N. P. Upadhyaya; Kathmandu: Julfikar Ali-Bhutto was, undoubtedly a seasoned political stuff as well a visionary leader of Pakistan, who had rightly predicted that India will have to face yet another Pakistan when Madame Indira Gandhi gave a formal shape to her inferiority complex ridden desire: the bifurcation of Pakistan which later gave birth to a new country in South Asia called Bangladesh.
Credit goes to Bhutto to go Nuclear.
Todays’ Bangladesh which took birth with the tacit maneuvering of the Indian machinery in the early seventies is apparently behaving with the expansionist and coercive Indian establishment as an oppressor that it is.
Yet India under the Hindutva gang led by PM Modi and his team that comprises of Shah, Doval, and Shankar (for the sake of convenience this team is called as Gang of 4 ) feels comfortable and concludes that Bangladesh is in India’s pocket to which it is certainly not. The Bengalis are bit different than the cunning and the unapologetically nationalist Indians.
That it is a proxy state had very explicitly been explained by one Bangladeshi scholar Zainal Abedin while talking to an international seminar organized in Islamabad on June 26, 2020.
Scholar Zainal was also worried of the expanding and penetrating net of the India’s divisive spy agency, the RAW (a dangerous threat and the plague of South Asia)in his country and also talked of India’s increasing Islamophobic attitude after the advent of fanatic Prime Minister Modi in India and the subsequent plight of the minority Indian Muslims and then Zainal forcefully appealed the scholars attending the International Webinarians to lobby for the formation of an alliance of countries like, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Maldives and Afghanistan (alliance of four Muslim majority nations ) to safe guard their countries from the increasing Islamophobic menace and the explicit infiltration of the RAW agency into the internal politics of these countries.
The alliance as expected and suggested by Bangladeshi academician Zainal is yet to take a formal shape though.
(Even the B’desh Cabinet ministers in the past were working for the RAW, it is talked).
Bangladesh for some political reasons now t-keeps a comfortable distance with the Indian regime perhaps on account of India’s continued coercive attitude and domineering behavior in the conduct of bilateral relations.
A fully matured and grown up Bangladesh (which is much different from the Mujibur Rehman era) got stunned when the Indian Home Minister termed the Bangladeshi immigrants as “termites” and vowed to kick them all out from the Indian Territory.
The real jolt felt by Prime Minister Hasina Wajed was when Narendra Modi’s government brought the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
To recall, India had passed a bill which offers amnesty to all non-Muslim immigrants from three neighboring countries e.g. Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Citizenship Amendment Act as well as the National Register of Citizens have serious implication for Bangladesh, however, the Modi government went ahead without “consulting the Bangladeshi government” or heeding its concerns.
Bangladesh felt humiliated and insulted both but got alarmed.
The new Indian Citizenship Act grants citizenship to the persecuted (?) Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and the Sikhs from the Muslim-majority nations of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Indian Act fast tracks granting of the Indian nationality certificates for non-Muslim minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
For the record, the United Nations has termed the Indian Law as “fundamentally discriminatory”.
To sum up, the CAA has been rightfully questioned and criticized in Muslim majority Bangladesh as to have been “fuelling demographic tensions” between Muslims and the Hindus as part of a “Grand Hindu-nationalist agenda” that has primarily been crafted by the anti-Muslim Modi in order to create a broader Hindu world in present day Hindustan that encompasses the entire followers of Hindu faith across the countries in this part of the South Asian region.
When asked by a media man in Dubai, PM Hasina Wajed had said that the bill was not “necessary” at all.
Since then several bilateral visits have been called off by Dhaka following the bills approval from the Indian Parliament.
PM Hasina got angered and felt disregarded by India on matters of the Citizenship act and that is why being in intense pains PM Hasina, as a matter of logical reprisal took a grand decision and rightfully ignored to meet the Dhaka based High Commissioner of India Mrs. Riva Das Ganguly despite repeated requests made by her office to grant her an urgent audience.
As the luck was destined, Mrs. Riva Das Ganguly failed summarily in securing the dates for her meet with the B’desh PM which in turn frustrated the applicant to the extent that she left Dhaka for a few days to the nearby villages in order to console her depressed Indian soul.
Riva Das concluded that “Bangladesh” had now acquired a different political posture which was not going to be tamed as usual by the coercive Delhi’s imperial Babus trained by their former masters-the British India Company.
This was the first hint to Delhi from Dhaka with love.
Dhaka leaders silently told Delhi that their country was neither Nepal nor Bhutan and even not the Soleh led Maldives. It was instead a sovereign country that knows how to assert its sovereignty.
To meet Riva Ganguly or not was an independent decision of the Prime Minister and she rejected to see the Indian face inside her official secretariat.
Better late than never Dhaka asserted its integrity.
And the new shocking twist follows for Delhi.
Around the same time when the Indian High Commissioner was being denied and marginalized by Sheikh Hasina, a “secret” meet took place inside the Foreign Ministry in Dhaka in between the Pakistani High Commissioner Imran Ahmad Siddiqui and the sitting Foreign Minister A. K. Abdul Momen.
The meet took place on July 1st, 20202 which jolted the Delhi’s South Block.
The top diplomat from Dhaka and the shrewd envoy from Islamabad must have talked “anything” under the sun.
As the Turkish news agency, AA, broke the news of the meet, it was known that the secret tête-à-tête of Siddiqui and Momen centered on rising Islamophobia (the Delhi riots of February this year included) in narrow-minded neighboring India and the two diplomats also converged on the revival of the SAARC regional body for the collective betterment of the South Asian nations.
Bangladeshi media sources claim that the secret meet also appreciated the China’s involvement in the South Asian nations as “development” partner.
Both the diplomats from Dhaka and Islamabad believed that India’s big-brotherly brashness and the hegemonic behavior in the region must come to an end with the replacement of India with any country that had the potential and the will to help support the South Asian nations in their development endeavors.
As was expected, with this secret but substantial meet, Dhaka and Islamabad have started to multiply their bilateral ties which is significant in the present “geo-political” context that prevails in South Asia.
This bodes well for the region in larger political perspective.
Both the countries have had agreed to strengthen brotherly relations, claim Dhaka media sources.
Dhaka and Islamabad during the secret met also took note of the Indian oppression in occupied Kashmir.
This secret meet of Siddiqui and Momen in fact facilitated the way for the Summit level talks in between the two Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Sheikh Hasina on 22nd July this year.
An earthquake of higher magnitude jolted Delhi rulers instantly.
What these two political men talked over cell phone is not known but soon after the talks, disrupted jute exports to Pakistan followed in huge quantity.
Prior to that Pakistan exported Onions to Bangladesh when out of fury India denied the export.
South Asian media sources opine that with this phone talks, “speculations” are about the possible formation of a new political alliance in the region excluding the regional hegemon.
Most importantly, Khan and Sheikh Hasina underscored that the Jammu and Kashmir issue was a disputed territory and that the United Nations Security Council Resolutions will have to be honored by the Indian side for the resolve of the Kashmir dispute.
They both also converged and had the same opinion in putting on record that the Indian steps taken on August 5, 2019 were just a “unilateral act”.
However, upon Dhaka’s request, the details of the Khan-Hasina talks over phone were not divulged to the press.
This is news.
Will the alliance be as suggested by scholar Zainal Abedin or a broader grouping that includes Nepal, Sri Lanka and China also?
Pakistan and Nepal enjoy cordial ties with Sri Lanka which braved the three decades long India sponsored and encouraged civil war with the Tamil tigers-the brain child of Madame Gandhi.
Whatever may be the alliance in the making, what is for sure is that India is the prime loser. Indian loss is Himalayan.
It is here that the B’deshi quiet diplomacy was marvelous.
Though the convening of the Webinar of the countries Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan and China by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi bodes well for the SA region, yet Bangladesh must not have been excluded in the China initiated webinar as China and B’desh have in the recent months developed excellent ties much to the chagrin of the jealous Indian regime which used to treat Dhaka as its extended province as it used to take Kathmandu.
The frustration in Delhi is of very close to a nervous breakdown of sort. Poor Indians.
And India’s loss is Chinese gain thus.
In diplomacy, such phenomenon are not unusual. Countries look to their core national interests first and the sovereign prestige as well.
Indian loss is gigantic and that it is all due to the follies of PM Modi and his duty bound devotee S. Jay Shankar who considers himself as Lord Mountbatten of this South Asian region. He is a sadistic person.
Since then the two “estranged” countries (Pak and B’desh) have resumed their “brotherly” ties which is what had been needed by the regional countries to strengthen the regional level contacts with each other. Now Dhaka and Islamabad must initiate the revival of the India killed SAARC.
As the things stood since the hot line cell phone talks in between Dhaka and Islamabad, Delhi was strategically replaced by Beijing.
The Himalayan Insult in store:
New Delhi came to senses when India’s Foreign Secretary Harsha Vardhan Shringala boarded a chattered flight to Dhaka with the target of taming sovereign Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who had of late inching closer to China which New Delhi took as an affront to its imperial mindset.
Shringala (half Nepali blood from Darjeeling) landed in Dhaka as a viceroy on August 18, 20202.
To the utter dismay of the Indian viceroy FS Shringala, no one from the B’desh foreign office greeted him at the airport. Shringala should have instantly got the point and returned to save his personal prestige from the same flight. But he didn’t and thus awaited Himalayan insult that was in store for him soon.
On the contrary, when in June this year some 10 doctors from Beijing arrived in Dhaka, Foreign Minister A. K. Abdul Moment personally greeted the doctors at the airport.
This speaks the rest.
The Indian Foreign Secretary Shringala was kept in waiting by PM Hasina’s office, say media sources in Dhaka, for more than five hours which was deliberately done to let Shringala to know the Dhaka’s displeasure with Delhi.
A pretty annoyed and frustrated Shringala finally met Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhavan who in minutes winded up her meet with the “unwanted and uninvited” Indian guest before the caller could “reset” the derailed Dhaka-Delhi ties.
Giving a brief note on the PM Hasina-Shringala meet to the media, the Bangladesh foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen told that the visit was in no way a special but instead a ‘normal one’.
Writes Serajul Islam for the NewAge-Opinion dated August 23, 2020 that “It was obvious given the blackout of any news of what happened at the PMO that whatever else was covered in the media about the rest of Harsh Vardhan Shringla’s visit did not reveal anything about what came out of it”.
It was indeed a ‘deserved tight slap’ for Delhi from Dhaka.
Serajul further adds that the visit occurred after Bangladesh-India relations had hit a hard rock over the country’s drifting towards China for which there was much credible evidence”.
Perhaps Dhaka wanted to sound Delhi that mend “your imperial arrogance or you will incur more loss in the days and years ahead”.
What if Bhutan too follows Dhaka stance? PM Modi and his Hindutva team will in that case pull his hairs.
The deserved insult that Shringala was garlanded in Dhaka shall perhaps be repeated if and when he dares to land in hostile Kathmandu.
Kathmandu has strained relations with the regional bully since the Indian scoundrel FS S. Shankar had come to Nepal to tame Nepali leaders in 2015.
The following reasons may have irritated and annoyed Dhaka with Delhi:
1: The Bharatiya Janta Party Government in India has preferred to pursue a policy that is primarily anti-Muslim;
2: The Bangladesh government concludes that the National Registration Act and the Citizenship Amendment Act has been brought into force only to strengthen its Hindu-Hindutva base;
3: the Indian Home Minister is on record to have termed the Bangladeshi Muslims as ‘termites’ and the Hindu leaders of India threatened to throw Bangladeshi Muslims into the deep blue waters of the Bay of Bengal.
Undoubtedly, it is these pinching Indian acts associated with the intense hatred of Muslims in India that may have prompted a sovereign Bangladesh to sign an agreement with China’s ‘Beijing Urban Construction Group Ltd (BUCG) for the construction of a new airport terminal at Sylhet, Bangladesh.
This agreement with the Chinese company for the Sylhet airport terminal, has practically alarmed New Delhi in that it borders India’s northeastern region and therefore is considered a security-sensitive area for the Gang of Four Regime in Delhi.
Beijing is now the darling of Dhaka and Islamabad.
In sum, the persecution of Muslims in India by the Gang of 4 must pinch the B’desh Muslims. Isn’t it? That’s all.
# This article was first published last week in People’s Review Weekly. It is a delayed posting for telegraphnepal.com: Editor.