Why will Bangladesh become a model for US sanctions?

Why will Bangladesh become a model for US sanctions?

2 minutes, 4 seconds Read

Since the decision to grant or deny a visa rests with the host country, no one should have any objection to this decision. Bangladesh argues that this is being done with political intentions. But that political reason is ‘support for furthering democracy’ and ‘democratic elections’. The biggest problem with the leaders in power, apparently, is that they will lose power if there are free and fair elections, and so they do not want anyone to demand such elections. This is obviously against democracy also. If there was faith and trust in democratic elections, such reactions would not have been normal. On the contrary, it would be natural to establish and maintain a national consensus on the question of elections.

Elections are about four months away and hence visa restrictions have naturally not been imposed to prevent vote rigging or to intimidate voters. So what are the other reasons? Using violence to disrupt people’s freedom of assembly and their right to peaceful assemblies, and taking measures to prevent political parties, voters, civil society or news media from expressing their opinions. The allegations cannot be refuted. Almost every day there are news and pictures of disruptions in rallies, attacks, coercion, arrests and harassment with fake cases. Yet if their demands were negotiated with the opposition to reach a solution, the repression and harassment would have ended and such sanctions could have been avoided.

We, the common people, do not know who is personally affected by the US visa policy, but the victims themselves know. While politicians are desperate to retain power, government officials and people earning their livelihood through business will not be willing to jeopardize the future of their children. That is natural. According to embassy records of July, the number of students from Bangladesh there in 2021-22 was 10,587. The worry and concern of their parents can be easily understood.

There is concern about business also. There have been reports in the media of negative impact on the stock market. Headlines in financial dailies say traders are growing concerned about trade with the Western world. Our export market to America is approximately US$ 9 billion. The total investment from the US in 2021-22 was US$ 3.44 billion. And so any delay in resolving the political crisis or making it more complex to become a model of sanctions is completely inappropriate.

*Kamal Ahmed is a senior journalist.

*This column appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by Ayesha Kabir.

1073 Total Views 1 Views Today
Spread the love

Similar Posts