Saturday, 30 September, 2023

A Milestone in the Sphere of Diplomatic Relations

Jayanta Ghoshal

A Milestone in the Sphere of Diplomatic Relations
Jayanta Ghoshal

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Her name is Uzra Zeya. She is US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights. Bihar is the root of the Indian-origin US diplomat. Zeya was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA and was educated there. She gained much importance during Obama’s tenure; however, was in trouble during the period of Trump. She complained that she was not given promotion due to her complexion. She has a clear-cut stance on matters relating to Tibet and China.

Bangladesh election is imminent. Awami League and BNP held peaceful rallies in close proximity. It’s a good indication. Uzra Zeya witnessed that during her Dhaka tour. Prior to her Dhaka visit, she had toured India. Before her India visit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s US tour was also very significant. Ahead of Narendra Modi’s visit, six US Congressmen’s letter on Bangladesh, sudden debate centring Bangladesh polls – all issues were tied to a single thread.

It is evident that the US now does not want that its relations with Bangladesh turn strained. India has straightaway told the US that it should not do anything so that India’s sovereign interest is hampered. New Delhi-Washington dialogue was held at a time when the Sino-Indian border conflict was rather getting sharpened. Earlier, Uzra Zeya along with the US delegates held talks with Dalai Lama. Naturally, it has infuriated China. China has made it clear that she does not take US delegation’s meet with Dalai Lama lightly. They said that Dalai Lama is not a religious leader; he is rather advancing with a political ambition. He is against the ‘One China’ policy. As India adheres to ‘One China’ policy, it should not have encouraged any such visit that might imply India’s disrespect to that policy.

I think the objective of Uzra Zeya’s Bangladesh visit was to come closer and to ensure a peaceful transition to democracy through dialogues with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

In this world, there are divisions like the First World, the Second World and the Third World. Although the United Nations declared same status for all states, but in reality there exists some discriminations. However, during Uzra Zeya’s visit, the Government of Bangladesh has clearly stated its intention of holding elections in a free and fair manner. Regarding Pacific Ocean, the US official has emphasised Washington’s intention of advancement with New Delhi and Dhaka.  

For the US, the alignment of India and Bangladesh is diplomatically important. Because of the reason, BIMSTEC Conference has become important to the US also. So, Global South has become important to Global North. Bangladesh has been invited to attend the G-20 Summit slated to be held in India. The US is also keeping an eye on this summit.

In this situation, Uzra Zeya’s Bangladesh visit has become particularly significant. A roadmap was found during the meeting between the Bangladesh Election Commission and the EU Election Exploratory Mission. During talks with Uzra Zeya, both the Law Minister and the Home Minister of Bangladesh have elaborated the government’s preparations for holding a peaceful election. Not only during formal talks, Bangladesh representatives have informally discussed many issues with Uzra Zeya and the US delegation during the state dinner as well.

Ahead of Bangladesh elections, Uzra Zeya’s visit was very significant. Both Dhaka and Washington have narrowed down their differences. Not only financial assistance, but the US has assured help in resolving the Rohingya issue. It is indeed a diplomatic success on the part of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. From Indian side also, everything is proceeding towards a positive direction. Elections are imminent in both India and Bangladesh. Uzra Zeya’s visit can be termed as a milestone in the sphere of diplomatic relations in the sub-continent.


The writer is a senior journalist based in New Delhi

Translated by Z A M Khairuzzaman