No wish to interfere, but hope Bangladesh overcomes differences, says India

New Delhi, Dec 31: As violence continued in Bangladesh ahead of the Jan 5 elections, India Tuesday said it has no wish to interfere in that country’s internal affairs but as a friendly neighbour it hoped the Bangladeshi leaders are able to arrive at a solution that would be in keeping with the people’s aspirations.

India’s external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin, in a briefing here, said India wishes that Bangladesh overcomes its differences “to be able to resolve their differences in a manner which is peaceful, which is done through dialogue, through discussion. And the outcome should be such that is acceptable to all the people of Bangladesh.”

He said: “We do not have any intention to interfere in the internal affairs of Bangladesh. But as a friendly neighbour and as a well wisher, we do hope that the people of Bangladesh and their leaders can arrive at solutions and at outcomes which enable the people here who are living in Bangladesh to realise their aspirations.”

He said India and Bangladesh, which share a long border, cannot remain unaffected or be indifferent to developments in each other’s country. “So, we have an interest in what happens in Bangladesh and I am sure Bangladesh has a similar interest in what happens in India. That is because at one level the destinies of our two peoples and our countries are very very closely linked, more than perhaps any other two countries in the region.”

In Bangladesh, a Jamaat-e-Islami leader was killed Tuesday in a clash with security forces as the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has called for an indefinite nationwide blockade from the New Year to derail the Jan 5 polls.

The BNP-led 18-party alliance has been demanding Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s resignation and scrapping of the polls. The BNP is boycotting the polls. The opposition has termed the elections “farcical” as over half of the candidates in the 300-seat parliament are set to be declared elected unopposed in the absence of rival contenders from the opposition.

India is hoping the attempt to subvert the elections will be contained, said sources. The sources said the security measures are quite effective in Bangladesh and the disruptive forces that are trying to prevent democratic forces and also trying to subvert the international crimes tribunal have been checked. “We have to see how it continues,” the sources added.

As a neighbouring country, India is very keen that there is peace and stability in Bangladesh and extremist forces don’t find their way to activities that are inimical to India, the sources added.

IANS