US Ambassador Peter D. Hass’s involvement in Bangladesh’s election affairs should be sad for Bangladesh’s politicians
Posted on June 8th, 2023

Nandita Roy

Who is the busiest diplomat in Bangladesh at the moment? No one can answer this without thinking. The US Ambassador Peter D. Hass is currently the busiest diplomat in Bangladesh. Not only among diplomats, he has come to the center of politics in Bangladesh. He is making headlines every day. His busy schedule, and his talks on Bangladeshi politics, put him in the guardian’s seat. And for this, the failure of Bangladeshi politicians is not less responsible. The US ambassador has now come forward as the savior of Bangladesh’s democracy, elections, and human rights. Following his orders has become the main task of the politicians of Bangladesh.

Peter D. What is Haas actually doing? What does he want to do in Bangladesh? Various questions have been raised in the political circles about this. But everything is a whisper. No one is willing to speak against the US ambassador. If his visa is canceled? Or if he wears the US? He is no longer safe if he is exposed to the US. Such a situation has been created for the last 6-7 months. Especially after the new US visa policy on May 24, the US ambassador to Bangladesh is sitting in the driving seat.

But this is not to be. There are still a little more than six months left before the elections in Bangladesh. It is up to the Election Commission how the next election will be held. The Election Commission has not yet announced the election schedule. But looking at the US ambassador’s running around, it might seem like the election is tomorrow.

A country’s elections are entirely a country’s internal matter. How a party will choose in this election, what strategy will be chosen is entirely their internal matter. The US ambassador has stepped into the role of referee in internal affairs of his own volition. Some may be wondering; how many observers were there in the election that was held in the United States. How free and fair was that election? Donald Trump still claims that the election was rigged, and that public opinion was rigged. Seventy-seven percent of Americans believe that democracy is fragile and that the future of democracy is very bleak. The US ambassador continues to talk about the elections in Bangladesh. Politicians are blessed to have meetings with him.

Yesterday he held a meeting with the important people of the two main political parties of Bangladesh. Mirza had a private meeting with Fakhrul Islam Alamgir. Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir considered the meeting so confidential that he did not say anything formal about it. When a leader of a political party holds such a meeting with the envoy of a foreign state and does not inform the people of the country, it needs to be considered whether it is not treason.

In this context, a quote from former Chilean President Ayende comes to mind. He said, if an ambassador talks to any politician of the country, it is a breach of etiquette, a violation of the Geneva Convention. Our Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said something in this regard. But after saying that he was silent again. Shahriar Alam recently said that action will be taken against any ambassador who violates the limit. But everyone knows that he cannot take any measures. The question is Peter D. What do you really want? What do you want to do with Bangladesh? Is it just a free and fair election? Or is there any other purpose behind it?

Many people think that ahead of the election, the United States wants to re-establish its authority in Bangladesh, and in this re-establishment, they have a lot of resources and weapons. And it is because of these weapons that the politicians of Bangladesh have accepted the authority of Peter Haas and if the politicians of Bangladesh cannot stand with patriotism and self-respect before the next parliamentary elections, then the elections will be held on the American prescription. Peter D. Haas will elect a government after this election that will be strictly US loyal. And he is not doing it himself, nor is he doing it as an assistant. It is his responsibility to implement the US foreign policy and he is fulfilling that responsibility with devotion. But the sad thing is that our politicians are not doing their duty with sincerity at all.

We are getting to know from newspaper news that recently government advisers, ministers, political workers, opposition leaders and BNP leaders who resigned from parliament are holding meetings with foreign diplomats. In the 51st year of independence, would it be wrong to say that this tyranny of our politics is plunging the entire nation into despair? We have seen such activity in the past. We welcome him. If we can welcome that time, why can’t we today?

The crisis over the parliamentary elections occurred in 1985. The 1986 election was rigged, the 1988 election was a farce, the 1991 election was accused of rigging. The one-sided election in 1996 led us to the non-cooperation movement which culminated in the Janata Manch movement. Another election in 1996 was held on 12 June. All parties could not accept this election. The 2001 election was called into question and the 2006 election was annulled.

On January 11, 2007, a government with the support of the army came to power and made a landmark reform of the electoral system. The 2 crore fake voters questioning the election for a long time has come to an end. Begum Zia initially did not want to participate in the elections held in 2008. He thought that his leaders and workers could not participate in the elections. They will be harassed by the ruling government. Later, however, he became a passenger in the election train. That day I also called him through one of my writings to make the election meaningful.

My call was from the desire to build a beautiful future for the nation. He participated in the election at our invitation so we got an acceptable election. But the MPs of all parties were critical of the government supported by the 1/11! And on that occasion, a scandalous chapter in the history of Bangladesh took place on 25th February. Bangladesh Army broke down in tears recalling the brutal killing of 57 vigilante officers. Has the nation achieved the ability to bear that suffering?

In 1975, an attack was made on the soil of Bengal to eliminate the family of the father of the nation. The greed for power did not end with that brutal murder. Four national leaders were killed on November 3, Major General Khaled Musharraf, Colonel Huda and several military officers were killed on November 7. Thus, the politics of killing engulfs Bangladesh.

We don’t want killing politics anymore. And because of that, even though BNP wanted to obstruct the 2014 elections, the people did not support them. In 2018, they came to the election after realizing the mistake. We had hoped that they would come in the 2024 elections as well. But they are repeatedly saying that they will not come to the elections without a caretaker government. The nation is worried!

From that anxiety, many people in the society have again taken refuge in foreign diplomats. Mr. Peter Haas is now a very important person in the politics of Bangladesh. Palace politics was once looked down upon. Today that politics has again clouded the sky of Bangladesh.

Did we fight the liberation war in 1971 to hand over the politics of Bangladesh to foreigners? Are our intellectuals exhausted?

We expelled foreign rule in 1947. What if we are going to transform the country into a new colony?

Apologize to the politicians. Do not hand over the country to foreigners like this. Discuss among yourselves first. Give justice to the people. If there is no solution then wait patiently.

We got the freedom of Bangladesh because we all fought together. Let’s make another struggle and take the country forward. Avoid politics dependent on foreign diplomats. The politician who will protest to foreigners is still a patriot? Only your desire to be a patriotic politician without going to foreign countries is enough. We want discussion among politicians. Just as we do not want terror or chaos, we abhor palace intrigues involving foreigners. Hope for your united nation to promote democracy.

Our unity is the spirit of our liberation war. Let our politics revolve around him. We reject politics that sell freedom. We want a peaceful Bangladesh.

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