Cosying up to the Bangla generals

After years of turbulent relations, it is ironic that New Delhi is currently basking in a sense of reassurance over the possibility of good-neighbourly relations with Bangladesh, with the army-backed interim government appearing to be firmly in place in Dhaka. Since it took over in January, the tenor of statements emanating from the highest levels in the interim administration have enthused New Delhi for a variety of reasons. In particular, Indian diplomats and security officials have expressed approval for Dhaka's crackdown on 'terror'.

Indeed, hopes have been stoked in the Indian establishment that the interim government headed by Fakhruddin Ahmed, a former banker, will eventually take the long-awaited steps that could choke off the insurgents from Northeast India, whom New Delhi is convinced are taking refuge across the border in Bangladesh. But there are also hopes that the current administration in Dhaka will energise Indo-Bangladeshi ties that have been at a low over the past decade. In particular, this could translate into creating an atmosphere of trust and goodwill to boost mutually beneficial economic measures.

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Himal Southasian