SALEEM ALTAF & SUDEB KRISHNA SUR CHOUDHURI | DHAKA BEXIMCO Group vice chairman Salman F Rahman has been Private Industry and Investment Advisor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina — but why ? The premier appointed him as her adviser for private sector industries and investment under rule 3B(i) of the Rules of Business, 1996, says…
AMID growing Indian suspicion about Bangladesh’s increasingly close ties with China and even its reaching out to Pakistan a letter from foreign minister S Jaishanker to his Bangladesh counterpart AKA Momen has helped ease tensions.
But Jaishanker’s expression of support to Bangladesh in both its fight against Covid and in attempts to send back the nearly one million Rohingya refugees may warm hosts in Dhaka.
This adviser who is a top businessman implicated in multiple scams, bank defaults and money laundering has upset Delhi because this influential is perpetually active running down India’s image and interests to ensnare bilateral relations
More so because it comes after reports of Delhi’s ‘intense displeasure’ of Dhaka’s warming up to both China and Pakistan amid the Sino–Indian clashes in Ladakh.
That Bangladesh foreign office kept secret a recent meeting initiated by it with the new Pakistan High Commissioner and then passed it off as a ‘ courtesy call’ with issuing any formal statement, which it normally does.
That it happened through a special initiative from a pro–Pakistani adviser to PM Hasina had ruffled feathers in Delhi.
Indian diplomats say that relations with Bangladesh are warm and Delhi has poured cold water over a recent regime change attempt by a ‘major power’.
This pro–Pak adviser and his cohorts have spread confusion. And mistrust between factions in Bangladesh army and between it and the government. Rumors that India plans a coup
But Dhaka’s inability to curb this adviser who is a top businessman implicated in multiple scams, bank defaults and money laundering has upset Delhi because this influential is perpetually active running down India’s image and interests to ensnare bilateral relations.
“He and his cohorts must go,” said a top former diplomat who has served in Bangladesh. “He is a wolf in lambskin Pakistani agent.”
That his name has also figured in reports by Bangladesh secret agencies which found him involved in the regime change plot has made Delhi wonder why he is still retained in the advisory council.
Bangladesh & China relation is getting boost up by bilateral Infrastructure deals and by kicking off India from these projects.
Bangladesh has asked the Chinese government for $6.4bn for 9 infrastructure projects,including an ambitious port project & the country’s longest bridge pic.twitter.com/IhF29zzKm0
— Defense Technology of Bangladesh-DTB (@DefenseDtb) July 6, 2020
Delhi is keen on his sack and two ministers close to him and also induction of five new faces in the Hasina cabinet — two 1971 veterans and three specialists for finance health and gender management which assumes importance because women constitute 70 percent of the badly hit but important garment sector.
“Since we have a long–term stake in the stability of the Hasina government, we have made some informal suggestions to improve governance so that it comes out of the Covid crisis unscathed,” said the former High Commissioner, pretty much in the know of the parleys.
“But this pro–Pak adviser and his cohorts have spread confusion. And mistrust between factions in Bangladesh army and between it and the government. Rumours that India plans a coup.”
The five new inductions India is kern on include two government figures who were eased out by this pro–Pakistan adviser. ■