GUWAHATI, Jan 12 � Political stability in Bangladesh is vital for peace and development of Northeast India. Though the Awami League has swept the polls, the government will suffer from lack of credibility as less than 25 per cent of the people voted in the recent elections in the country following boycott calls by the opposition parties led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). This was the view expressed by former Special Director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), RN Ravi, who is well versed with the situation in the Northeast.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Ravi pointed out that stability in Bangladesh is vital not only for the security of the Northeast but also for economic activities, as the neighbouring country has already agreed to give transit facilities to India, which would be a major boost for the region. He, however, said that because of shortcomings in India�s foreign policy, one of the two major parties in Bangladesh, that is the Awami League, considers India as a friendly nation, while the BNP-Jamaat combine has always been hostile towards India in its actions.
Ravi reiterated that the Awami League Government would suffer from lack of credibility, and it is sure that Bangladesh would be in a state of turmoil for some time till the Awami League and the BNP come into some kind of understanding and agree for a fresh election. So far, the army is playing a neutral role, but if the turmoil continues, there is a fair chance of the army making a bid to take over power in Bangladesh, he said.
The former IB officer pointed out that as the opposition parties, including the BNP and the Jamaat, would always keep the present government on its toes, it would have very little time and energy to concentrate on India�s interests and the activities of the militant groups and other organisations inimical to India. The activities of the militant groups will be the lowest priority to a government fighting to keep the situation in the country under control, and under the circumstances, there is every possibility of the militant groups re-establishing bases in the neighbouring country.
Ravi revealed that some Islamic militant outfits still have some bases in Assam and parts of Manipur and the elements of radical forces in Bangladesh will try to take advantage of the situation to strengthen bases in that country and they may even try to spread to the Northeast. If the radical elements in Bangladesh manage to cross over to India for shelter because of the political turmoil there, they would not sit idle, and would try to go for recruitment and indoctrination of local youths by taking advantage of the demographic pattern of Assam, he warned.