Awami League strategy to improve ties with parties abroad | 2018-04-22 |

Awami League strategy to improve ties with parties abroad

Aim to win ‘support’ in the next polls

Shawkat Ali Khan     22nd April, 2018 12:24:12 printer

Awami League strategy to improve ties with parties abroad

Ruling Awami League has taken a strategy to make contacts with the political parties in different countries, including neighboring India, to ‘win their support’ in the next general elections.


As part of its plan, AL policy makers have already started visit to various countries to develop diplomatic relations with the political parties there ahead of the next polls.


Insiders said the aim of such party-to-party contact is to have support in favour of AL in the polls and put ‘psychological’ pressure on the country’s opposition parties.   


A 19-member delegation led by AL general secretary Obaidul Quader will leave for India today at the invitation of ruling BJP.


A team led by AL leader Faruk Khan already visited China in September last year.


Both China and India play a significant role in Bangladesh's politics from behind the scenes.


China has become a major development partner of Bangladesh as it has invested billions of dollars in various sectors while India assisted in achieving country’s independence.


The AL general secretary, however, said such visits do not have any connection with the next national elections likely to be held in December this year.


"India is our closest neighbour. Country's relations with India started improving through our Liberation War in 1971. We want to further strengthen ties with India," he said.


"People of Bangladesh are the source of our strength. BJP of India won’t seek votes for us and they can’t do it," the AL leader said at a programme on Saturday.


Contacted, a central AL leader told the daily sun that their party wishes to assume office for the third consecutive time to foster country's ongoing development.


"So, it is natural that our party will try to improve relations with all the parties across the globe," he said.


AL insiders say the next national polls are crucial for the ruling party as the BNP-led alliance may participate in the polls.


The party-to-party contact may develop a strong bond among the leaders worldwide, they say.


Since assumption of office in 2009, AL President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has put in all efforts to maintain good relations with different influential countries, including India, China, Russia and Japan.


Just before AL team’s visit to India, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi held a meeting in London on the sidelines of Commonwealth summit.


After the meeting, Indian premier Narendra Modi twitted, “Held wide-ranging talks with PM Sheikh Hasina on ways to further cement India-Bangladesh relations.”


Narendra Modi came to power in India soon after Sheikh Hasina assumed office for the consecutive second time through January 5 national polls in 2014.


Assuming the office, Modi visited Bangladesh in June in 2015 while Sheikh Hasina visited India in 2017 with a hope of signing the longstanding Teesta water sharing deal. The Teesta deal was not signed during Hasina’s visit.


But the Indian government assured that the Teesta deal will be signed during the regimes of the two leaders.


Though the two leaders are in their last year in office, Teesta deal is yet to be inked.


Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Bangladesh in 2016.


Asked about the bilateral disputes with India, the AL spokesperson said they will hold talks to resolve the disputed issues, including the Teesta deal, through discussion.