Saturday, September 29, 2007

Rescuing military image in Bangladesh

Has the image of Bangladesh army been tarnished lately? Interestingly, the army backed Caretaker government is trying to redefine the army's role in the current government. Bangladesh army won't be involved into national politics may sound too assuring to a lot of political observers. People have growing suspicion about army's motive in the whole political process. Bangladesh offering a new model of military dominated civil affairs to the world body is a quiet fascinating provocation by its design.

"Bangladesh represents an effective model of civil-military cooperation in crisis prevention ," Fakhruddin Ahmed was quoted as saying at the UNGA session in New York by the state-run BSS. May be, he said the truth. He may have overlooked the course of political process that is increasingly dictated by the military planners. Blogger Jagrook Bangalee claims, "a parallel government is being run by the military intelligence in Bangladesh". The self-acclaimed civil-military model doesn't work "when in the midnight whose doors are knocked and abducted to unknown destination at least for a few days before handing over to the police, then to jail for indefinite period without bail. The eminent professor of Dhaka University and Rajshahi University could not be saved from such allegation, late production to police and detained to jail for indefinite period". The saga remains same for almost all of the people taken into custody.

Bangladeshis may seek comfort in what General Moeen recently said about the army's willingness to return to their barracks when the government asks them to do so. Will that cease Army's undue and invisible role in politics? It's very unlikely to happen in Bangladesh under the given condition. Suddenly an increasing drum beats on Army's retreat puzzle the political observers about the undercurrent of these statements. May be the recent geo-political developments are holding the untold answer. Burma is burning. The whole world is looking at the volatile situations in Burma. Bangladesh government is under increasing international scrutiny about its political reforms, election, and human rights issues. That is why, Bangladesh Army is validly redefining its role to escape international scrutiny which will be critically tested in the coming days. The hope for sustainable democracy will go away if invisible hands continue to dictate political developments in Bangladesh.

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