Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
Sheikh Hasina, the leader of an avowedly secular party, is set to return to power in Bangladesh, the
other end of South Asia’s arc of instability stretching from Afghanistan through Pakistan to India.
And because the teeming region, home to a fifth of the world’s population, is so closely intertwined
Hasina’s election and the change that she has promised to bring to her country will almost certainly have a bearing across South Asia, but especially for India and Pakistan.
Bangladesh, as far as New Delhi is concerned, is the eastern launching pad for Islamist militants hostile to it, complementing Pakistan on the west. So even if the heat is turned on the militants in Pakistan as India is demanding following the attacks in Mumbai, they or their controllers can unleash groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) based in Bangladesh.
In the absence of any claims, and a denial of involvement by the main local separatist group, the Indian media is are starting to point the finger at a Bangladeshi militant Islamist group for Thursday’s multiple bombings that left 65 left dead and more than 300 wounded in Assam state.
If it is indeed the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami (HuJi) Bangladesh that orchestrated one of the most deadly attacks in the far flung northeast state, then it could end up hardening the mood in India against not just Bangladesh, but also once again against Pakistan.