Hiren Pandit: The United States has yet to condemn the 1971 genocide and atrocities. Although the larger population of that country was in favor of humanity. The United States, a claimant to humanity, supported human rights violations that day. Even after the victory in 1971, Bangladesh was not accepted by Pakistan and the United States. For Bangladesh to become an unsuccessful state, and for Bangladesh not to survive as an independent country, the conspiracy continued, still exists and seems to continue in the future.
Every year, the United States State Department prepares a report on the human rights situation in different countries around the world, apart from the human rights situation in its own country. By spreading it around the world, it informs everyone about the human rights situation of a country. This year was no exception. The United States publishes annual reports on the human rights of selected countries in the world and they know what they mean, but they are the same in the world. Just such a report was published in 2022 and as usual, the United States expressed concern about the human rights of many countries including Bangladesh.
The United States, a humanitarian and world human rights defender as they claimed, did not think about the recent awful earthquake in Turkey and Syria, and the whole world came forward to provide food and medical aid to Syria and Turkey. Bangladesh also went ahead without caring about anyone.
However, the United States does not receive any explanation about how human rights are violated by Israel in Palestine, and what progress is happening in Myanmar. In addition to the United States, the so-called pioneers of protecting human rights in Bangladesh or their so-called organizations are not heard to speak about human rights violations, nor are there any big statements.
The 2022 report of the United States that there is no opportunity for a peaceful meeting in Bangladesh, there is no freedom of expression in the media, and there are many other complaints such as government interference in the judicial system. There is also the issue of corruption. But many Westerners admit that their countries are not free from everything. There is no denying that corruption has increased somewhat. However, at present, those accused of corruption are being tried. Bangladesh used to be the world champion in corruption. It goes without saying that the government’s current zero-tolerance stance against corruption needs to be made more effective.
For organizing hinder a peaceful meeting? Those who want to throw away the present government without giving any more time, place a microphone somewhere and criticize the government and the prime minister without any hindrance, then this complaint will not survive and media freedom? The country now has about half a hundred televisions and many FM radios, hundreds of online news portals, where anyone can say whatever, they want and write whatever they want.
It is natural that law and order forces will play a role in reducing public suffering when political activities are carried out by occupying the public streets. It would be better to clarify the position of those who made the complaints, and what will be the role of the law-and-order forces of that country if such a rally is held in the country. Crying about human rights in the US is nothing new. The 12th parliamentary elections in the country are going on ahead of the 2023 elections due to these reasons. Many of us are trying to play a role openly and secretly in that election. Analysts believe that this report will accelerate their negative role.
It seems the US is not happy that our elite force RAB has worked successfully in fighting terrorism and militancy in the country. The allegations that have been banned on some officers of RAB, the entire police department of the United States can be accused on the same pretext, what does the human rights document of the United States say here? In fact, the United States is shaking its position in various questionable activities. They also do not understand that the balance of power in the world is shifting without their knowledge.
One aspect of this report is an attempt to attack our culture. Every country has its own customs, cultural traditions, and values. Family ties in Bangladesh are thousands of years old. Family, male-female relationships, and marriage have deepened our culture and culture. The trial of war criminals in Bangladesh is of international standards by standards. The trial is being conducted with proper adherence to every step of justice. There was no question about this trial. Is the United States out to avenge the defeat of 1971? Questioning the selection and wanting something to choose from? If the US reports its signal, the future will tell the answer?
Many seem to think that they have gathered information from various anti-government and biased sources. So, it is natural that the report will be sidelined. But overall, all the issues related to our human rights, elections, and democracy seem biased to them. There are also many questions about the US election. Donald Trump has not yet accepted defeat in the election. In view of that, the attack on Capitol Hill under the leadership of Donald Trump has never happened in our country.
First, take care of your own country and then come to give advice to others. The United States occasionally talks about extrajudicial killings in Bangladesh. Looking at extrajudicial killings in the United States, it can be seen that 7,666 people were killed by police from 2013 to 2019, 996 in 2020, and an average of 1,000 from 2021-2022. In a country where an average of 1,000 people are killed by the police every year, the big question is how much moral right you have to question other countries. No one claims that sometimes this does not happen in our country. But they are investigated and punished subject to investigation.
The government has said that there are some fundamental errors and mistakes in the 2022 country report of the United States and Dhaka will present it to Washington. The report mentions restrictions on the media, the right to peaceful assembly and association, religious freedom, protection of ‘refugees’, access to basic services, freedom of participation in the political process, corruption, lack of transparency in government activities, discrimination and social abuse, human trafficking, workers’ rights, among others.
But it is clear that if human rights are our problems, we have to solve them. Foreigners take various steps in their interests, and in many cases, it is old-fashioned. Of course, we do not want anyone’s human rights to be violated, anyone to be wronged, or anyone to be tortured. The objections we have in the context of the level of communication we have with the United States will be a high-level visit in the coming days or another meeting to highlight the weaknesses of the report so that they are not included in next year’s report. What are some basic weaknesses in the report? He explained that when a report is made on a friendly country, it is supposed to be given an opportunity to defend itself before it is published. The United States has made such promises at various times. But as usual this time also they did not keep their promise. These data are available from official commentary.
However, this report reflects that we have improved in various areas. There are some triads of democracy in the country. Those who complained are also in their country. Their country’s democracy is also not free from corruption. Even in our country democracy is not completely free from corruption. Bangladesh is trying to make democracy more institutionalized.
Everyone feels that Bangladesh is on the right track under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in realizing the dream of Sonar Bangla, the father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangladesh’s achievements, challenges and path forward are correct. The country has made unprecedented progress in the economic and developmental scenario including poverty alleviation, women empowerment, natural disaster management, digital transformation as well as the development of electricity and transport infrastructure. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visionary and dynamic leadership in the course of this unprecedented development of Bangladesh.
The human rights report of the US State Department will not have much negative impact on the economic and political situation of the country. Earlier, the United States imposed sanctions on RAB. It has no negative impact on the economy of Bangladesh. Especially the export earnings and remittances did not decrease. Human rights reporting does not seem to have any negative impact on the economy. Private sector entrepreneurs are involved in exporting products from Bangladesh to the United States. Private sector entrepreneurs are also buying products in America. As a result, such reports will not have any negative impact on the private sector right now. At the same time, it will not have a negative impact on sending remittances.
But the comments made in this report about the situation surprised and angered everyone. Time will tell if this US report will trigger new issues in the entire subcontinent including Bangladesh. Bangladesh attained independence in 1971 and established a secular democratic state. In paying the price of freedom, 30 lakh people were martyred, 2 lakh women lost their dignity and 1 crore people were displaced. Religious minorities have come under attack for voting for their preferred candidate in past elections. If the US State Department wants to endanger the democratic journey of Bangladesh by ignoring the opinion of the American public, including Bangladesh and does not want to cause danger to the national security of Western countries, including the regional security of South Asia, then it should pay attention to proper reporting instead of ignoring the facts. Only then will everyone benefit.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and a researcher.