Mukti

Hoi hoi revisited

Posted in foreign policy by jrahman on January 27, 2010

In three years of publicly writing on Bangladesh-related stuff, I have not received a stronger reaction than that on my assessment of the Prime Minister’s India trip.  And it’s not just me, other fellow UV writers have also had similar experience publicly and privately.  In this post, I respond to some comments from well connected political analysts. 

The comments can be paraphrased as follows.

The summit has cemented the gains of the past year in terms of confidence building from the Bangladeshi side, and has laid a firm foundation for resolving the major outstanding issues from the Indian side.  This is a considerable achievement and something to get enthused about — a qualified hoi hoi if you will.  In that sense the visit really has been significant and successful.  While communiques are generally what policy wonks focus on, in the current context, the communique alone is neither a very meaningful statement nor a useful way to look at / measure the success of the trip.  Atmospherics and context are key here.  And if you consulted people involved in the trip from either side of the border, you would appreciate the success much more.

My responses in detail are over the fold.  Quick take away:

1. Agree that in the past year, Bangladesh has taken immense measures in confidence building — measures that are good for Bangladesh regardless of tepid public reactions from India.

2. Concede that I have no inside information, and thus can be missing the atmospherics completely.

3.  Stress that if the above view of qualified hoi hoi is correct, then we should see some concrete steps from India reasonably soon.

In three years of publicly writing on Bangladesh-related stuff, I have not received a stronger reaction than that on my assessment of the Prime Minister’s India trip.  And it’s not just me, other fellow UV writers have also had similar experience publicly and privately.  In this post, I respond to some comments from well connected political analysts. 

The comments can be paraphrased as follows.

The summit has cemented the gains of the past year in terms of confidence building from the Bangladeshi side, and has laid a firm foundation for resolving the major outstanding issues from the Indian side.  This is a considerable achievement and something to get enthused about — a qualified hoi hoi if you will.  In that sense the visit really has been significant and successful.  While communiques are generally what policy wonks focus on, in the current context, the communique alone is neither a very meaningful statement nor a useful way to look at / measure the success of the trip.  Atmospherics and context are key here.  And if you consulted people involved in the trip from either side of the border, you would appreciate the success much more.

My responses in detail are over the fold.  Quick take away:

1. Agree that in the past year, Bangladesh has taken immense measures in confidence building — measures that are good for Bangladesh regardless of tepid public reactions from India.

2. Concede that I have no inside information, and thus can be missing the atmospherics completely.

3.  Stress that if the above view of qualified hoi hoi is correct, then we should see some concrete steps from India reasonably soon.

(More at UV)

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  1. […] I’ve had my public disagreement with him, for example about the 2010 Indo-Bangla summit (my scepticism has been backed by […]


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