Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), already fraught with various problems within, is gradually losing foreign friends because of its faulty diplomatic strategies, according to party insiders.
BNP’s links with different countries have shrunk due to inertia of the party bigwigs and lack of coordination among those attached to the party’s diplomatic portfolio, sources said.
Faulty diplomatic strategies of BNP and its ties with Islamist organisation Jamaat-e-Islami are responsible for declining relations with some countries, a party insider said.
BNP standing committee member Mahbubur Rahman told daily sun, “BNP has good relations with foreign countries, including neighbouring India and China and it will continue.
“Our party always believes in people-to-people relations,” he added.
BNP assistant international affairs secretary Rumeen Farhana said, “BNP has good relations with different countries, including the US. The party is also maintaining good relations with neighbouring India.
BNP always believes in relationship based on equal dignity.”
BNP had tried to convince foreign powers to put pressure on the Awami League-led government to hold midterm national polls under a neutral administration, but did not succeed.
It is also learnt from party sources that BNP high command is upset with indifferent attitude of some influential countries of Asia, Europe, Middle East and even America.
Despite efforts, BNP failed to get positive response from the US, the UK, China, Japan, Russia, India, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia, the UAE and the UN, EU and OIC.
“BNP chief Khaleda Zia assigned top party leaders, former diplomats, bureaucrats and NGO personalities to maintain contacts with foreign powers for improving relations with them, but they have so far failed,” a party leader said.
BNP’s link with Islamist organiation Jamaat-e-Islami, a party of war criminals, is one of the main reasons behind the declining relations with foreign countries, party sources said.
“Although the international community supports BNP’s demand for holding a dialogue to resolve the current political crisis through an acceptable election, party’s relations with some countries are deteriorating. This is mainly due to the party’s link with Jamaat,” another BNP leader said.
BNP’s relations with neighboring India have deteriorated due to the party’s long-standing anti-Indian policy and pro-Pakistani attitude, according to party insiders.
Some party leaders, including Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury and Abdul Awal Mintoo, recently tried to manage invitation of the Indian government for BNP chief’s visit to India, but they got no response, BNP sources said.
BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman is also trying to normalise relationship with India by appointing lobbyists, but failed to succeed in his mission, the sources added.
“Currently, party’s relationship with China is not good. The Chinese government got upset with BNP as a party leader had spoken in favour of opening a Taiwanese trade centre in Bangladesh,” a BNP leader said.
Although BNP chief Khaleda Zia met Chinese President Xi Jinping during the latter’s visit to Dhaka in October last year, BNP is yet to fully repair the damage caused by the incident.
BNP also ‘failed’ in foreign diplomacy to arrange party chief Khaleda Zia’s meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during his recent official visit to Dhaka.
Party sources said Palestine President might not got interested to have talks with the BNP chief due to her party joint secretary general Aslam Chowdhury’s last year’s meeting with Israeli Likud party leader Mendi N Safadi, known as Mossad agent.