South Asia Center Director Shuja Nawaz writes in Nikkei Asian Review on how Western governments can help stabilize Bangladesh:
In early January, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League won another term in power, by a landslide, thanks largely to the move by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by Begum Khaleda Zia, to boycott the polls. The controversial election has only deepened political unrest.
If the economy cannot recover from its resulting downward spiral, this election win may well be a Pyrrhic victory. Ultimately, the people of Bangladesh will be the big losers in the long-running feud between the “battling begums.” A pragmatic compromise is Bangladesh’s only hope for averting a new chapter of political and economic chaos — and influential governments, including those in Europe, the U.S., India and Japan, must push firmly for a conciliation.