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Militancy in Bangladesh

Edit Date:7/28/2010 12:00:00 AM

Weekly Holiday, 9 July 2010 http://www.weeklyho liday.net/ 2010/090710/ edit.html During the last four-party coalition government, some sporadic and inept militant incidents occurred across Bangladesh, which left the people utterly shocked and dumb-founded. Such incidents involving religious zeal had no place in Bangladesh in the past. In no time, the events became a subject of news headline and different theories were being propounded. As a result, the country terribly suffered both economically and politically. Bangladeshi expatriates and migrant workers especially those in the Middle East and in countries like Malaysia started to bear the brunt of this image crisis of their country. They have been looked down upon through a prism of suspicion and distrust. Foreign investment in Bangladesh, especially in garment industries, was halted for a period and still has not been fully resumed - not to the extent as it had been before. A neighbouring country became the immediate beneficiary of the embarrassment that Bangladesh was having. While many Bangladeshi migrant workers were being sent home, those from the neighbouring country started to receive special treatment and their opportunity to enter the international labour market became wider. The above facts are important in understanding those militant incidents in Bangladesh during the period. Militancy in Bangladesh did not benefit the political parties in power at that time at all or those who do not subscribe to India's political interest in the region. So it would be a worthwhile investigation to look into the genesis of militancy in Bangladesh. In all likelihood, the strong intelligence services of some of the countries might have been involved in the training of the militants to gain political advantage. And in all probability, the preparation period of militancy was during the late 1990s when some of the Qaomi madrasas were allegedly being used for stirring up militancy and for providing training to the prospective militants. Despite the widespread damage to Bangladesh's image in the global arena, those militant incidents failed to give anyone inside or outside the country any dividend. They have failed to establish a clear political link between the militancy and any of the political parties inside the country. In my opinion, the arrest of the three prominent Jamaat leaders (Motiur Rahman Nizami, Delwar Hossain Sayedee and Ali Ahsan M. Mujahid) is an attempt to see how the people react to such incident. Tortures on such respected and religious scholars will definitely offend many, especially those belonging to Jamaat-e-Islam. Anger may lead some of them to militancy; few individuals may even take the wrong route of suicide bombing out of desperation. If such things happen, God forbid, Bangladesh will fall into the category of Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan and Afghanistan. I hope the people of Bangladesh will wise up before we find our beloved country turned into another Afghanistan, another Iraq or another Pakistan! Shimul Chaudhury Email: honestdebater@ yahoo.ca

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