Thursday, December 22, 2005

India's Problems Sound So Familiar is an Indian portal site. They also have articles that sometimes relate to India, it's problematic Muslim neighbors and illegal immigration and Muslim fundamentalism. It is really fascinating because the problems are similar to our own. The Bangladesh gov't. is fighting India building a fence. Let's see, Vincente Fox has been raising hell about our fence proposal. Illegal immigration from Bangladesh is transforming demographics in border states. Let's see....

Here's an excerpt from a recent article

The Rediff Special/Ramananda Sengupta

Why India is concerned about Bangladesh

December 22, 2005

Apart from the longstanding worry of over massive illegal migration from Bangladesh, the main Indian concerns include:

Rebels from northeast Indian states who operate with impunity from Bangladeshi territory
The growing influence and activities of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence and Al Qaeda in Dhaka.
Rapidly rising fundamentalism and anti-India sentiment in Bangladesh
Increasing cross-border traffic in drugs, arms, women, children, and cattle
The mushrooming madrassas springing up along the border, many funded by Pakistani and Saudi Arabian 'charities'
Repeated skirmishes between India's Border Security Force and the Bangladesh Rifles over disputed territory and the latter's attempts to stop the fencing work being undertaken by India
Dhaka's perpetual refusal to grant transit rights and permission to Indian companies like Tata to set up shop there.
Dhaka meets all these charges with staunch denial. In turn, it accuses India of bullying its smaller neighbour, interfering in its internal affairs, starving it of water and sheltering Bangladeshi criminals.

The massive influx of refugees fleeing persecution in East Pakistan -– as Bangladesh was called then -- was one of the reasons for India's decision to assist the Mukti Bahini, which was fighting for liberation from Pakistan.

Most of these people are economic migrants, people trying to escape the extreme poverty and lack of facilities in Bangladesh," says the Indian diplomat. "But this poses not just a demographic threat, as seen in states like Assam, but also a security threat, since it is impossible to separate the truly poor migrants from terrorists with an anti-Indian agenda who sneak in with them. Given the rising fundamentalism in the country (Bangladesh), the second component is increasing by the day."

As for offering shelter to insurgents, almost every northeast rebel captured by Indian forces insists they were given permission to operate out of Bangladesh, and the Indian government has repeatedly presented lists of such camps to Dhaka, only to be met with a wall of denial.

At a conference organised by the BSF in Kolkata on June 23, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said infiltration had dramatically changed the demographic pattern of certain parts of the country, including West Bengal.

'In many places, there are more Bangladeshi settlers than Indians. There are groups who spread the message of Islamic fundamentalism. Other groups are directly involved in subversive activities. The third group is that militants who have sought shelters in Bangladesh after being driven out of Bhutan. All these groups are receiving support from the Bangladesh government. We can't compromise on this,' Bhattacharya warned.

'From Bangladesh, they are operating Islamic fundamentalist groups. They are recruiting jihadis from India and sending their fundamentalist leaders to campaign in bordering states of India,' he added.

At the India-Bangladesh Border Coordination Conference that ended in New Delhi on September 30, BSF Director General R S Mooshahary clearly listed India's concerns before his Bangladeshi counterpart Major General Mohammed Jahangir Alam Chowdhury, director general, the Bangladesh Rifles.

Handing over a list of 172 Indian insurgent camps inside Bangladesh, the BSF chief said there was strong evidence that the leaders of outlawed organisations were operating from Bangladesh.......

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