After her father was assassinated in 1975, Hasina lived in India for 5 years with her husband and children as India’s guests.
Hasina is now leaving an old friend in order to hug a new friend. I do not think it is a good idea.”
There is a saying if the enemy disapproves of what you are doing you must be doing something right!
As a beneficiary of Indian shelter the highly controversial author must have been prodded by New Delhi to communicate India’s deepening concern about losing Bangladesh’s confidence.
Bangladesh is a neutral country which never believed in siding with any particular country against another, especially countries in the region because as a nation Bangladesh valued its neighbours. On the other hand Bangladesh’s friendly policy towards neighbouring countries was seen as a weakness. The country was often exploited by the neighbours.
Politicians in Bangladesh adjusted the foreign policy of the country according to their desired interests but day by day they are finding it more difficult to justify their relations with countries that bully or seek to exploit Bangladesh, disregarding all diplomatic values and friendships.
Without resolution of the water sharing agreements, stop to the wholesale killing of Bangladeshi civilians on the frontier and interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs the relations are destined to plunge. You may not need to utilise all your five fingers to count how much benefits Bangladesh received by giving India anything and everything that was asked including major strategic concessions such as transit, free-water from the Feni river, priority usage of Bangladeshi ports and unbridled intelligence cooperation with which India contained all threats from insurgent groups in its North Eastern states.
Having had enough of the lip service of the Indian establishment Bangladesh is finally recalibrating its foreign policy in line with its own interests.
Bangladesh has sought $64 billion in investment from China directly to develop its infrastructure and unlike poorly managed countries such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the Bangladesh government has always ensured proper utilisation of its loans and services loan repayments without fail which is why every major international lending agency is keen to work with Bangladesh.
It may be mentioned here that Japan is also investing $25 billion in developing a power hub and a deep sea port facility in south eastern Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is learning that it should only do business with countries that respect its sovereignty and ensure a mutually beneficial relationship free from exploitation.
By 2040 Bangladesh hopes to become an industrialised nation with focus on large scale industrial based development as opposed to service sector led growth in India.
Bangladesh opted for a traditional development model that has transformed countries such as China, South Korea, Turkey and Malaysia in to highly capable economies.
In roughly 20 years Bangladesh will have a GDP of $1.2 trillion. With that in mind Bangladesh is ensuring its national interest first leaving behind its exploiters.