Strong Anti-India Slant in Bangladesh: “Trust Deficit Issue”

There is a strong Indophobic sentiment in Bangladesh, but senior diplomat Munshi Faiz Ahmed has had to exercise caution while speaking to Indian portal, a South Asia analyst tells DesPardes.

He was asked to comment on the interview the Bangladeshi diplomat gave to StratNewsGlobal recently.

“There’s trust deficit,” points out Mr. Ahmed in the interview.

WATCH full interview here >

Other significant reasons for the deteriorating relationship with India, says a Dhaka-based observer are: “India’s lack of initiative to apply pressure on Myanmar to take back Rohingya refugees, India giving Myanmar their first submarine, state-sponsored attacks on Indian and Kashmiri Muslims, concerted efforts by (BJP-led) Indian Government not to allow Bangladesh to have a strong economy, continuous intervention of Indian Intelligence agencies in Bangladesh internal affairs, Indian Government’s arrogant attitude of treating Bangladesh as an inferior Vassal State, etc.”

“Faiz missed out these important issues which is known to all of us”, says the observer. He’s a prominent educationist and entrepreneur.

India’s eastern neighbor is said to be closely following what’s happening in its western neighborhood, and “we hope saner elements prevail and that people are allowed to have more freedom and they are not discriminated,” Mr. Munshi tells the interviewer.

There’s also strong anti-India slant in Bangladesh as “the country feels it is getting short-changed,” says the Bangladeshi diplomat. “There should be quid pro quo” in relationship.

Visitors from Bangladesh comprise the largest number of visitors to India –from many countries abroad. Bangladeshis go for education, some seek work, but mostly they go for medical treatment and business.

The country has India as one of its two largest neighbors (China is second). “On all four sides we have India as neighbor,” says Mr. Ahmed.

Lately, the South Asian country, post PM Modi’s highly contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registry of Citizens (NRC) moves, stepped up diplomatic efforts with its western neighbor and with other nations in the neighborhood.

Its Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has termed the CAA and the NRC as India’s “internal matters”, but at the same time said the act was “not necessary”.

“We don’t understand why (the Indian government) did it. It was not necessary,” Hasina told the Gulf News in an interview, referring to India’s new citizenship law.

Her comments came weeks after Bangladesh Foreign Minister A K Abdul Momen voiced concern that any “uncertainty” in India is likely to affect its neighbors.