Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Twitter Video Camera Youtube
Bangladeshi Leaders Must Stop Politicizing Counterterrorism
Bangladeshi Leaders Must Stop Politicizing Counterterrorism
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) activists shout slogans during a rally in Dhaka on 20 January 2014. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj
Report 264 / Asia

解读孟加拉国的政治危机

自2014年1月竞争激烈的选举后,孟加拉国便被暴力事件缠身。该国独立后成立的两个主要政党必须走出政治死胡同,通过谈判回归民主制度,共同建立一个新的全党派内阁、并以此监督新的选举;否则,政治僵局将对两党造成长期的危害。

执行摘要

时隔孟加拉国史上竞争最激烈、暴力事件最频繁的选举一周年之际,政府和反对派之间的冲突于1月5日导致了数人死伤。此次交火标志着执政党人民联盟(AL)与孟加拉国民族主义党(BNP)反对派之间的僵局进入了新阶段,而自孟加拉国独立以来,这两党便一直交替掌控政权。民族主义党自2014年抵制选举结果后,似是已决心要诉诸街头势力来推翻政府。鉴于暴力事件日日频发、已犹如昔日选举前夕的紧张态势,该国的政治危机正在接近其一触即发的临界点。若各方再不采取紧急措施并减轻矛盾,那孟加拉国势必会陷入动乱。此外,孟加拉国还为审判建国时的罪行而设立了特别法庭;然而,此举非但难以达成和解,还将造成分裂。改变策略才是两全其美之法:一方面,通过反思彼时处境,人民联盟政府应尊重反对党提出异议的民主权利;另一方面,民族主义党应通过与执政党协商来挽回政治地位,而非诉诸于街头暴力。

孟加拉国应建立新的政治契约,即要依法治国、并尊重执政党和反对党的法制权力。然而,由于两个最大的主流政党不愿合作共建新政体,制度的缺陷则让极端势力和不法分子有了可乘之机。宣扬暴力的伊斯兰派系已经死灰复燃,并威胁着世俗民主秩序。尽管圣战组织将两党均视为建立伊斯兰教律政权的主要障碍,但是人民联盟和孟加拉国民族主义党仍把对方看作主要对手。

人民联盟及其领导人谢赫•哈西娜•瓦吉德总理强调道,由于前总理哈立德•齐亚及其党派缺席国会,孟加拉民族主义党因此失去了政治地位。然而,因忧虑其会东山再起,政府试图强行中和反对派、扼杀异见;如以贪污和其他刑事案件为名起诉——包括齐亚和她的儿子及接班人,塔利克•拉赫曼在内的——在野党领导人,采取警察和准军事部队等高压手段,以及颁布会损害基本宪法权利的法律和政策。

2014年的选举暴力事件令数百人丧生,以及数百户印度教徒的房屋和商店因此受损;然而,孟加拉民族主义党至今尚未就此承担责任,且还再次试图通过与恶迹昭著的伊斯兰大会党(Jamaat-e-Islami)结盟来武力推翻政府。尽管其被指在当时犯下了种种极恶行为,但孟加拉民族主义党仍保持为其核心支持者,并还成功动员了街头示威。但它唯一要求——即,在中立方的监督下重新选举——过于狭隘,不仅其获得的群众支持难以弥补脱离议会带来的不利,且其政治资本还因暴力行径再现而剧减。目前在南旁遮普武装组织的持续镇压中,其仍显露出了明显地厚此薄彼的做法,这也削弱了其更广泛的反恐目标。一方面反印度的圣战组织继续恣意妄为,而另一方面,准军事部队滥用武力打击本地犯罪组织,而旁遮普政府则诉诸于法外处决的手段来铲除圣战领导层和卒兵。过度依赖于武力打击的反恐政策或会有短期效果,但长期而言则会适得其反,因为该政策破坏了法制并助长了政治疏离情绪。

孟加拉国各党及其领导人之间深切的敌意和猜忌并非不可避免。他们虽室内操戈,但双方曾齐力终止了直接或间接的军事统治,并携手巩固了民主制度。最近一次合作是在2007至2008年——由军方支持的临时政府(CTG)的执政期间,其高层指挥部试图将谢赫·哈西娜和哈立德·齐亚赶出政坛;但两党领导人却未能乘胜展开合作,反倒诉诸不民主手段来互相伤害。在权力上,两者都推行中央集权,并利用政治化司法机关和掠夺性执法机构来打压合法的政治异见。

当下的危机主要是孟加拉国各方未能就多党民主运作的基本标准达成一致。一方面,孟加拉国民族主义党声称自己是民族主义的守护者,另一面,人民联盟则试图将自己描述为孟加拉国解放的唯一贡献者和监护人。如此局势下,该国亦需要重新评估国际犯罪法庭(ICT)——其由人民联盟于2010年3月成立的,并旨在起诉于1971年解放战争期间所犯下暴行的个人。尽管追究肇事者理所当然,但该法庭不仅仅且不至于法律工具,其还被广泛认为是——用于对付反政府伊斯兰派的——政治工具。简而言之,执政党被认为是在以建国时之不幸来牟取私利。

人民联盟需意识到,如将孟加拉国民族主义党排除在主流政治外,尤其是在其自身日益趋向专制化之下,这可能会促使反政府主义分子寻求更激进的渠道。同理,为了孟加拉国民族主义党之益,其应放弃与暴力伊斯兰组织的便利联盟,并争取恢复协议——为多党民主运作基本标准达成一致。一场旷日持久的政治危机将使谢赫•哈西娜和哈立德•齐亚成为最终的输家,因为法律与秩序的重大崩溃只会予以军方干预的借口。尽管目前还没有这个迹象,但历史表明这个可能的后果不容忽视。随着政治战线愈加深入,政治和解的机会正在迅速减少。双方应克制党派积极分子的暴力活动,并为降低政局紧张而采取实际措施,如下:

执政党应保证不再压制异见人士、遏制且追究执法机构的滥权行为、解除扼杀公民自由的措施、并坚决保护少数民族,令其财产和事业不受攻击和剥夺;

人民联盟应邀请孟加拉民族主义党的代表——哪怕是从低级官员开始——重回谈判,试图恢复包括选举改革在内的民主制度。其还应在达卡举行市长选举,并将这项久违的宪法条例作为展开对话的契机;

孟加拉国民族主义党须致力成为非暴力的反对政党。其应放弃与伊斯兰大会党结盟,因为除了会增强伊斯兰反对派的街头势力,该联盟对它毫无政治利益可言。此外,它还应向人民联盟表示诚意,为终结危机而展开实质性谈判,令孟加拉国经济增长免遭破坏、使其政治秩序不受威胁。

伊斯兰堡/布鲁塞尔,2015年2月9日

Op-Ed / Asia

Bangladeshi Leaders Must Stop Politicizing Counterterrorism

Originally published in Nikkei Asian Review

The July 1 terrorist attack in Dhaka hit unnervingly close to home. The Bangladeshi side of my family lost a relative -- Faraaz Hossain, a 20-year-old student at Emory University in the U.S. who was home for the holidays.

I had been at the site of the massacre, the Holey Artisan Bakery, in Dhaka's upscale Gulshan neighborhood, twice during my last visit to the country. Personal grief aside, this is the most visible manifestation yet of the threat that a new generation of self-styled jihadis poses to a country that prides itself on its moderate, secular, pluralistic society.

After the attack, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina vowed to bring all terrorists to justice and condemned those who killed in the name of Islam. Is this finally a wake-up call for a government that has too often underplayed the radical Islamist threat?

The attackers, eyewitnesses said, singled out foreigners, declaring they were there to kill non-Muslims. The majority of the 22 victims hacked to death or shot were foreigners. The venue in the capital's diplomatic zone, the targeting of mainly foreign victims and the brutal manner in which they were killed were all deliberate choices. The intention was clearly to gain maximum international publicity and to strike fear in the hearts of Bangladeshi citizens.

Shock Value 

The Islamic State group was quick to claim credit, posting pictures of the bodies on social media to ensure maximum shock and anguish. Skeptical experts and officials, however, have pointed to the likely involvement of local sympathizers or affiliates of rival al-Qaida in the Indian subcontinent, or AQIS. Whatever the investigations reveal, the government's primary challenge will be to tackle local Islamic State supporters and AQIS, as the constituencies of both organizations are clearly growing. Without robust official action, these rival groups could continue to up the ante, competing for space and public attention, with dire implications for Bangladesh and its neighborhood.

One such group, Ansarul Islam, an AQIS ally, has killed scores of secular and atheist bloggers and publishers in the capital since 2013. Earlier this year, the group murdered a leading Bangladeshi gay rights activist and U.S. Embassy employee, Xulhaz Mannan, and a friend in Dhaka. An Islamic State sympathizer, the Jamaat-ul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, active since the early 2000s, is responsible for killing Hindu priests, Buddhist monks and Shias, mostly outside Dhaka. Since 2013, such attacks have claimed more than 70 lives.

In June, responding to domestic criticism and international concern, the Awami League-led government initiated a weeklong crackdown, reportedly arresting some 14,000 people. But civil society groups have alleged massive police extortion and abuse, and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-i-Islami claim their activists have been the primary targets. That Hasina's government has repeatedly blamed both parties for the killings lends credence to their claims.

Poisonous Politics 

The government's preoccupation with suppressing political opposition and dissent has certainly helped to create an environment for groups like Ansarul Islam and JMB to grow. Publicly criticizing atheist and secular bloggers for offending religious sentiments, Hasina and her senior officials have said the government cannot be held responsible for the consequences of such writings. Such mixed messages, and abdications of government responsibility, are also unlikely to foster public confidence in the state's ability to confront the growing jihadi challenge.

The Holey Artisan Bakery attack shows how little the weeklong crackdown managed to achieve. If it is to succeed in stemming the jihadi rot, the government must adopt a counterterrorism approach based on accountable and impartial law enforcement driven by credible investigations, intelligence-gathering and case-building, and anchored in the rule of law. If Hasina intends to follow through on pledges made after the attack to bring terrorists to justice, much-needed institutional reforms should start now. Heavy-handed, indiscriminate and politicized police and paramilitary operations are not only likely to fail but will also breed more resentment against the state.

The July 1 bloodbath marks a major escalation from those that had previously targeted individuals. It should prompt the government into a more serious effort to dismantle local groups linked to the most dangerous transnational jihadi outfits, Islamic State and AQIS. It should not, as in the past, turn the threat into a partisan issue.

Even as she condemned the attack, the prime minister pointed a finger at those who "have resorted to terrorism after failing to win the hearts of people democratically," an implicit reference to the BNP. As politicized cases against BNP chief Khaleda Zia and other top opposition members continue to pile up, and as the government increasingly closes off legitimate avenues of dissent, this zero-sum rivalry with its mainstream opponents has so far yielded a single winner: violent extremists. The Holey Artisan Bakery attack must not become their victory lap. Bangladesh cannot afford to lose more young liberal minds like Faraaz.