Dhaka should disrupt terror networks

More than 50 targeted killings in the last few months is a worrisome proposition.

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Published: Sun 12 Jun 2016, 4:02 PM

Bangladesh's crackdown on militants and radicals is a welcome development. It has come in the wake of hate-attacks against the country's bloggers, academicians and minorities, many of who were hacked to death by men wielding machetes. The government had for long remained a silent spectator and taken refuge behind the argument that opposition parties have a hand in the attacks. The deteriorating law and order situation had led to mushrooming of more militant groups. This radicalisation of Bangladesh is unbecoming of its secular credentials. Though delayed, the crackdown is a right step in not only eliminating criminals, but also crushing the terror nexus that has taken roots in society.
More than 50 targeted killings in the last few months is a worrisome proposition. The government's policy to support rightist elements in its endeavour to marginalise the Jamaat-e-Islami and its affiliates has led to a vicious circle of extremist politics. The hanging to death of a number of Jamaat stalwarts for their alleged support to then East Pakistan administration and Pakistan Army has polarised the society. This divisive mosaic is hurting national unity, and providing vested interests with an opportunity to play foul against the state and the nation. The only option left with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed to save the country from bigotry is to push for reconciliation. In its war on terror, the government will have to take the opposition parties into confidence, which will go a long way in promoting harmony and coexistence. The assumption that the government is trying to use these attacks to batter an already weakened political opposition should be put to rest. Having boycotted the previous general elections, the opposition is in political wilderness, and the militant attacks will only compound the political situation. The nation needs to be united before embarking on a mission to eradicate the menace of extremism.

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