Internal Political Dynamics and Bangladesh's Foreign Policy Towards India

Smruti S. Pattanaik is Research Fellow (SS) at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • July 2005

    Bangladesh’s relations with India are multi-dimensional - ideological, political and also economic. An extreme sense of distrust, insecurity and perceived domination by India has shaped Bangladesh’s foreign policy in recent years. It at the same time, hesitant and finds it uncomfortable to function within a bilateral parameter. Whether it is trade, export of gas, provision of transit or the water issue, Bangladesh has argued for multilateral arrangements. Though India played an important role in the creation of Bangladesh, it is primarily seen by the political class in Dhaka as a concern due to its overwhelming size and presence but more importantly because of the nature of domestic politics of the country. A divided polity polarised on ideological lines and an extremely sensitive political atmosphere has made Bangladesh’s relations with India subject to domestic dynamics.

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