Will Ahmed Imran accompany Mamata to Bangladesh?
While Bangladesh has welcomed with open arms this visit, there is an uncomfortable question that is being posed and that is to do with Ahmed Hassan Imran.
Will the Member of Parliament from the TMC accompany Mamata on her visit? Can Bangladesh ask Mamata some questions regarding Imran?
Bangladesh has been uncomfortable when it comes to Imran as they have accused him of playing a role in aiding the Jamaat which has had a menacing effect on the ruling Awami League.
Who is Ahmed Imran?
Ahmed Imran is a TMC MP who was appointed to the Rajya Sabha. His appointment last year had created a controversy as it came just after an Intelligence Bureau dossier had flagged him for being supportive of the Jamaat-e-Islami which was trying to destablise the Awami League in Bangladesh.
His name had also cropped up during the Saradha scam in which it was alleged that he had helped in moving funds into Bangladesh through a hawala channel being run by the Jamaat-e-Islami.
India had sought information from Bangladesh on him. Bangladesh had told India that he had been undertaking activity with the Jamaat which was proving to be counter productive to Bangladesh.
Moreover, he was also one of the founder members of the Students Islamic Movement of India. It was alleged by both the IB and also Bangladesh that his close links to the banned outfit was also under the radar.
MEA in a spot of bother:
If the Ahmed Hassan issue blows up, then both countries could find themselves in a spot of bother. Both India and Bangladesh would want the Mamata visit to be a success as they hope to resolve the boundary sharing and Teesta waters issue.
Mamata had played hard when it came to resolving this issue. She had also cancelled abruptly her visit to Bangladesh in 2011 over the same issues.
However with her agreeing to visit Bangladesh now, there appears to be a ray of hope for these issues being sorted out. The question is will Imran be part of her entourage when she visits Bangladesh.
Bangladesh would hope that he is not although they do not want to make a hue and cry out of it fearing that the visit may be jeopardized.
Bangladesh against Imran:
The Bangladesh government says that it has some reservations about Imran going to their country. They have shared details about some fund transfer between Imran and some operatives in Bangladesh.
He has been accused of sending funds to Jamaat-e-Islami from West Bengal. It is suspected that he had helped the Saradha group launder their money through the Jamaat.
The CBI too is probing this angle. Moreover an Intelligence Bureau report had also claimed that Imran was trying to fan passions in Bangladesh against the Awami League.
Hard to accept Imran in Bangladesh:
Diplomats in Bangladesh have been saying that it would not be right if Imran visited their country. With prima facie evidence against him they would be in a spot of bother if he visited Bangladesh.
However, the Bangladesh government would not make a hue and cry about it. If the Imran issue is brought up prior to the visit, then there is a good chance of Mamata cancelling her visit which Bangladesh and also India would not want.
Bangladesh would leave it to the Ministry of External Affairs in India to take a final call on the matter. Bangladesh says that they cannot deny his entry if he is part of the entourage of Mamata Banerjee.