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Hasina’s win spells doom to northeast militancy

Hasina’s win spells doom to northeast militancy
Highlights

Elections in any country are a routine affair But, when it comes to Bangladesh, they are something special to India If Narendra Modi was the first to congratulate Sheikh Hasina on her win in the recently held elections, there is a sound logic to it Sheikh Hasina, acknowledging that Modi was the first foreign leader to convey congratulations,

Elections in any country are a routine affair. But, when it comes to Bangladesh, they are something special to India. If Narendra Modi was the first to congratulate Sheikh Hasina on her win in the recently held elections, there is a sound logic to it. Sheikh Hasina, acknowledging that Modi was the first foreign leader to convey congratulations, appreciated his reiteration of India's commitment to support Bangladesh's development. Modi had expressed confidence that relations between India and Bangladesh would continue to flourish under Hasina's 'far-sighted leadership'.

The Prime Minister also reiterated that priority of India attached to Bangladesh as a neighbour, a close partner for regional development, security and cooperation and a central pillar in India's ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. Bangladesh has not only re-elected Hasina as its leader for the fourth time, but also firmly reaffirmed its faith in democracy, and the vision of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangladesh's 11th Parliamentary poll was not just an acid test for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. It was something that India was eagerly looking forward to find out the end result.

Even the world was not unconcerned about it. Delhi's priorities, anyway, are different from the world, particularly the West. President Donald Trump's phased withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan has already led to some concern here with its worry over intensified Islamist militancy by the Taliban and other Pakistan-backed proxies who may not only jeopardise Indian interests in Afghanistan, but also turn their eyes towards Kashmir. Indian establishment must be ready to face a heightened militancy in Kashmir. India bleeds further if there is a further spell of militancy in the North East which is quite vulnerable when it comes to its borders which are too porous.

Thanks to Hasina's tough stand against militants and ISI operatives since 2009, militancy has come down here to a large extent. Such forces had a free run during the BNP Jamaat Regime between 2001-2016. If today, the pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Assam and Daimary faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) are on the table, it is only because their leaders were nabbed and hounded out of Bangladesh and handed over to India under Hasina's explicit orders. Other armed groups in Tripura and Meghalaya too have given up on armed struggle after the crackdown in Bangladesh.

ULFA's Paresh Barua is hiding on the Sino-Myanmar border somewhere. All these, including Pakistan, wanted Hasina's defeat. The West seems to have a different take on the elections unlike India's. While India wholeheartedly welcomed the outcome, the West criticised the ‘sham of an election’. It almost agreed with the Opposition in Bangladesh that Hasina has fought the elections ‘as usual’ with the stuffed ballot boxes. Donald Trump, of all the persons, was also of the view. He felt democracy was cheated.

Trump who can turn a blind eye to the killing of Jamaal Khashoggi and come to the rescue of the Saudi crown Prince talking about democracy and ethical values? Anyway, what has West got to lose in Bangladesh? Can it force Pakistan to do what Hasina has done with Islamic terrorists and armed outfits in Bangladesh?

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