News Analysis |
Sheikh Hasina Wajid has secured a landslide victory in Bangladesh general election virtually clean sweeping almost entire of the contested seats. The coalition led by Hasina’s Awami League Party won 288 out of 300 seats (96 percent) in Sunday’s polls, Election Commission Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed said. Opposition alliance led by prominent lawyer Kamal Hossain won only seven seats.
Violent riots during the polling took lives of more than a dozen people and the opposition immediately accused the government of using gruesome tactics to suppress the voters and the massive rigging allegedly took place.
The victory of Sheikh Hasina was joyously celebrated in India which more or less sums up the nature of relations between both the countries.
With Khalida Zia, the only real contender to Sheikh Hasina as both women have been replacing each other to rule Bangladesh for the last 3 decades, in jail, these elections were thought to project the evident tilt toward Bangladesh Awami League. Still, an extent to which the ruling party has managed to secure power is being questioned.
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Bangladesh Under Sheikh Hasina Wajid
The image of the incumbent Prime Minister of Bangladesh varies, depending upon person who is being asked the question about her. To her supporter, she is “mother of humanity” for the role Bangladesh has played in giving refuge to the Rohingya fleeing persecution of Myanmar’s army and extremist monks.
Contrary to this popular belief, her detractors make of her as an autocrat who uses coercion to bring down her political opponent, or the only real opponent Chief of Bangladesh Nationalist Party Khalida Zia. Mrs. Zia was jailed in February 2018 on charges of corruption which she and her supporters have straightforwardly termed as politically motivated measures to keep her away from the power.
Sheikh Hasina Wajid has secured a landslide victory in Bangladesh general election virtually clean sweeping almost entire of the contested seats.
In terms of economy, Bangladesh has done really well with the annual growth of 7.1%, the highest in the entire history of the country under her premiership. The Bangladeshi textile industry is the second largest besides China, where both countries share same reasons i.e. cheap workforce, and easy labor laws.
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Under her watch, Bangladesh is on course to graduate from a least-developed country to a middle-income nation. Poverty has been brought down to around 20% and nearly 90% of the country’s 165 million people now have access to electricity. Despite having proportionately same magnitude and nature of problems, Bangladesh has managed to do quite well for itself on the economic front as compared to Pakistan.
Sheikh Hasina and Pakistan
The daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rehman, Sheikh Hasina Wajid who first came into power in 1996 has always held a feeling of contempt against Pakistan. Relations between both the countries were strained in the recent years when under her watch the leaders of Jamat e Islami, who favored Pakistan during the 1971 uprising were sentenced on charges of treason among multiple other cases.
Mrs. Zia was jailed in February 2018 on charges of corruption which she and her supporters have straightforwardly termed as politically motivated measures.
The prosecution in this matters remains oblivious as a no. of fact-finding missions in past had cleared the individuals who were later sentenced and some even put to gallows, just because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wanted the vindication. Pakistan recorded a serious protest against the unhuman hangings and life terms of aged leaders of Jamat e Islami whose only crime was to speak for the unity of Pakistan when Bangladesh was being created.
The victory of Sheikh Hasina was joyously celebrated in India which more or less sums up the nature of relations between both the countries. A no. of opinion articles were published in the most reputable dailies of India which stated the result of the elections as the victory for the South Asian strategic interests of India.
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The relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan, during the tenure of Sheikh Hasina Wajid, have not been progressive precisely because of the prejudice she has against Pakistan, and rest was made sure by the Indian lobbyists and intelligentsia to keep both the countries apart.
With her consolidating power yet again, and this time with even more numeric strength, the hope for better working relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh remains bleak. However, Pakistan must try to establish friendly and progressive relations with all the countries, including Bangladesh, keeping the national dignity intact.