Bangladesh will stay beside India if the next door neighbour comes under attack centring the ongoing tense situation prevailing with Pakistan over the Kashmir issue, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has said echoing the prime minister.
The minister yesterday told reporters at his Secretariat office that Pakistan’s threats of war against India would not affect Bangladesh.
“We have no borderline with Pakistan and their area is 1,200 miles [1,931km] away from us. So their roar has no effect on us. We already defeated them and send them back in 1971, so we do not want to think about them now,” Asaduzzaman said when asked about the preparation taken by the government.
The recent unrest in Kashmir began after the death of Burhan Wani, a top commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen group, in July this year that sparked violent protests, prompting the authorities to impose an indefinite curfew in most parts of Indian-administered Kashmir.
The curfew was lifted in August but schools, shops and most banks remain shut and mobile and internet services remain suspended. At least 68 civilians and two security officials died and more than 9,000 people injured in over 50 days of violence, according to official tallies.
The tension escalated last month after 18 Indian soldiers were killed in a raid by gunmen on an army base at Uri, Kashmir on September 18. In retaliation, India says it has carried out “surgical strikes” against suspected militants along the de-facto border with Pakistan in Kashmir on September 29. Pakistan, however, rejects the claims.
The Pakistan defence minister also threatened to launch nuclear attack against India.
The recent development in Kashmir is a much-talked issue in social media among the Bangladeshis.
After the Uri attack, Hasina told her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Bangladesh “firmly stands beside India at this difficult hour.”
The home minister yesterday said that he had been asked by Indian journalists about Dhaka’s stance regarding the Kashmir issue during his recent visit to New Delhi.
“I replied that as a friendship atmosphere is prevailing between Bangladesh and India, and India used to help Bangladesh over different issues, Bangladesh will definitely remain beside India, if it is attacked.”
Regarding Bangladesh’s pulling out from the Saarc Summit in Pakistan, the home minister said: “We will not attend the event due to persistent intervention of Pakistan in our internal issue [war crimes trials].”
Saarc Chairperson Nepal postponed the Summit after four countries including Bangladesh refused to join the event next month.