India’s stance on the Bangladesh elections to the US has clearly indicated that it does not support meddling by other countries in the matter. For that reason, diplomatic analysts believe that India may become more active if the United States continues to pressure the Awami League government regarding the elections. They say that the position of the United States on the Bangladesh elections is part of its policy in the international arena. India on the other hand
Giving importance to regional stability. A ‘two-plus-two’ (2+2) meeting between the foreign and defense ministers of India and the US was held in Delhi last Friday. Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh met with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Minister Lloyd Austin. At the press conference after the meeting, India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said that they have ‘clearly’ highlighted the position of his government on Bangladesh in the meeting.
Vinay Kwatra said, ‘We have made our point of view very clear about Bangladesh. Election of Bangladesh is their internal matter. The people of that country will decide their own future. As a friend and partner country, we respect the democratic process of Bangladesh. India strongly supports the “vision” of Bangladesh as a stable, peaceful and progressive country as the people of that country want to see it.’
He said with a little emphasis, ‘We have made it very clear that our view on the situation of different countries of the world including Bangladesh, the way we review the situation.’
India’s stance on Bangladesh elections is not new. But contrary to the way US officials are commenting on the Bangladesh election, it is considered important that India should clarify its point of view before the US ministers.
According to a BBC Bengali report, analysts are explaining the fact that they have presented their position ‘very clearly’ to the United States, so that the United States does not put too much pressure on the Bangladesh elections, which is the message that India gave to the United States in the meeting on Friday.
For more than a year, the United States and the West have been working on Bangladesh elections. Last May, the United States announced a new visa policy for those who obstructed free, fair and impartial elections. Then in July the country announced the implementation of the visa policy. India has not publicly reacted to these incidents.
As the major power against China in the region, the US had been maintaining friendly relations with India. Earlier, the United States had asked and consulted about the elections in Bangladesh. But did not take such a direct position. This time there is an exception.
Diplomatic and political analysts think that Bangladesh’s relationship with India is very old. In the last 15 years, this relationship has gained a new dimension. Again, the Dhaka-Beijing relationship is also at a new height. Again, Washington-Delhi diplomatic relations around China are maintained. As a result, the neighboring country India will not hand over the control of the election of Bangladesh to anyone else. They think that the issue of Bangladesh election has been relevantly raised in the discussion between the Defense and Foreign Ministers of India and the United States in New Delhi last Friday.
Diplomatic sources say that this is also the gist of India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra’s statement. After the meeting, Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra told reporters that they respect Bangladesh’s democratic process. Apart from this, the election of Bangladesh is an internal matter of the country.
Diplomatic analysts said, through this statement, India has given a very clear indication that it does not support other countries’ meddling in Bangladesh’s elections. As a result, they think that the United States will decide their next policy on the Bangladesh elections. Because there is a consensus between India and the US on the China issue. Just as India does not want Bangladesh’s long-standing relationship to deteriorate by interfering with elections, India also does not want Dhaka’s relationship with China to overtake Delhi’s. Again, the US also wants to maintain its influence in the region through India. Therefore, analysts feel that India’s clear position on the Bangladesh elections is an important message to the United States.
According to several diplomatic sources in Dhaka and Delhi, after the two-plus-two meeting, India’s clear statement on the Bangladesh election will lead to a new direction in the discussions and actions going on in the international arena. Sources claim that India will never hand over its long-held control to any other country. As the Bangladesh election approaches, India’s activism will increase.
Former foreign secretary and diplomatic analyst Wali ur Rahman told Desh Parwand that the practice of democracy in Bangladesh is 53 years old. During this period Bangladesh has strengthened its position a lot. The United States has nothing to do with Bangladesh’s relations with India. The relationship with these two countries is not through any third country. They expressed India’s confidence in the present government of Bangladesh and in the electoral system. And the US has said many times, they don’t like this government. US also has relations with India. The two countries may have different opinions about Bangladesh. The US may now move to apply more pressure. India has nothing to do with these US pressures.
International analyst and professor. Imtiaz Ahmed told Desh Manwarvan, “Even though the government is talking about free, fair and impartial elections, the United States has continued its activities. By repeatedly raising their issue, it seems that the United States is assuming that the country will not hold proper elections. They are banning and threatening on this issue.’ He said that it is now important for India to protect the stability of the region. India has tried to send that message to the US by clarifying its position on Bangladesh. Now the US will make its decision.
The former ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States, M Humayun Kabir, told Desh Manwar, ‘India has clarified its views on the upcoming elections in Bangladesh, which is available from the statement of the country’s foreign secretary. There he expressed the democratic process of Bangladesh and its stability, peaceful position through all these. He also mentioned that Bangladesh is a progressive country. Now it is not known what the United States had to say in that meeting. However, it is clear that they did not agree on the election issue of Bangladesh.
India’s relationship with Bangladesh in the last 15 years is based on the stability and connectivity of the region.
BBC Bangla quoted Eamon Kalyan Lahiri, professor of international relations at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, as saying, ‘India’s position was clear, but we need to take it very seriously to present it “very clearly” to the US Secretary of State.’
In his words, ‘It is very important for India to have a stable government in Bangladesh because of our connectivity with the northeastern region. The way the United States is putting pressure on Sheikh Hasina’s government in various ways before the country’s elections, they have also tried to get involved in the country’s internal affairs, are facts. Therefore, India has made it clear that they should not worry too much about the internal affairs of Bangladesh.