Mass arrests in Bangladesh
Isibility T appears as anarchy and chaos are fast engulfing Bangladesh, respon
of which could simply be fixed on its own Prime Minister Hasina Wajid whose revengeful policies are only serving to ignite fire and resulting in bloodshed. In recent weeks, the country is reeling from a wave of brutal killings with religious minorities, secular thinkers and liberal activists the chief targets. While police has arrested about 3000 people on charges of involvement in gruesome murders, the opposition parties are accusing Hasina government of using crackdowns to suppress political dissent.
Given the developments of last few years in which Jamat-i-Islami leaders were executed in flawed and one-sided trials, concerns expressed by the opposition parties are, therefore very much genuine. The merciless political vendetta being pursued by Hasina has resulted in creating horizontal and vertical wedge in the society so much so that even the Muslim population is feeling unsafe and losing hopes of tolerance and democracy in the country. This does not augur well for Bangladesh, which had made tremendous economic strides during the era of Khalida Zia who as a true leader focused only on economic reforms and took the garment industry to new heights, earning repute for the country worldwide. Unfortunately, Bangladesh of today under Hasina is known for rising intolerance and the one where the voice of dissent is being stifled. In the greater good of the people of Bangladesh, for whom the people of Pakistan really feel from the heart, the Bangladeshi PM should revisit her policies. The task before her is clear: encourage freedom of thought, expression and refrain from contributing to the culture of intolerance by cracking down on political opponents. Bangladesh stands at a crossroads. Only wise decisions by its political leadership could propel the country in right direction.
PITY the man in the street for he knows not whether he is coming or going. He is being force-fed so many official versions of the same happenings that he can no longer decide what or whom to believe or, indeed, trust. Constantly bombarded by myriad media channels each playing its own tune, he can hardly decide whether to succumb or to plug his ears. Meanwhile, the world around him appears to be crumbling to pieces, while the powers that be keep on insisting on more of the same.
It is not such a bad idea to look over the shoulder every once in a while. A look over the shoulder at recent history may thus be in order. Some time after the Iraq adventure, the President of the sole superpower, speaking at the United Nations, had exhorted the world at large to “continue to fight terrorism”. Despite the stalemate in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Great White Chief was intent on giving the world more of the same. How much can the world take before it comes apart at the seams was the question that came to everybody’s mind!
President George W. Bush (remember?) also gave expression to his confidence that ‘the current financial market crises in Wall Street’ would be duly overcome with his proposed 700 billion dollar rescue operation that, he claimed, would be enacted in the “urgent time-frame required”. He asserted this with the
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