Ter­ror­ism in Bangladesh

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIALS & COMMENTS -

WITHIN days of the at­tack on Istanbul’s Ataturk Air port, ter­ror has struck again. This time a group of half-adozen gun-wield­ing zealots stormed a restau­rant fre­quented by for­eign tourists and diplo­mats in an up­scale neigh­bour­hood of the Bangladesh cap­i­tal Dhaka. Twenty-eight peo­ple, in­clud­ing for­eign­ers, six ter­ror­ists and some po­lice­men, were killed as Bangladesh forces ended the 10hour-long hostage drama.

Of late, Bangladesh, which is of­fi­cially a sec­u­lar coun­try, has seen a spike in in­ci­dents of re­li­gious vi­o­lence, which tar­geted sec­u­lar blog­gers, athe­ists, gay ac­tivists and Hindu and Chris­tian priests. But the lat­est act of mass mur­der rep­re­sents a dra­matic shift from the pre­vi­ous in­ci­dents of in­di­vid­ual vi­o­lence. The tell-tale im­print of transna­tional ter­ror groups is quite pal­pa­ble in the episode, though the claim of the Daesh tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity for the act is be­ing dis­counted at the mo­ment. That Bangladesh has been on the boil was ev­i­dent for quite some time from an in­creas­ing fre­quency of in­ci­dents of re­li­gious vi­o­lence. But the Sheikh Hasina gov­ern­ment has been con­sis­tently un­der­play­ing the in­ci­dents by por­tray­ing them as iso­lated acts or­ches­trated by po­lit­i­cal op­po­nents and lo­cal ex­trem­ist groups. The Fri­day night in­ci­dent should be a wake call for the Hasina regime, which has been in a state of de­nial. The bru­tal­ity and or­gan­ised na­ture of the Dhaka may­hem nails the of­fi­cial com­pla­cency and re­fusal to ac­knowl­edge the threat posed by re­li­gious mil­i­tancy. Re­ports say gun­men sep­a­rated for­eign­ers from lo­cals, took them up­stairs and hacked them with ma­chetes. Noth­ing can be gorier than this and the ide­ol­ogy that was be­hind this bar­baric act must be re­sisted with all the might one can muster. A Mus­lim ma­jor­ity pop­u­la­tion with a sig­nif­i­cant mi­nor­ity in­clined to­wards ex­treme re­li­gious views is an ideal fer­tile ground for ex­treme re­li­gious groups to thrive. The Sheikh Hasina regime should sit up and take note of the loom­ing dan­ger and adopt a pro-ac­tive ap­proach to com­bat­ing re­li­gious ex­trem­ism. — Khaleej Times

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.