Opinion

Khaleda Zia’s legal troubles may leave Bangladesh without an opposition

The leader of Bangladesh national Party (BNP) Khaleda Zia who is now in jail for orphanage graft case has thirty-three more cases pending against her. Her legal troubles are more than personal in nature they have the potential to put entire Bangladesh opposition into disarray and give almost dictatorial powers to Sheikh Hasina.

Given Zia’s alignment with Islamist hardliners and Pakistani align elements it might be a good thing for India. Like most of the stable third world Islamic countries that struggle with low levels of education and high unemployment, Islamic parties have a strong hold over masses. These parties strongly suggest that following the way of Sharia, in its wahabi interpretation, holds the key to happiness and growth. Zia, though not her self Islamist, aligned herself with such elements to take on the popularity of Bangbandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina.

As with the attackers of 9/11 to the providing refude to Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan and its notorious intelligence agency ISI were accused of funding Ms Zia. Indian were forced to support Hasina what would have otherwise a free content.

The terror attacks within Bangladesh, and arrest of Bangladeshi nationals in US on terror charges didn’t help either Zia’s case either.

Tight rope walk of Hasina on the Rohingya refugees which involved Myanmar, India and China further strengthen her position where in the foreign support to Zia was all but neutralized.

Now The BNP is trying to meet and  to tell diplomats about the political motivations behind the Zia Orphanage Trust case, however, except for Pakistan its not going to cut much ice with anyone else. To the international community Hasina is a popular leader who stands against terrorism and her compromise may create another terror hotspot. Zia got wrong allegiances and now she pays for her decisions.

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