One evening last week, the national television showed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handing out cheques of Taka one lakh each to the families of the three Bangladesh Rifles (bdr) personnel killed in the recent clashes with the Indian bsf. On her side was bdr chief Maj Gen Fazlur Rahman.
This was Rahman's first public appearance nearly a week after the Bangladesh government bungled in trying to distance itself from the bdr action in which 16 bsf men were killed. Maj Gen Rahman was then cast as a villain whose action didn't have prime ministerial endorsement. His 'rehabilitation' last week is seen as an attempt to placate the army which might have felt let down by the way Rahman was made a scapegoat.
The government's ambivalence over the bdr action, analysts say, could have adversely affected the morale of the troops. Says Maj Gen (retd) Moinul Hossain Chowdhury: "No sensible government should try to indulge in that kind of suicidal game."
More importantly, the television image, many believe, was an attempt to repair the damage caused to the ruling Awami League in...