Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Taliban warns Bangladesh over Afghan deployment

SALEEM SAMAD

THE DREADED Taliban of Afghanistan on Monday (Sept 27) warned Bangladesh to refuse a request of the Americans to deploy combat troops in Afghanistan to ensure security and stability in the war-ravaged country.
United States Special Envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke made a request recently before Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at a bi-lateral meeting in New York. Dipu Moni assured the US envoy of further talks on the issue.

Two days after the request was made the SITE intelligence group published a report with the headline "Afghan Taliban reacts to US requesting troops from Bangladesh" on September 27, reports The Daily Star.

The undaunted Talibans responded by posting messages in Arabic and Pashto on its website while Jihadist forums called on Dhaka to spurn the US request, the USA authoritative monitoring service SITE said.
"(We) believe that the leader of Bangladesh has enough Islamic knowledge and political wit not to involve his people in the fight against Islam and against the Afghan people by sending a few hundred soldiers to Afghanistan," the message said.

"Assuming that the leader would commit such a historic mistake, the religious Muslim people of Bangladesh will not allow their leaders to assist the eternal enemy of Islam against an Islamic neighboring country."

Bangladesh is yet to accept the proposal to assist the coalition forces fighting them in Afghanistan.

Diplomatic analysts in Dhaka, however, say it is risky to send troops to Afghanistan right now and the decision of sending troops should be made after consulting the United Nations and other Muslim-dominated countries, reports BDNews24.

In a decade Bangladesh deployed combat troops in Haiti and Kuwait at the request of Washington.

Muslim majority Bangladesh is a major contributor to the United Nations peacekeeping missions across the world. It has no troops in Afghanistan, except for aid workers engaged in school education and medical doctors in the villages in strife-torn Kandahar province. [END]

First published in DesPardes.com, September 28, 2010

Saleem Samad, is a journalist based in Bangladesh, an Ashoka Fellow for trend-setting journalism and recipient of prestigious Hellman-Hammet Award. He has recently returned from exile in Canada. He could be reached at SaleemSamad@hotmail.com