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Bangladesh: Treading the Taliban Trail
Jaideep Saikia Bangladesh: Treading the Taliban Trail : Jaideep Saikia : Vision Books : Book (ISBN: 817094659X)
Pages: 272
Price: Rs. 495
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN13/10: / 817094659X
Availability: Yes
Published in 2006
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This book brings together eleven specialist commentators, including journalists, academicians, retired senior police, army and foreign service officers from Bangladesh, US, Thailand and India, who probe Bangladesh’s unmistakable emergence as a state which provides sanctuary, if not active abetment, to Islamist terrorists.

The detalibanisation of Afghanistan in the aftermath of the US led "Operation Enduring Freedom" occasioned not only an "eastward surge of the Jihadi," but also gave rise to homegrown Islamism in South and South East Asia. Manifestation of this has already been felt in Bali, Delhi, Bangkok and Dhaka itself, as fundamentalist forces seek not only to further the "clash of civilizations", but also systematically purge all forms of opposition to their agenda. A plethora of Islamist groups and personalities such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islam, Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh and "Bangla Bhai" have begun to undertake action in close concert with groups such as the al-Qaeda, the Jemaah Islamiah and the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen. Minorities are being persecuted in Bangladesh, an Islamic code—on the lines of the Taliban—is being engineered, and the secular political opposition is being methodically eliminated. In a dramatic show of their well-entrenched strength on 17 August 2005, Islamist terrorists triggered off as many as 459 timed explosive devices in 63 of Bangladesh’s 64 districts within a span of thirty minutes. Heralding not only sophistication and networking in the operational behaviour of the Islamists, the explosions of 17/8 have revealed the enormity of the new design, with far-reaching ramifications for the entire region.

Of particular concern to India is the growing stridency of Bangladesh’s already pronounced anti-India agenda. While India-bashing has been a part of Bangladesh’s internal political equation since 1975 (after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman), the lethal combination of recent Islamist tendencies and anti-India/anti-Hindu programme has created a volatile mix. This has found growing expression in its abetment of illegal migration of Bangladeshis into India and its quest for a greater Bangladesh in India’s sensitive North East. Dhaka’s continuing denial of the presence of Indian rebel camps on Bangladesh soil and the covert action relentlessly pursued by the Bangladesh intelligence agency, the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence, a virtual surrogate of the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence, is testimony to the manner in which the Islamist agenda is influencing Dhaka’s policy-making. The book underlines both the gravity of the Islamist hold in Bangladesh and serves as a wake-up call to this new, dangerous situation on India’s eastern borders.

List of Contributors:

  • Anasua Basu Ray Chaudhury

  • Bertil Lintner

  • Bibhuti Bhusan Nandy

  • B. K. Bopanna

  • D. N. Bezboruah

  • Harekrishna Deka

  • Haroon Habib

  • I. P. Khosla

  • Mahendra Ved

  • Matthew Aaron Rosenstien

  • Salam Azad

  • Subir Bhaumik

Jaideep Saikia

Jaideep Saikia is a security analyst with over two dozen published and presented academic papers on security and strategy and the author of the book, Contours: Essays on Security and Strategy which received excellent reviews in the media. He has also published a collection of his poems, Lyrics from the Amygdala and is co-editor of the book, Development Challenges in India: Assam in the 21st Century. The present book, grew out of his research as an ACDIS-Ford fellow in the Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.

Born in 1966, Jaideep Saikia had his education at the Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehra Dun and at St Stephen's College, University of Delhi. He has travelled widely in USA, Europe and in South and South East Asia on academic assignments. He travelled to Pakistan as the guest of President Gen Zia-ul-Haq in 1988. Earlier, he travelled to Kashmir and studied the security situation on a fellowship from the National Foundation for India, New Delhi and to Sri Lanka on a Regional Centre for Strategic Studies fellowship. He visited the People's Republic of China where he lectured and interacted with the top think tanks and universities of Beijing, Fudan and Zhejiang. He was also an "International Visitor" to USA to study "International Crime Issues & Global Cooperation" on the invitation of the US Department of State. Saikia was part of an international expert group for a mandated agency of the United Nations in its project "Devious Objectives and Spoilers in Peace Processes." He examined the thesis with an eye to Kashmir.

Jaideep Saikia lives in Guwahati and is presently working on a book on the ULFA.

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