The Specter of Foreign Interference in Bangladesh’s Electoral Landscape: A Threat to Stability and Progress

Published: 27 November 2023

Imran Chowdhury BEM



Bangladesh, a nation with a tumultuous history of political upheavals, is again at the crossroads of a crucial election. The forthcoming electoral process holds significant implications for the nation’s stability and progress. However, concerns are rising over the apparent attempts by certain countries, notably the United States, to meddle in the electoral process. This interference is manifested through collusion with political parties tainted by corruption and terrorism, raising fears of a potential emulation of the tumultuous footsteps of the Taliban in Bangladesh. This essay explores the historical background, the evolving geopolitical landscape, and the possible consequences of foreign interference in Bangladesh’s electoral affairs.

Historical Context

A brief historical overview of Bangladesh’s political landscape is essential to understand the gravity of the situation. Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan in 1971 after a bloody liberation war. Since then, the nation has grappled with political instability, military coups, and periods of authoritarian rule. Bangladesh has made significant economic development and poverty reduction strides in recent decades, emerging as a potential regional powerhouse.

However, political stability has remained elusive, marked by a contentious relationship between the two major political parties, the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Certain parties have been accused of corruption, nepotism, and electoral malpractices, contributing to political unrest. Against this backdrop, foreign powers have sought to leverage these internal divisions to advance their interests.

The Shift in U.S. Policy and Allegations of Interference

The United States, a key player in global geopolitics, has historically maintained a nuanced relationship with Bangladesh. However, recent policy shifts have raised concerns about the extent of foreign interference in Bangladesh’s electoral process. The U.S. administration’s apparent support for political parties with chequered pasts has alarmed observers, suggesting a departure from a commitment to democratic values.

The U.S. policy change is not isolated but part of a broader strategy to influence political outcomes in strategically important regions. Focusing on short-term gains, often at the expense of long-term stability, has become a hallmark of U.S. foreign policy. In the context of Bangladesh, allegations of U.S. collusion with parties tainted by corruption and terrorism have heightened concerns among the populace.

Collusion with Political Parties and Ties to Terrorism

One of the most alarming aspects of foreign interference in Bangladesh’s electoral process is the apparent collusion with political parties associated with terrorism. Certain parties, driven by extremist ideologies, have been accused of fostering a climate of violence and intolerance. By aligning themselves with such groups for political gains, foreign actors risk exacerbating internal conflicts and destabilising the nation.

The spectre of terrorism looms large over Bangladesh, and any attempt to manipulate political processes through alliances with extremist elements threatens to plunge the country into chaos. The international community must recognize Bangladesh’s delicate balance in managing diverse religious and cultural identities and refrain from actions that could disrupt this equilibrium.

Emulating Taliban Footsteps: A Recipe for Disaster

The parallels drawn between foreign interference in Bangladesh and the Taliban’s rise in Afghanistan are disconcerting. The Taliban’s ascent to power was marked by external support, covert alliances, and the manipulation of internal divisions. A similar pattern in Bangladesh raises legitimate fears of descending into chaos and authoritarianism.

The Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan was characterized by repression, human rights abuses, and a rollback of democratic institutions. Bangladesh, a nation that has strived for democratic governance and inclusivity, risks undermining its hard-fought achievements if foreign powers continue to meddle in its electoral affairs. The international community must learn from history and avoid contributing to destabilizing a nation that has shown promise in its democratic journey.

Consequences of Foreign Interference

The potential consequences of foreign interference in Bangladesh’s electoral process are far-reaching. A manipulated political landscape could lead to a loss of faith in democratic institutions, fostering disillusionment among the populace. This, in turn, may create a breeding ground for extremism and radicalization, eroding progress in countering these threats.

Moreover, the economic stability that Bangladesh has achieved in recent years could be jeopardized. Investors will likely be wary of a nation embroiled in political turmoil, leading to a slowdown in economic growth and development projects. The consequences of a destabilized Bangladesh extend beyond its borders, affecting regional stability and posing challenges to global security.


As Bangladesh stands on the brink of a crucial election, the spectre of foreign interference threatens to derail the nation’s ascending rise. The apparent shift in U.S. policy towards colluding with political parties mired in corruption and terrorism raises concerns about emulating the Taliban’s footsteps. The international community must recognize the delicate balance Bangladesh maintains and refrain from actions that could destabilize the nation. A stable and democratic Bangladesh is not only in the best interest of its citizens but also crucial for regional and global stability. The forthcoming election should reflect the will of the Bangladeshi people, free from external manipulation, ensuring a path forward towards continued progress and prosperity.


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