Thanks to those who commented on my WSJ article, here are some of the questions and my response :
It seems to me that al Qaeda infiltration into Bangladesh only can be sucessful by consensus of the citizens of Bangladesh and the region. I do agree that the world cannot ignore this problem. But, it should be the regional powers that should make an effort to combat the problem.
My question is, Why isn't their any outrage expressed by Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, China, India, or the influential Muslim nations in the region? They are the ones that have a better grasp of the behind the scenes of what is happening there. Also, they are the ones that can have a better chance of connecting to the citizens of Bangladesh since they are all Asians.
Why is it when their is trouble in the world, there is a an outright demand that the west, particularly the US, should get involve. In my opinion, it is western intervention, especially the US, that add growth to terrorism. The only helpful thing that the west can do is to open their markets to free trade and offer moral support.
Islamic terrorism in Bangladesh is a muslim problem that should be dealt with by the government & citzens of Bangladesh, by other Muslim countries, and the Asian powers in the region. Western or US intervention will only exacerbate the problem.
I agree with your comment on the need for regional response to the growing threat of Islamism in Bangladesh. However, I would add to the issues you raise that:
Whether terrorism is a “Muslim problem” or not, the world is engaged in a global war against terrorism. Therefore, I would strongly advise against isolating the issue region by region. International cooperation is the only way we will defeat radical Islamism, and countries as large as Bangladesh (population wise) which go unnoticed by the media, have become hide-outs.
The United States--Washington is the key platform in global policymaking today. It is more powerful than the United Nations and certainly more effective than the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). While India, being the most powerful nation in the region, is extremely concerned about the developments in Bangladesh, local politicians in Bangladesh are known to dismiss India for having ulterior motives for doing so. A local newspaer reported that: ...activists yesterday blamed India for an anti-Bangladesh campaign and suggested the neighbouring country's link to the August 17 countrywide bombing. You can read more the article here.
Q., India has been more than a little bit concerned about Bangladesh. It's one of the issue that helped motivate the recent 10-year India - US defense pact.
We've been covering this stuff on Winds of Change.NET for a while now. Glad others are beginning to notice. One thing I will add is that there is an electoral politics aspect to India's Bangladesh foreign policy - quite a few folks in India's border states have Bangladeshi ties, and the Congress Party has sought to downplay the problems in Bangladesh in order to seek political advantage with this group.
You are absolutely correct that India has expressed concern over the developments in Bangladesh. My response to the point you raise is quite urgent:
It is key to stop the politicization of an issue that is now staring South Asia in the face. Destabilization in Bangladesh implicates serious regional security for the entire Sub-Continent. Whether the Congress Party in India downplays the issue or not, policymakers must have a duty to play ahead of the game of local politics when it comes to the regional security.