Between a rock and a hard place
Is a 25-year defense pact with India a good idea?
According to some media reports, India wants a 25-year comprehensive defense pact with Bangladesh, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit India in April to have bilateral talks and sign the deal. That comprehensive defense pact will include training, sale of military hardware, and military-to-military cooperation. It is also reported that India is also willing commit up to $500 million in line of credit for military cooperation with Dhaka.
Geo-strategically, Bangladesh is very important to India for two critically important reasons:
First, since Bangladesh is a country with a 90% Bengali Muslim majority that nearly disconnects India’s north-east, it has the potential to become a security threat to India.
Second, the Bay of Bengal. It is located close to the geographic centre of the Indo-Pacific region at the intersection of the expanding zones of strategic interest of China and India. The Bay of Bengal is also a key transit zone between the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the main route for trade in energy to East Asia. India wants full control over it.
Read more at: http://www.dhakatribune.com/opinion/op-ed/2017/03/15/rock-hard-place/
Dhaka Tribune, March 15, 2017
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