Propaganda and International Conspiracies About the Peacekeeping Forces of Bangladesh

Hiren Pandit: Germany’s Deutsche Welle (DW) recently published a report on the Bangladesh Army and the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mohammad Ali Arafat mentioned that the report compares Bangladesh with Sri Lanka, which had a civil war a few days ago, which is unacceptable. He called upon German state-owned broadcaster Deutsche Welle to produce and broadcast a documentary on the killings in Gaza.

We appreciate any organization’s commitment to human rights. If Deutsche Welle has such a commitment to human rights, let them prove it. If they can’t do that, I’ll assume the Deutsche Welle documentary is intentional. Through this, Deutsche Welle should demonstrate its commitment to human rights and media freedom. In the recent past, Deutsche Welle has produced a report on human rights. A particular circle has done this as part of an anti-Bangladesh conspiracy. Bangladesh Armed Forces and Police have been working with a reputation in peacekeeping missions for 36 years.

With their unwavering professionalism, significant contributions, and selfless sacrifices, Bangladesh has emerged as the leading contributor to UN peacekeeping missions. Over two lakh Bangladeshi peacekeepers have successfully fulfilled their duties. This remarkable feat has not only solidified Bangladesh’s position but also ushered in a new era of democratic practice, marked by the 12th National Assembly elections. As a new government takes charge, the nation looks forward to a future filled with renewed hope and expectations.

However, it can be seen that the government’s development activities hide a sinister shadow of various conspiracies, both nationally and internationally, that always want to obstruct the country’s development course. All these domestic and foreign vested interests are determined to hinder the country’s progress for their nefarious gains. This group is carrying out various anti-state secret conspiracies against the country and the government. Following a shared vision, the country will move forward. The country’s opposition political parties did not take this point of view and engaged in anti-state conspiracies by adopting a different course of action. These vested interests, driven by their external allies, continue to implement anti-national plans to weaken the government’s position and hinder the country’s progress. The continuation of such conspiratorial efforts poses a severe threat to the development framework of Bangladesh.

Expatriates play a substantial role in stopping anti-country and anti-government campaigns abroad and refraining from anti-law and order activities in the diaspora. Adequate action should be taken against those conspiring, disseminating, and spreading lies against the country while sitting abroad. Recently, US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu visited Bangladesh. Dhaka-Washington relations took a new turn during his visit. The report released on May 20, a day after the US imposed sanctions on former army chief General Aziz Ahmed and his family, is being viewed negatively by those in the know. They see this as the source of a deeper conspiracy to exclude Bangladeshi security forces from UN peacekeeping missions.

Many see the documentary that tries to highlight the issue as fiction. It is full of inconsistencies in the spoken word and character portrayal, making it mysterious and conspiratorial. Since its inception in 1988, Bangladesh’s participation in UN peacekeeping missions has written a glorious chapter. The involvement and activities of many law enforcement personnel, including the country’s military, RAB, and other law enforcement agencies, have elevated the country’s image to the top position of a peace mission.

It is a well-known fact that any state must play a responsible role in adopting a policy of zero tolerance to militancy, terrorism, corruption, narcotics, irregularities, nepotism, disputes, secession, conflicts, clashes, illegal land grabbing, spread of unethical influence, etc. Failure to do so leads to anarchy in society, and as a result, various disorders, disharmony, depression, deviance, suicide, and anti-social activities spread.

The corruption of money-influence-hungry individuals or groups to serve personal interests emerges as a driving force behind making the state ineffective. In this case, the regulators of informal social control become more helpless. The functioning of the formal institutions of the state becomes essential as a vital vehicle for keeping society under the strict rule of law and for maintaining public safety and public life. Within the country, the impartial activities of all law enforcement agencies, including the Bangladesh military, RAB, and police, are highly appreciated. The reputation of their overall operations in protecting a large number of Rohingyas, maintaining peace and order in mountainous areas, suppressing militants, and safeguarding the sovereignty of the country as independent guards to prevent all unexpected accidents is high.

These organizations’ expertise, prudence, and bravery have already created a solid position in suppressing terrorism and militancy. Military and Civil Defense – The sacred duty of safeguarding internal security they are performing. It is well established as a monument of immense fame in the country and the world.

Their roles appear spurious, baseless, fictitious, and motivated by ulterior motives. By bringing up these topics, the UN peacekeeping force, which has gained an excellent reputation as a peacekeeper, is not only being disrespected, but everyone is considering it as an evil scapegoat to prevent Bangladesh from peacekeeping missions. Following the presentation of a misleading report on Bangladesh Army personnel engaged in UN peacekeeping missions, the Army Headquarters said the Bangladesh Army ensures the deployment of the most qualified and thoroughly vetted personnel at all times by following the UN’s strict selection and verification process in the selection of peacekeepers.

By always following this process, the Bangladesh Army has proven its commitment to high standards of conduct and professional competence in selecting peacekeepers. However, Deutsche Welle did not receive any comment from the Bangladesh Army regarding the allegations presented in that documentary. The objective and purpose of this biased and one-sided report are questionable. The original intention was to defame another law enforcement force by using video footage of the Bangladesh Army out of context in the documentary, which destroyed the credibility and acceptability of the documentary. The UN official said the Bangladeshi peacekeepers are highly trained and work efficiently. Bangladesh is currently the third largest peacekeeper contributor to UN peacekeeping missions worldwide. The country has been lauded at various times for its contribution to bringing peace and stability to conflict zones at the risk of lives.

“We have seen the report,” Stephen Dujarric, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s spokesman, said. Our peacekeeping colleagues are in touch and are concerned about this report. We reiterate that the Secretary-General is committed to sending peacekeeping mission officers who meet the highest standards of competence and integrity. Bangladesh is committed to global peacekeeping and peace-building efforts. As a result of Bangladeshi peacekeepers working with professionalism, skill, and dedication in establishing peace and gaining the trust of the people of the respective countries, we have achieved the status of the highest peacekeeping sending country in the United Nations. I proudly recall Bangladesh’s important role in UN peacekeeping operations and extend my best wishes and congratulations to all members of Bangladesh working in peacekeeping missions.

She remembered with profound respect the sacrifices of peacekeepers who sacrificed their lives for world peace. Bangladesh became a member of the United Nations on September 17, 1974. On September 25 of the same year, the greatest Bengali, the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, said in his historic speech in Bengal, “Peace is vital to preserve the existence of mankind.” This speech embodies the most profound hopes and aspirations of all men and women worldwide. Peace can never last if it is not founded on justice.’

Following the philosophy of the Father of the Nation, Bangladesh has established itself as a staunch proponent of world peace. We put forward the ‘Culture of Peace’ declaration and program at the United Nations in 1997 in the form of a resolution, which was unanimously adopted in 1999. Later, the United Nations declared 2000 as the ‘International Year of Culture of Peace’ and 2001-2010 as the ‘Decade of Culture of Peace and Non-Violence.’ Bangladesh believes that establishing a ‘culture of peace’ is essential to integrate the message of peace and comprehensively implement Agenda 2030. Our efforts to ensure women’s rights and gender equality contribute to implementing the ‘Women, Peace, and Security Agenda.’

The reputation of Bangladesh has increased as a result of the participation of our women in peacekeeping activities. Sheikh Hasina said, “All the efforts of the Awami League government will continue so that the peacekeepers of Bangladesh can respond to the call of the United Nations more confidently. We hope the peacekeeping members will establish Bangladesh as a strong country through their heroic courage in peacekeeping operations. Will work tirelessly to prevent conflicts, protect civilians, ensure human rights, establish peace, and make the country’s image brighter and brighter.’

One of Bangladesh’s best achievements in the 53 years of independence is retaining its top position as a peacekeeping sending country in UN peacekeeping missions. Mutual conflict can never bring benefits. War and conflict must be avoided for peace. The United Nations Peacekeeping Mission was born in 1948 to establish peace in the world’s conflict regions. In 1993-94, the Bangladesh Army came to the center of discussion with the three most talked about peacekeeping missions in Rwanda, Somalia, and Bosnia. The officials of the countries concerned, including the United Nations, were unaware that the army of a developing poor country like Bangladesh could beat the Belgian military in Rwanda, the American army in Somalia, and the French army in Bosnia in terms of military skills and military knowledge. As a result, Bangladesh’s position in the UN peacekeeping mission has been strengthened since then. Moreover, during the 1994 Rwandan genocide in Africa, a brigade group of the Bangladesh Army was deployed there.

More than 6 lakh people were killed in the 100-day civil war. The trust and love of the local people are the main strengths of the Bangladeshi soldiers in the UN mission. The skills of Bangladeshis in all missions impressed the UN officials. Bangladeshi peacekeepers have become indispensable to any military commander for their personal discipline and administrative and military skills. The European-American commanders are especially impressed and confident in the skill and bravery of the Bangladeshi military officers. ‘The role of the Bangladesh army in establishing lasting peace in troubled areas besides protecting human rights impresses everyone. As a result of the participation of the Bangladesh army in the United Nations peacekeeping mission, the familiarity of Bengali and the Bengali language has increased in the world. Leaving behind caste, religion, political ideology, religious belief, and regional discrimination, Bangladeshi peacekeepers have dedicated themselves to the excellent service of world humanity.

Due to their professional skills, impartiality, honesty, and humane behavior, they have become role models for the people of those countries today. US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Donald Lure’s two-day visit to Bangladesh has sparked much discussion. Analyzing the pulse-stars of the visit, it is said to be significant for Bangladesh. US diplomats’ activities in Bangladesh’s politics centered on the 12th National Parliament elections are widely discussed. One side of the political parties welcomed the US’s attempt to interfere in the election, while the other side warned the US to follow diplomatic norms in giving speeches and comments. It is impossible to control the state in any way in Bangladesh by trampling the will of the people.

Apart from that, Bangladesh’s position in the world economy is constantly being consolidated, and because of this, the rest of the world is watching Bangladesh. Everyone pays special attention to developing positive relations with Bangladesh on essential issues, such as bilateral matters. The government of Bangladesh is playing a leading role in implementing a vital agenda adopted by the United States, which is the policy of zero tolerance in the war against terrorism declared by the United States to establish world peace.

Hiren Pandit is an essayist, researcher and a columnist.

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