Sheikh Hasina's quest for good governance

06 Nov 2014


The activities and achievements of a government is judged in various fields like law and order, health, public facilities, economy, business, foreign policies and in particular its diplomatic success.

In this column let us try to highlight some achievements of the present Sheikh Hasina government in its diplomacy and on foreign policy in reference to some countries and being shadowed by deficiencies on other fields.


The present government came to power after the general elections on 5th January, 2014. By citing various reasons, the BNP one of the biggest political parties did not take part in the election. Indirectly countries like USA, Pakistan and many others supported BNP’s stand in an indirect way even though the election was held as per constitution. The then Ambassador of USA, some think tanks from Bangladesh were very vocal against the elections. Intellectuals from Bangladesh had expressed their doubts about the acceptance of this new government by India, China and many European countries. In India, when the new BJP government under Narendra Modi came to power, the BNP and Jamaat were delighted. They were expecting that Bangladesh will be isolated by India but they were left with disappointment. Starting from the pre-poll date till now, the US Ambassador, who was giving contradictory statements, has changed his tune before his departure from Bangladesh which is evident from the present attitude of the Obama Administration. The expectation of BNP and Jamaat was quite natural due to the proximity of Awami League and Indian Congress Party and hence thought BJP will keep AL away from its favoured list. On the other hand, Narendra Modi after taking over the leadership of Indian government has extended the hand of cooperation towards Bangladesh and the Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj started her maiden foreign visit from Bangladesh. Ms Swaraj informed that government of India will always support Bangladesh and also handed over an invitation from PM Modi for Sheikh Hasina to visit India.


The present Hasina Government has not only kept balance of relation with India but also got unexpected economic support and friendship from two other contending Asian countries, China and Japan. The visit of the Prime Minister of Japan to Bangladesh and his announcement of six billion dollar grant is an example of successful foreign policy. On taking over the leadership of Bangladesh in the successive time after 5th January election, Sheikh Hasina visited both Japan and China during a short span of time and got tremendous success from these two visits. As Japan agreed for six billion dollar help, China too agreed for economic help for the construction of Padma Bridge Project. Both China and Japan have disputes over maritime boundary and some islands, even though tension was very high between China and Japan, Bangladesh succeeded in establishing good relations with both of them and succeeded to get economic cooperation from them which is no doubt big achievement for the government.


The visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to the UNGA was not only a success but also was very important. There are many who appreciated the policies of Sheikh Hasina including President Obama, UN Chief Ban Ki Mun and Nisha Desai Biswal. Bangladesh has taken a big lead on climate change and environment. In a media report published from London while appreciating Bangladesh, it mentioned “there are many countries, who did not take any effective measures on universal climate change, which is a big threat for world peace and its existence is more alarming then the Middle East war”. Many parliament members from UK felt that there is need for Sheikh Hasina to continue in power for democracy and for maintaining of civilian rule in the country.


The frequent visit of Sheikh Hasina to States and European countries proves her acceptance after 5th January election by these countries. Bangladesh for its own benefit is maintaining excellent relations and close cooperation with India, China and Japan, which is no doubt has been a great success.


Some people of the country are unable to accept this government success in its economy and diplomatic front due to its failure, especially in maintaining law and order situation and effective steps against corruption. The government will have to take strong steps on these two fronts. Before coming to power in 2008 election Awami League promised the trial of 1971 war criminals and severe punishment for their crimes but the people are disappointed due to the slow progress of the trials even after the same government is in power since January, 2009. They expect Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to take necessary steps to remove this negativity.


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