Bangladesh is heading for an economic boom that can benefit the Indian states around it, writes Subir Bhaumik
The back-to-back one-day international series wins against Pakistan, India and South Africa in the summer of 2015 has made Bangladesh emerge out of its self-image as minnows in world cricket. But its cricketing success is no fluke. Bangladesh's success in outpacing India and Pakistan in social and human development has already been documented - specially the progress it has made in areas of female education and empowerment or in bringing down infant and maternal mortality. Its success in fighting terrorism has been recognized by both the United States of America and India - the latest arrests being that of the Bangladesh coordinator of al Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent, Maulana Mainul Islam, and his advisor, Maulana Zafor Amin. The AQIS had claimed responsibility for the murders of secular bloggers, Avijit Roy and Ananta Bijoy Das, and the security agencies have been on their trail for a while. As one Muslim majority nation which rejects the idea of an Islamic State, Bangladesh is considering a new counter-terrorism policy that may serve as a model for other Muslim-dominant nations. An extensive dialogue is on with experts in the region to integrate elements of 'soft power' and 'use of Bengali culture' in the counter-terrorism policy, alongside the usual hard options.