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Bangladesh became part of Pakistan when British colonial rule of India ended in 1947. The country, then known as East Pakistan, won independence with India’s help in December 1971 after a war against what was then West Pakistan.

The tribunal so far has sentenced four Jamaat-e-Islami leaders for their roles in war crimes. Three of them — including the party’s assistant secretary-general, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman — have been sentenced to death.

The verdicts sparked violence across Bangladesh.

“The war crimes tribunal has opened a can of worms in Bangladesh by emboldening secularists to step up pressure on the Islamists,” Ms. Curtis said. “In response, the Islamist parties are pushing back more vehemently than ever, viewing the current situation as a threat to their strongly held religious beliefs.”

Bangladesh is bracing for more violence in response to a verdict, expected this month, in the war-crimes trial of Ghulam Azam, the former leader of Jamaat-e-Islami.

A combination of war-crimes verdicts, impending executions and an opposition committed to toppling the government is expected to produce several more months of instability in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh also is reeling from the collapse of a garment factory that killed more than 1,100 people on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, last month.

“Everything that could go wrong politically in that country is set up to go wrong in the foreseeable future,” Mr. Adams said.

The Bangladesh National Party has said it will boycott elections, expected later this year, unless a caretaker government is put into place to oversee the vote. Islamist parties such as Jamaat-e-Islami manage support only in the single-digits of the percentage of votes in elections.