Bangladesh Opposition Parties Urge Sheikh Hasina To Cancel Invitation To Modi, Bangladeshi Parliament Speaker Cancels Visit To India
Syed Khalique Ahmed | India Tomorrow'
NEW DELHI, MARCH 2—Even as the ruling Awami League party has extended invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend a function to mark the 100th birth anniversary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman called as “the father of the nation”, several opposition parties have urged Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed to cancel the invitation and threatened to put up physical resistance if the government failed to do so.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam that organised a massive protest in Dhaka on Friday against Delhi violence along with six other parties urged the government not to invite Modi to the March 17 event. The protesters said that “invitation to Modi is an insult to the 1971 liberation war of Bangladesh and disrespect to the non-communal freedom icon of the nation”.
Another group Hifazat-e-Islam Bangaldesh also urged the government to cancel invitation to Modi. "I ask the prime minister to immediately cancel Narendra Modi's invitation," Nur Hossain Kasemi of the influential Hefazat-e-Islam announced.
However, Kasemi asked Bangladeshi Muslims not to harm Hindus.
Dhaka university student union leader Nurul Haq Nur announced that the students would not welcome Indian prime minister at the 100th birth anniversary of the Bangladesh founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Gono Sanghati Andolon, a left-leaning party, also urged the government to cancel invitation to Modi.
Khilafat Andolon Party leader Maulana Mujibur Rahman Hamidi said that invitation to Modi would disturb the communal harmony in the country. “We have been living in peace with all faiths. We do not want Narendra Modi visiting Bangladesh. If he visits Bangladesh, we fear that our communal harmony would be hampered”, Hamidi told BenarNews, an online news portal.
However, Bangladeshi Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told BenarNews that “Modi’s visit would push through, despite protests and threats from Islamic parties”.
Stating that government’s position had not changed, Khan said, “If any one tries to challenge the government during Modi’s visit, we will be tough with them”.
India and Bangladesh were enjoying extremely good relationship as Bangladesh felt beholden to India for supporting it in its war of liberation from Pakistan but the ties between the two neighbours saw a dip after the Modi government passed the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), indirectly accusing three neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan of persecuting their religious minorities.
Bangladesh Parliament Speaker Cancels Visit To India
This resulted in several ministers from Bangladesh cancelling their scheduled visit to India. The latest in the list is the Bangladesh parliament speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury who on Sunday announced to cancel her scheduled visit to India.
“Speaker Dr Shirin was scheduled to lead an 18-member delegation to India following an invitation from Lok Sabha, but the tour has been cancelled,” Noor-e-Alam Chowdhury Liton, chief whip of the parliament, told the Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.