When Bangladeshis want to go abroad, they face so much harassment, so many undue hurdles
The strength of a passport out in the world is a reflection of the esteem in which that country is held. Countries like Singapore and Japan, for example, are granted tremendous respect, and their citizens are able to move across borders with the least amount of difficulty. In that regard, Bangladesh is not doing so well: It is a well-known fact that the Bangladeshi passport is quite powerless, relative to the passports of most other nations. According to the latest edition of the Henley Passport Index, Bangladesh is at 100th place, sharing a spot with Lebanon and Sudan, both nations recently torn up by conflict.
It goes without saying that 100th place out of a total 110 spots is a dismal showing. This is something most Bangladeshis who travel internationally know instinctively, and the Henley ranking is merely confirmation of that perception.
Bangladesh right now is at a very special place in its economic history. We are about to move into developing country status, and the country is plowing ahead with developmental projects at an admirable pace. The dynamism of our exporting sector is the envy of the world. It is disheartening, then, that when Bangladeshis want to go abroad, whether for business, education, or just pleasure, they face so much harassment, so many undue hurdles.
It is not enough to sing our own praises within our borders, other countries must hold us in higher esteem. In that respect, we must lift the status of the Bangladeshi passport, thereby improving the esteem for each and every Bangladeshi citizen who holds this document.