Surging Globally: Bangladesh’s Rise Fuelled by Regional Support

Recently, Bangladesh has become the focus of global interest as major nations compete for influence and navigate the complex dynamics of its political environment.

Recently, Bangladesh has become the focus of global interest as major nations compete for influence and navigate the complex dynamics of its political environment. The recently finished election, characterized by significant worldwide monitoring and contrasting perspectives, has established the foundation for a changing paradigm in the manner in which foreign actors interact with the country.

The international community became polarized into two separate factions, with influential regional countries like India, China, and subsequently Russia, staunchly supporting the Bangladesh government’s dedication to holding elections within the current constitutional framework. Their unified position underscored the need to enable the citizens of Bangladesh to freely exercise their democratic entitlements without any external intervention.

In contrast, the United States, European Union, and Canada constituted the second faction, promoting the principles of free, fair, and credible elections. Although they shared the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s stance on fairness, none openly endorsed the proposal for an election to be held under a caretaker administration. The conflict between these two factions escalated before the elections.

After the elections, in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emerged victorious without the involvement of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the internal responses were varied. Most nations worldwide embraced the outcomes, although a few countries, such as the USA, UK, and Canada, voiced dissatisfaction, claiming that the election lacked complete freedom and fairness, despite favorable assessments from both domestic and international election observers.

Unexpectedly, the tone underwent a change as soon as the new government took office. Ambassadors from the United States and the European Union interacted with influential individuals in the new government, affirming their dedication to cultivating mutually beneficial ties. This move raises the question: what is the reason behind the abrupt alteration in the priorities of global players?

The main catalyst for the shift in global dynamics towards Bangladesh is the recognition among major powers that their efforts to undermine the government were not only ineffective but may also result in unfavorable outcomes. The government’s position was further strengthened by the steadfast backing provided by regional countries such as India, China, and Russia, forming a powerful defense against any outsider intervention. These countries, aware of the internal workings of Bangladesh and their strategic interests in the area, openly supported the government’s dedication to holding elections following the constitution.

The regional hegemonic states, by unequivocally supporting Bangladesh, conveyed a distinct message to the international community that they regarded the domestic matters of the country as inviolable. The unified front acted as a deterrence against any external forces attempting to undermine the political stability of Bangladesh. Fundamentally, the support from neighboring countries not only served as a protective barrier against external intervention but also fostered a feeling of collective support and cohesion among the nations in the area.

Global powers changed their attitude towards Bangladesh, acknowledging the crucial role of regional support. The recognition of the practical consequences that disrupting the government may have on strained regional relationships, economic implications, and geopolitical difficulties spurred a reassessment of their plans. The change in global objectives demonstrates a sophisticated comprehension that preserving stability and fostering constructive relations in the area benefits the wider interests of the international community.

Moreover, the practicality of international actors became evident. The United States, known for its controversial position on human rights in other areas, including Palestine, has difficulties in gaining broad support for its call for human rights and democracy in Bangladesh. Furthermore, considering the upcoming presidential election and domestic economic difficulties, the Biden administration may have considered it imprudent to endanger trade and commercial ties with Bangladesh.

The European Union, apparently in agreement, acknowledged the significance of pragmatism in sustaining favorable ties. Initiating diplomatic relations with Bangladesh demonstrates a calculated decision to actively participate positively, recognizing the intricacies of international politics.

This increased comprehension further emphasizes the development of worldwide politics, wherever practical issues are given priority above ideological disparities. The intricacies of the geopolitical terrain need a more subtle and calculated approach, in which dominant nations carefully consider the potential repercussions of their actions in comparison to the advantages of positive involvement.

Given Bangladesh’s current political environment, the international community must adopt a practical and subtle approach, acknowledging the actual conditions and circumstances. The recent change in priorities indicates that major countries now recognize the utmost importance of promoting stability and cultivating beneficial relationships, especially in the presence of persistent differences in political views. Bangladesh now bears the responsibility to take advantage of this chance for productive discussion and cooperation on the international platform.

Dr. Pranab Kumar Panday
Dr. Pranab Kumar Panday
The writer is a Professor in the Department of Public Administration at the University of Rajshahi.