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Published On: Thu, Jan 5th, 2017

Hasina delays Delhi visit to avoid Chinese question

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imagesDHAKA/ KOLKATA : It was sometime during yearend, Bangaladesh Deputy High Commissioner office organized a function to inaugurate another just before his Prime Minister Begum Hasina was to visit Delhi on December 18 last year!

When the present writer asked Md Mofakkharul Iqqbal, First Secretary (Press) if Hasina would also come to Kolkata during her visit to Delhi, he said: “We are not briefed as yet to speak on this issue.’’
Actually it is Hasina who is delaying the visit as she would not like to face any question if Bangladesh has gone for her new superpower  friend China,’’ admitted one of top pro-Awami League party leaders.
And they think before she choose her ally, she has to clear up her thinking that India is fine, but she would have to have development of the nation in mind before she closes her window to someone.

Then of course her party and her own political future,’’ he added, saying “India would give us all political protection, but we need to have someone who can both fund projects and steer development.’’

As for example, China is helping Bangladesh with funds and projects like one in Karnaphuli and a bridge on Padma.With Hasina’s popularity dipping an all time low in Bangaladesh, she wanted to show voters that she cared for them.

It’s not that Hasina doesn’t know what it means in getting closer to China which wouldn’t have a good relation with India that “gives her Government political backing. We have to have one of the two as our friend, but India doesn’t appreciate need for our development,’’ an observer said.
If Bangladesh opens up for China India will have strategic problems like keeping an eye on Chinese intelligence watching India from not so far a distance then as God Father to Islamabad, it would also dig up another route for Pakistan which has been doing damages to India.
Thus by inviting as aggressive a nation as China, Hasina may have only chosen a wrong partner  without a planned out foreign policy,’’ feel another conservative political observer.

And presumably she wouldn’t like to face any question from Delhi what she has decided to go for according to her new policy of bilateral relations. India is a powerful nation, she should have briefed Delhi for development and fund, instead of walking into a crossroads,’’ said an old Awami Leage leader.

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