Random header image... Refresh for more!

Is Bangladesh politics heading for a deadlock?: op-ed by Mohammad Badrul Ahsan in The Daily Star, Aug 26, 2016

One thing certain about politics in Bangladesh is that it has an evolving order in the midst of an emerging chaos. If closely observed, it’s right now abiding by Newton’s first law of motion. The object at rest stays at rest, while the object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction. One of the assumptions of the law of inertia is that it doesn’t change unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

So the ruling party stays in power, while the opposition stays opposed. It’s almost certain now that the period between now and the middle of next year could be crucial for BNP. Rumours are out that its chairperson might land in jail for one or many of the charges brought against her, and warrants are being issued and withdrawn in her name perhaps by the way of testing the water before the plunge. She and some of her trusted associates might also get implicated in some case or other. More turncoats might leave the party, pushing it to....... Read more

August 27, 2016   No Comments

Behind the camouflage: op-ed by Shah Husain Imam in The Daily Star, Aug 26, 2016

The writer is a columnist of The Daily Star.
Lately, Pakistan-Bangladesh relations have been in the news, mostly for negative reasons, and very sparsely for the positive ones.

Let’s begin with the souring, embarrassing and sensibility-hurting incidents which have been quite a handful. And, then we try to make sense of some of the positive vibes topped up by a sense of incredulity at the receiving end, what with their rarity.

In the latest incident, one saw Pak authorities’ attempted whipping of a diplomatic row over a reported remark by Bangladesh’s Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu in New Delhi. This was on the troubled Baluchistan province of Pakistan. What apparently stirred the hornet’s nest was our Information Minister’s affirmation of support for Modi’s critique on Pakistan’s human rights violations in Baluchistan. It predictably irked the foreign ministry in Islamabad in the context of Pakistan’s relations wi....... Read more

August 27, 2016   No Comments

Police hunting Ansarullah ‘big brothers’ By Arifur Rahman Rabbi in Dhaka Tribune, Aig 26, 2016

Following the arrest of Moinul Hasan Shamim, a key suspect in publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan murder, the law enforcers are now looking for some top leaders of banned outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team
The names of some “big brothers” were gleaned from Shamim alias Sifat alias Samir alias Imran during remand in custody.
“Now the police are conducting drives to arrest the ‘big brothers’ who were involved in planning and training of some killing missions, including publisher Dipan murder,” DB Deputy Commissioner (south) Mashrukur Rahman Khaled told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.
During primary interrogation, Shamim admitted to have meeting Maj (sacked) Syed Md Ziaul Haque, the military commander of Ansarullah, for a couple of times.
The government had earlier announced a bounty of Tk20 lakh on Zia. He was sacked from the army for his involvement in a failed coup in December, 2011.
According to Shamim, Zia had given the team, that executed Dipan murder, mo....... Read more

August 27, 2016   No Comments

Two ‘top terrorists’ killed in ‘shootout’ with RAB in Sirajganj Report in bdnews24.com, Aug 25, 2016

Sirajganj: Two ‘top terrorists’ have been shot dead in a so-called shootout with the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Sirajganj’s Kamarkhanda Upazila.
RAB-12’s Hatikumrhul Camp Commander Maj Hasibul Islam said the ‘gunfight’ took place in the Upazila around 4am on Thursday.

He identified the two deceased as Sanwar Hossain Sanu, 32, of Kamarkhanda and Lutfur Rahman, 55, of Chatmohar Upazila.

Aside from being as known terrorists, the duo also worked as assassins for hire, Islam claimed. “Both of them were accused in a number of cases.”

He told bdnews24.com that Sanwar and Lutfur had died on the spot during the ‘shootout’.

The official said RAB had recovered two guns, two knives and eight rounds of bullets from the scene.

Later, RAB-12 Commander Additional DIG Md Shahabuddin Khan told reporters that the terrorists had gathered in Kamarkhanda’s Jamtoil Collegeparha area.

“When RAB personnel arrived there, the te....... Read more

August 27, 2016   No Comments

BNP backs anti-Rampal movement: Report in Dhaka Tribune,August 26, 2016

The BNP has urged the government to stop construction of the Rampal coal power plant formally extending its support to the ongoing programmes of the National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and Ports
The party said it would announce action programmes protesting the 1,320MW power plant considering the behaviour of the government.
“We are extending our support to their [National Committee] programmes,” Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters yesterday. He was speaking to reporters after placing floral wreaths at party founder Ziaur Rahman’s grave in the capital.
On Wednesday, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia asked the government to shift the power plant from near the Sundarbans and choose renewable energy sources.
From an agitation programme at the Central Shaheed Minar on August 20, the National Committee announced to observe Dhaka March on November 24 if the government does not cancel the project by this time, and a ....... Read more

August 27, 2016   No Comments

Defence minister skips many security meetings: by Maqbool Malik in The Nation, August 25th, 2016

ISLAMABAD – Constant absence of Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif from the series of recent high level security related meetings has raised serious questions about his role as a minister.

These post-Quetta bomb blast meetings chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were attended by Chief of Army Staff, intelligence agencies chiefs and relevant ministers and advisors except the defence minister.

His conspicuous absence from these meetings has not only been noticed by his party colleagues but also has provided an opportunity to the opposition members to question his role as defence Minister.

Besides the portfolio of minister of defence, Khawaja Asif is also holding the portfolio of water and power as federal minister.

His subordinates in the Defence Ministry had no answer to the query about his conspicuous absence from these high level meetings including the one chaired by the Prime Minister on Wednesday last. The deliberate silence of his staff show....... Read more

August 26, 2016   No Comments

By design or mere stupidity?: By Shireen M Mazari in The News, August 25, 2016

The writer is DG of SSII, a private think tank, and a PTI MNA.
After watching the MQM’s drama of the abusive absurd, the troubling question was: have we become a joke as a nation and state? From the US to India to the EU and UK, anyone can vent ad nauseum against us, our state, its institutions – and our leaders accept it all with a muted protest at best.

So when the MQM’s Altaf Hussain decided to yet again abuse Pakistan and incite his followers to violence against the media and state institutions and officials, Islamabad’s muted and belated response was disturbing. Equally absurd was the farce of the oft-repeated apology which the nation was supposed to accept. Do the MQM and its leader really think we are so stupid?

Sadly, why should anyone think otherwise? While our military is busy fighting terrorists in Fata, the US has the gall to ask whether Pakistan is a friend or foe; its Congress stops payment of the Coalition Support Fund because the Obama Admini....... Read more

August 26, 2016   No Comments

The MQM’s coup de grace: By Imtiaz Alam in The News, August 25, 2016

The writer is a senior journalist.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (Pakistan) staged a coup de grace – to apparently pre-empt retribution – by disowning its cult leader’s oft-repeated fits of treacherous diatribe against the state.

In an exceptional condemnation, since it used to sing the apology chorus for its Quaid on such ungraceful occasions, almost all of a docile Rabita Committee suddenly turned against its patron’s madness and raised the banner of its ‘liberation’ from the agent provocateurs based in the London Headquarters. Is this a farcical tactical retreat or a democratic metamorphosis of a quasi-fascist party?

One of the defining features of the MQM is its tremendous capacity to shift positions and alignments and stage somersaults. But this is for the first time that it was left with no option but to distance itself from the helmsman – mercifully on psychiatric grounds. An otherwise rudderless but disarmingly humble Deputy Convener Farooq Satt....... Read more

August 26, 2016   No Comments

MQM after mayoral polls: edit in Dawn, August 25th, 2016

THE most important voices in the entire MQM episode have just weighed in and their verdict is clear. As expected, the MQM has swept the elections to the positions of mayor, deputy mayor and chairman of three of the six district municipal corporation councils in Karachi. In Hyderabad, too, the result has been a sweep. The fact that the events of the last few days did nothing to impact the manner in which the MQM councillors voted is important to note here. Any disruption at this level would be an indicator of how the transition towards a post-Altaf Hussain leadership of the party is working out. Another indicator is that in his victory speech, Waseem Akhtar, the future mayor of Karachi who will run the city via video link from prison, made no reference to Mr Hussain except in passing. He did not shower gratitude and accolades upon him as has been customary for MQM candidates.

It is important to let this transition work itself out. Matters are being dragged in the wrong direction ....... Read more

August 26, 2016   No Comments

Muhajir brotherhood withering away, what’s next? By Naveed Ahmad in The Express Tribune, August 25th, 2016

The writer is a Pakistani investigative journalist and academic   based in Doha and Istanbul.
A mere night’s stay with the Rangers after Altaf Hussain’s seditious speech seems to have made Farooq Sattar et al wise. He fired the exiled comrade with a subtle statement, “All decisions of MQM will be made in Pakistan from now on.” There has been no obvious voice of dissent at home. Sure, the social media – a more informal platform for catharsis than debate – painted a different picture. Dr Amir Liaquat, a loudmouth spokesperson of the Qauid-e-Tehreek, has quit politics. The circus, however, is far from over yet as many leaders hold their breath for the impact.

The treasonable speech won’t be forgotten nor would be the past of the now baptised few of the Muhajir or Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). The attackers of media houses are being identified while the RAW connections are being dug up simultaneously. The yet unnamed operation to purge Karachi polity and stre....... Read more

August 26, 2016   No Comments