Rocca’s mixed bag in Dhaka

No luck in checking drift towards extremism

The itinerant American assistant secretary of state is in Dhaka.

(Christina Rocca) also called on Industries Minister and ruling coalition partner Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Motiur Rahman Nizami to convey her concerns about the Ahmadiyya issue and Bangla Bhai, who runs a vigilante outfit against outlaws in the northwest reportedly under government patronage…
On Bangla Bhai, Nizami said Rocca queried about him. “I told her that neither I nor my party knows this so-called Bangla Bhai… I told them that we did not know of the existence of any Islamic militant group in Bangladesh.” [Daily Star]

While I’m not quite sure if Rocca read out the riot act to Mr Nizami in private, he certainly seems to be maintaining a public bravado. Rocca also seems to have been unable to exert any serious pressure on the Bangladeshi government to promptly get to the bottom of the matter of the Chittagong arms haul.

However Bangladesh has signed up to implement an US-built tracking system at Dhaka airport to identify and check movement of suspected terrorists.