According to latest tally ruling Awami League (AL), under the dynamic leadership of Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is going to bag at least 288 seats out of 300 seats in the parliament. This is a historic victory for Sheikh Hasina and her party. Most importantly, voters have totally rejected the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) because of its alliance with Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) a party known for its radical Islamic ideology.
Moreover, JI is hated in Bangladesh for its nefarious role during the war of independence of Bangladesh in 1971. According to analysts, Sheikh Hasina’s grand victory clearly proves, people of Bangladesh are tired of the politics of anarchy and nepotism. They also are afraid of voting in favor of the parties like BNP because they know; one of the key agendas of this party is transforming Bangladesh into another Pakistan or Afghanistan. Secularist people of Bangladesh traditionally are against religion-based politics of any party that promoted radical Islamism. For this particular reason, even pro-BNP vote-bank this time has voted in favor of the AL candidates.
The ten-year rule of Sheikh Hasina since 2008 has transformed an economically struggling Bangladesh into the fastest growing economy in the region. It is predicted by the economic pundits, if the current pace of economic boost is continued, Bangladesh will emerge as another economic power in South Asia within the next span of 10-15 years.
About Sunday’s general elections, international observers from India, Nepal, Canada and the Organization of Islamic Countries said, the overall atmosphere of the election was extremely festive while there has been no major incident of violence in the country compared to any past election in Bangladesh.
Voting into the 11th general election in Bangladesh began in a festive mood from 8 am in the morning. In each of the polling stations in the country, a long queue of enthusiastic voters was found. This time, a large number of young voters have voted for the first time in their lives. To these voters, AL candidates were favorites.
After visiting several polling stations, a member of the foreign observer team, Tania Foster from Canada said: “Everyone is getting access to their polling station and able to cast their ballot and all of the officers and officials are doing a great job to maintain order. I have been to five centers so far and a number of polling booths and everything that I have observed to this point have demonstrated that it’s been really orderly that are the voters are feeling empowered and enthusiastic about being able to come and vote.”
After casting his vote, Chief Election Commissioner K. M. Nurul Huda told reporters, “The election is being fair so far except one or two separate incidents.”
Possible challenges for Sheikh Hasina:
Following this landslide victory of Sheikh Hasina and her party, her arch-rival BNP and its coalition partners, especially JI may now plot some newer conspiracy against Bangladesh. It may make attempts of making the election controversy to the eyes of the international community. Such a plot may receive patronization from countries like Pakistan and even China.
President Xi Jinping may even take personal initiatives in misleading American President Donald Trump on the result of the just concluded election. Enemies of the people of Bangladesh may now go into drastic efforts in influencing President Trump as well as the United Nations is taking any punitive measures against Bangladesh. Considering such possibilities of potential odds, Sheikh Hasina’s prime ally India needs to immediately take some preventive measures to safeguard the AL government and the people of Bangladesh.
Indian media needs to play an active role in favor of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her party. Antiradical Islam forces and media in the world also need to stand in support of Sheikh Hasina. Such measures are essential and even crucial for saving Bangladesh from going into the grips of radical Islamists and militants like BNP and Jamaat.
The international community also needs to note, according to security agencies in Bangladesh, the nexus of the pro-Islamist coalition in the opposition are even having the plot of going into series of massive terror attacks, as the people of Bangladesh have already rejected them through a ballot.
People voted in favor of prosperity and peace:
Commenting on main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), the New York Times in an opinion editorial said: “The B.N.P. has a dark record of stoking religious extremism. It has long been allied with the violent Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami. During the B.N.P.’s last term in power, between 2001 and 2006, bombings by Islamists multiplied. In 2004, extremists linked to the party attacked an Awami League rally with grenades in an attempt to assassinate Sheikh Hasina, then the opposition leader, now the prime minister. (More than 20 people were killed and hundreds were injured.) A former Awami League finance minister was killed the following year. Terrorist groups like Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh and Harkat-ul-Jihad al Bangladesh also flourished under the B.N.P.’s political cover.”
Commenting on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, leading Indian newspaper the Indian Express in an article wrote: “For Hasina, the election will be a litmus test of her policies and programs, executed during the last one decade of her uninterrupted rule. Hasina has brought about her country’s socio-economic transformation, almost boosting Bangladesh from being a “least developed” country to a developing nation.
“Her policies have made Bangladesh’s socio-economic indices the best among South Asian nations and her development strategy has become the model for least developed countries.”
Peace-loving people in the world need to remember, this is not a mere solo battle of Sheikh Hasina and AL against the radical Islamist forces. It is battle for each of us who do not want this world to go into the grips of radical Islamists.
It is important for all of us to remember – BNP and its allies will make every possible attempt of misleading the international community about the credibility of the just concluded election in Bangladesh. But we must not step into such a trap of those Islamists. We need to remain vigilant and jointly fight the evil forces of radical Islamists. Sheikh Hasina and Awami League are the truest allies of the international community in fighting militancy and religious extremism. She and her party deserve the support of all of us.