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Bangladesh needs to draw a new phase of diplomacy

Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Israel, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Sheikh Hasina, Saudi Arabia,

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Bangladesh needs to draw a new phase of diplomacy

Bangladesh is the fastest growing economy in the world, although such tremendous success story is yet to get coverage in the international media, mostly because of lack of required initiatives.

According to reports of Indian vernacular periodical Ei Samay, the per-capita income of a prosperous Bangladesh has already crossed those of India and Pakistan.  

The tremendous prosperity of Bangladesh in every sector is going on under the magnanimous statesmanship of our most respectful and adored Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The leadership height of Sheikh Hasina has reached such a magnificent stage that there is no such female leader of her match to come in the world even in the distant future.

We always see the shadow of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Sheikh Hasina i.e., love for the people as we all know Bangabandhu was the symbol of love, aspiration of forgiveness and the same we see in his daughter Sheikh Hasina.

For our rapid and solid development progress many of our friends are happy, but some opponents are seeking opportunities to damage us with their Vulturous heart. Here we need to take every step with caution. In this phase our foreign policy must be formulated very carefully otherwise our enemies will get the chance of doing harm to Bangladesh.

To examine the modern days foreign policy formulation parameter, I got tempted to quote a former U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (1989–92) and assistant U.S. Secretary of Defense Chas. W. Freeman, where he said: The purpose of foreign policy is to further a state’s interests, which are derived from geographyhistoryeconomics, and the distribution of international power.

Safeguarding national independence, security, and integrity—territorial, political, economic, and moral—is viewed as a country’s primary obligation, followed by preserving a wide freedom of action for the state.

The political leaders, traditionally of sovereign states, who devise foreign policy pursue what they perceive to be the national interest, adjusting national policies to changes in external conditions and technology.

Capturing the base stand of Bangladesh’s foreign policy, ‘friendship to all, malice to none” is truly an excellent approach that was derived by our great leader Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. On the similar sense, to draw interest for our nation, I prefer to utter the aforesaid statement issued by the Ambassador Chas. W. Freeman.

While reading the aforementioned quote, we must try to sense that in the modern days progress in the field of diplomacy is, grabbing each and every element to formulating the foreign policy. Beyond the question, only friendship can cooperate with the development policy of a country and this friendship has to be with all modern countries having innovative modern technology and also the media strength.

We need to keep in our mind that Bangladesh is no longer a country of 70s or 80s, it is now the country on fast track moving in the 21st century with the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved firm vision 2041 on the set line of SDG to achieve success.

Very interestingly when I look back to our first phase of efforts of establishing friendship with the international community, I did find, on February 4, 1972, Israel had sent a letter to Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs giving recognition to the newly born country. And, even then during the 1971 liberation war time, the Jewish State Israel had offered assistance and cooperation to Bengali freedom fighters in its war of independence against the Pakistani occupation forces. But on record, we had not received any support from the Middle East countries as well as leaders including the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat who lately become our ally in 1974!

Yasser Arafat opposed to Bangladesh’s war of independence. Individuals like military dictator Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman and Khandekar Mushtaq found their best friend in Arafat,.

According to information, Khondoker Mushtaq Ahmed, one of the key conspirators of the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the then Foreign Minister had secretly turned-down the Israeli recognition at the advice of his Pakistani masters.

Mushtaq, a heavily Pakistan-inclined political crook was having his own agenda of turning Bangladesh into a radical Islamic nation with extreme intimacy with Pakistan. At one stage, he even was making attempts of forming a confederation with Pakistan. However, Mushtaq never hesitated to establish diplomatic relationship with Pakistan – a country which had not only committed one of the biggest genocides after the Holocaust, but has persistently denied the genocide.

Put in this context, Mushtaq’s denial of accepting Israel’s recognition was really just a part of sabotaging the newly-liberated Bangladesh, and merging it again with Pakistan. Prior to 1975, Awami League and even Bangabandhu himself had trust in Mushtaq’s decision, and he never thought that Mushtaq would ever try to sabotage the nation’s independence.

In this piece of article, I remind to all of you with a sad heart, even after the cruel assassination of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, no reference is there to get consolation that the Palestinian’s or their leader Yasser Arafat had condemned the assassination or sent a message to Bangabandhu’s daughters – Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana. Instead, Yasser Arafat had recognized Mushtaq’s illegitimate government.

However, coming back to the present phase, that is to erase pains in the Middle East in particular to resolve the ongoing conflicts between Israel and Palestinians, only two states formulation is the most practical. Unfortunately, countries in the Middle East are divided with their own agenda to gain geopolitical supremacy and are playing accordingly. In this theater, Bangladesh has nothing to gain or to say harsh to any one or to sing with those country’s orchestrated tune is engaged into their own deep national interests only by showing the identity of Islam to Muslim community in the world.

More clearly, all Muslim countries in the world are gradually normalizing relationship with Israel. Indonesia – world’s largest Muslim country has not been hostile towards Israel, and Saudi Arabia, too, has recently mentioned that they believe the Jewish State has a right to exist. Which indicates vividly that there is no last word in politics and diplomacy. Today’s enemy can become tomorrow’s best ally. And that is not impossible in future relations between Bangladesh and Israel as Israel has never been Bangladesh’s enemy.

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Mujtoba Ahmed Murshed, contributor to Blitz is an internationally acclaimed political analyst, media specialist, author, poet, novelist and former newspaper editor. He is a member of the secularist forces in Bangladesh and a relentless defender of human rights.

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