Behind the “RAW” tirade

Mar 18, 2017
Why would Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina fire a salvo like this ahead of her India visit in April by accusing Indian intelligence agency RAW and the US embassy of bringing down her government in 2001?
Those who blame Hasina as pro-India may be shocked. BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul has hit back, denying the charge that RAW and US helped Khaleda Zia come to power in 2001. In a counter-attack, he alleged RAW played a role in helping Hasina return to power in 2014. But those who know Hasina closely have no difficulty figuring out why she said what she did.
As Bangabandhu's daughter, Hasina has close relations with a host of Indian leaders, especially in Congress and the Left. No wonder President Pranab Mukherjee has offered to host her during her April visit and the Modi government has accepted it. Over the last two years, she has developed good relations with PM Narendra Modi and some senior BJP leaders like Tripura governor Tathagata Roy and editor-turned-MP Chandan Mitra. So she has no reasons to deal with RAW or Indian agencies and bureaucrats. She has been well disposed towards some diplomats who have served in Bangladesh and has used normal diplomatic channels to officially communicate with India. The Awami League has enough political channels to deal with Indian leadership, even with the BJP. And I can vouch for what she once told Indian national security adviser during the Vajpayee regime Brajesh Mishra who had suggested some changes in her policies  – “As a friend of India, like my father, I will  address all your concerns, but don't tell me how to run my country”.
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Daily Star, March 18, 2017

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