Bangladesh Foreign Policy vis-à-vis India

Dr Sanjay Bhardwaj is Research Associate in the South Asian Studies Division, School of International Studies, JNU, New Delhi. He has a PhD in South Asian Studies from JNU, and taught Political Science in Delhi University for more than four years.
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  • April 2003

    Foreign policy of a country is primarily a projection of its socio-economic and political compulsions in international politics. Apart from other determinants, the foreign policy of Bangladesh was always guided by its core factors, where India occupies centrestage. Bangladesh, pursues its foreign policy based on its geographical surroundings, historical legacy, and more importantly, persistence of a number of outstanding bilateral issues, which are vital to its existence. Mujib’s policies of anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism, non-alignment, close friendship with India at international level and secularism, democracy and nationalism at national level underwent a tremendous change under the military regime. To some extent the islamisation of Bangladesh based on anti-Indian sentiment affected the relations between the two countries. The regime’s interest in the security of its authority made it difficult for Bangladeshi rulers to take some positive and rational steps in improving their relations with India.

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