Reports of alleged terrorist camps in certain areas of CHT is a matter of serious concern, and one which must be addressed with urgency by the government and the law enforcing agencies.
These camps, reportedly located on the Bangladesh – Myanmar border are being operated by the Rohingyas, with the aid of Pakistani terrorist outfits like the Lashker-e-Taiba, (LeT) to conduct so-called revenge attacks on Myanmar. The matter was conveyed by the Indian authorities to Bangladesh during the recently concluded home secretary level talks in New Delhi.
While Bangladesh will have to check the veracity of the information provided by the Indian, if true the matter has serious security implications for Bangladesh.
Firstly, that two alien elements have set up training camps in our territory, without our intelligence agencies having any wind of it, is quite unbelievable. It is a matter of concern too that these groups have also forged links with an Assamese radical group.
Secondly, indigenous terrorist outfits like Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) that is, reportedly, linked to NGOs like Rohingya Solidarity Organisation is also involved in training the Rohingyas. Suspected involvement of an Assamese radical group and Indian Mujahideen lend a different tone to the issue.
Thirdly, the Bangladeshi terrorist organisations like the JMB and the HUJI, who had become dormant if not completely neutralised after their leadership was all but decimated in 2006, will, through this nexus, find a means of revival and indeed sustenance.
Fourthly, existence of such camps is contrary to our assurance that Bangladesh territory would not be allowed to be used by the anti-state element of its neighbour to carry out destructive against it.
And lastly, more likely than not, Bangladesh will become the targets of the terrorists at some point in time. And even more worrisome is the possible fallout of the consequences of any terrorist attacks on Myanmar from our soil, on our bilateral relationship.
The writer is Editor oped and Defence & Strategic Affairs.