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Bangladesh needs to adopt smart diplomacy

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Israel, Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Knesset  

Oped

Bangladesh needs to adopt smart diplomacy

Bangladesh’s constitution says – “friendship to all while malice to none”. This is the core principle of Bangladesh in its diplomatic approach towards every country in the world. Our Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman believed in friendship with every country in the world. He did not support enmity with anyone. Even we have exhibited similar sentiment in our diplomatic relations with Pakistan, a nation that had killed three million Bengalis during our war of independence. Pakistani occupation forces had violated hundreds of thousands of Bengali girls and women. Despite such records of cruelty and barbarism, we have diplomatic relations with Pakistan, a country that did not recognize Bangladesh before the tragic assassination of Bangabandhu. We are following a similar smart diplomacy while dealing with Taiwan. Despite the fact of Bangladesh’s not recognizing Taiwan due to our extremely cordial relations with China, we are neither stopping economic interactions with Taiwan nor considering it as our enemy. Actually, Taiwan is not any enemy of Bangladesh. It is important to note, Bangladeshi passport had travel restrictions on Taiwan since 1972 and the restriction was lifted many years later. Lifting travel ban on Taiwan and starting economic relations neither went against our constitution or the philosophy of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Similarly, we need to refresh our Middle East policy and make an end to undue enmity with the State of Israel. We need to remember; Bangladesh never had any political or diplomatic dispute with Israel. Instead, the Jewish State had offered assistance during our war of independence and were amongst first few nations to extend recognition to a newly born Bangladesh. It may be mentioned here that, even Palestinians do not deny the existence of the State of Israel. Many Palestinians are using Israeli passports, while there are several Arab MPs in the Israeli Knesset [parliament]. Palestinians are regularly visiting Israel, including the Al Aqsa mosque. Meaning, to them, Israel is no non-existent entity. Large number of Arab nations, including Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates are having full diplomatic relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia, despite the fact of not yet having formal diplomatic relations with the Jewish State, has allowed its airspace to be used by Israeli airlines, while there are economic relations in private level between Riyadh and Jerusalem.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as part of his willingness of establishing peace in the Middle East has been adopting smart diplomacy. According to media scoops, the Crown Prince even is continuing interactions with its arch-rival Iran, with the noble intention of ending decade-old rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran.

Politics, diplomacy and economic approaches are swiftly changing in the world with the noble goal of ensuring a stronger bondage amongst the nations. In the eyes of the international community, Bangladesh already has emerged into a nation of great admire especially because of excellent pace of our socio-economic progress. A fastest growing economy like Bangladesh needs more friends and partners in the world. No one should be allowed to jeopardize Bangladesh’s prospects by adopting bankrupt or failed diplomacy.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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