America finally realizes its Bangladesh policy was faulty

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Bangladesh, Donald Lu, Sheikh Hasina
Image credit: BSS

In a recent diplomatic effort, Donald Lu, the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, visited Bangladesh, rebuilding the trust in Bangladesh-US relations. This visit comes at a crucial juncture, as both nations seek to strengthen their strategic partnership amidst a rapidly evolving geopolitical landscape. The visit was met with enthusiasm from various political quarters in Bangladesh, notably the main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which previously and even now welcomed Lu’s presence with hopes of a political shift in their favor. However, such aspirations are widely considered unrealistic.

Before Lu’s arrival, the opposition and its regiment of propagandists speculated about potential new sanctions from America, which was very amusing and indicative of childish behavior. The Biden administration is keen on mending ties with Bangladesh’s ruling party because, it recognizes Bangladesh’s critical role in Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy. Bangladesh’s geostrategic location highlights its significant importance and growing global influence. Lu conveyed the message that the US is interested to provide funding to Bangladesh under the US International Finance Corporation to strengthen Bangladesh foreign currency reserve, which has been depleting.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has solidified her position as a prominent global leader by opposing US and Western sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine war and taking a firm stance on the Palestinian issue. Her actions have garnered immense appreciation from the Arab world and non-Arab Muslim countries. Definitely, this uncompromising stance has enhanced Bangladesh’s positive and strong diplomatic prowess in international relations.

During his visit, Donald Lu hinted at a positive posture of the United States lifting sanctions on the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), a specialized anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit in Bangladesh. The potential removal of these sanctions, imposed due to alleged human rights violations, is indicative of improving bilateral ties and recognition of Bangladesh’s efforts to address these concerns. The Biden administration’s sudden shift in Bangladesh policy is influenced by President Joe Biden’s re-election challenges, driven by ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

Simultaneously, while the BNP’s relationship with India has strained due to its involvement in the “India Out” movement, the Awami League’s importance to Indian policymakers is increasing. With the Lok Sabha election results due soon, India plans to give Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina a grand reception, expected to strengthen Dhaka-Delhi relations significantly. In this context, as Donald Lu described India as the leader in the Indo-Pacific strategy for U.S. allies, BNP’s political miscalculations with the United States are becoming more evident.

Beijing is also preparing for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to China in July, where several bilateral agreements will be signed. There is a strong belief that China is expected to assist in resolving the Rohingya crisis. Western countries, particularly the United States and Britain, are considered ineffective in solving such issues, making China’s involvement crucial. Additionally, Sheikh Hasina’s recent visit to Thailand and potential visits to other ASEAN countries align with Bangladesh’s upcoming membership in the BRICS alliance, positioning the nation strategically in regional and global politics.

During 12th parliamentary election in Bangladesh, the US and its allies tried to tarnish the image of Sheikh Hasina’s government and exerted tremendous pressure to oust the regime. But, Sheikh Hasina-led Awami League government has shown remarkable resilience and assertiveness in dealing with the Biden administration, reflecting a broader confidence in Bangladesh’s current geopolitical standing and domestic strength. This evolution is a testament to the nation’s progress and its ability to assert its sovereignty on the global stage.

Furthermore, the US seems to understand the limitations and capabilities of the BNP. Despite the BNP’s optimism about leveraging international support to reclaim ruling power, it appears that the US recognizes the party’s current incapacity to effectively govern the country. This assessment likely influences the US’s diplomatic engagements and policy decisions concerning Bangladesh and its incumbent regime.

Sheikh Hasina’s administration has communicated effectively to the US that contemporary Bangladesh is vastly different from the nascent nation that emerged in 1971. Today, Bangladesh is characterized by robust economic growth, significant advancements in social indicators, and a more prominent role in regional and global affairs. Bangladesh becomes a lucrative strategic development partner for global powers. This transformation has not gone unnoticed by international observers, including the United States, which now sees Bangladesh as a more confident and capable partner.

1 COMMENT

  1. These ISIS ignorant western warmongering idiots still have something up their sleeves. I still don’t believe them. They still haven’t lifted their sanctions on Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), which protects us from the ISIS terrorists in Bangladesh!

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