I don't think it will have a big impact. The United States occasionally takes such steps. There is no doubt that extrajudicial killings are very bad. But every year, the US has a higher number of extrajudicial killings than in Bangladesh. Moreover, there are several countries in South Asia where extrajudicial killings are taking place. Extrajudicial killings take place even in our India-Bangladesh border. It happens in Pakistan as well. But we do not see any such action against those countries.
From that point on, the question remains that what kind of information did they (the United States) get, and what is the basis of their decision. It could be that they have chosen a few countries to show that they want to work on democracy. However, it will not create an impact on large scale. And I don't think it will degrade Bangladesh-US relations.
However, as I said, extrajudicial killings are not justifiable, so Bangladesh needs to solve this problem on its own. In our own interest, any extrajudicial killing or disappearance must be thoroughly investigated.
Many extrajudicial killings - not all – are linked to drug trafficking. And it is important for the United States to know that many countries have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs. So, will we allow drugs to spread across the country, or we take a tougher stance against it? If it could always be done lawfully, then it would be better. But that is not possible.
Moreover, as I said, many smugglers are regularly killed on the Indo-Bangladesh border, and almost all of them are unarmed. But the US never takes any action or says anything to India about those killings.
So this is what I will say again, this is an internal issue that Bangladesh needs to resolve on its own. Bangladesh is the eighth most populous country in the world. However, if I look at the number of extrajudicial killings, the number of such killings in Bangladesh is much less than in the United States. So the problem that a country is plagued by itself, if they want to solve the problems of other countries instead of solving their own problems, then there will be no solution. It will remain a political issue.
Imtiaz Ahmed is a professor of International Relations at the University of Dhaka.