Damned if you do

India is criticised for making a fuss over the terrorist threat to its cricketers

Despite receiving a threat from jihadi terrorists, and despite counsel calling for the tour to be cancelled in response, the Indian government allowed Saurav Ganguly and team to get on with the game in Dhaka.

Quite clearly, the Indian government’s green signal is as much a positive diplomatic overture as it has to do with the genuineness of the threat (and the Bangladeshi government’s efforts to mitigate it). Unfortunately, perhaps out of politeness (and perhaps because it is keeping its fingers crossed), India did not take the opportunity to publicly announce that diplomatic reasons behind its decision.

But this has not prevented the anti-India quarters in Bangladesh from criticising India for the fuss it created over the security threat. This incident will provide further ammunition to those, not least the Bangladeshi goverment itself, who deny Indian claims about terrorist outfits operating out of Bangladesh.

It is to India’s credit that it has refrained from using travel advisories as a coercive diplomatic tool against Bangladesh — but it could have handled the public diplomacy part better.