In Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina’s landslide victory confirms that democracy is dead

Democracy did not die in Bangladesh in December. It has been long dead here and is unlikely to be resurrected. This is why the results of the 11th General Elections were predictable. The only surprise was that... More

India looks to maintain ties with Bangladesh under Hasina

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling coalition has been re-elected, winning 287 of the 298 seats in parliament. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the first leader to call her and convey his congratulations on her victory,... More

A disputed election and a dangerous new era for Bangladesh’s politics

On December 30, Bangladesh's government was reelected in a landslide. According to the country's Election Commission, the Awami League (AL)-led ruling coalition won an astounding 288 out of the 300 parliamentary seats up for grabs. The political... More

Why Bangladesh’s landslide election result is bad for its democracy

On Sunday (Dec 30, 2018), Bangladesh, the world’s eighth most populous country, held what was billed as its first competitive election in a decade. But the results were anything but close: The incumbent prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and... More

Hasina wins third term as vote-rigging claims go unanswered

Bangladesh’s election commission will investigate claims of widespread vote-rigging in the country’s election, but has already confirmed a landslide win by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League alliance. Hasina, who has headed the Awami League since 1981, went... More

Bangladesh now one-party democracy

The results of the 11th parliamentary election in Bangladesh were known even before the first vote was cast last Sunday or the first ballot was counted in the evening on the same day. It was only a... More

Bangladesh TV station shut, seven journalists assaulted on election day

A leading Bangladesh news channel was taken off the air and seven journalists were assaulted as the country voted for a new government on Sunday amid allegations of a media crackdown. The private Jamuna TV said the action... More

Bangladesh elections marred by deaths

At least 10 people were killed in election-day clashes in Bangladesh Sunday, after a bloody campaign overshadowed by a crackdown on the opposition by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who is expected to win a historic but controversial... More

Commonwealth for fair, participatory polls in Bangladesh

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has called on the government of Bangladesh and the Election Commission to provide a conducive environment for free, fair, inclusive and participatory elections. In statement, the Secretary-General conveyed her best wishes to the people... More

Fears of intimidation, violence as Bangladesh set to vote

As Bangladeshis get set to vote in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, there are fears that violence and intimidation could keep many away from the polls, including two opposition candidates who said police had barricaded them inside their homes. Under... More

Ahead of Bangladesh vote, opposition says it faces “a reign of terror”

Bangladesh has a general election this weekend, but opposition candidate Abdul Moyeen Khan says he has yet to hold a single public meeting in his constituency about 30 miles (50 km) northeast of Dhaka, the capital. Thousands of... More

Is India’s Bangladesh game plan aimed at creating a ‘new BNP’ sans...

Bangladesh is on the edge. A sense of foreboding prevails as 10 million Bangladeshi voters wait with bated breath for December 30 when the country goes to the polls racked by violence, forced disappearances of opposition activists,... More

Opposition parties hit by harassment in lead-up to Bangladesh poll

Bangladesh is just days from a national election but the contrast between the two main political camps could not be starker. Violence has cast a dark shadow over the poll. Leaders and activists from the ruling alliance led... More

BD election official concerned about poll-related violence

One of five commissioners overseeing Bangladesh’s election said on Wednesday he was concerned about increasing violence four days ahead of the polls. Mahbub Talukdar’s comments came as several opposition candidates alleged attacks, sweeping arrests and threats by supporters... More

Campaign attacks heighten fears for Bangladesh election

New clashes marred the deadly Bangladesh election campaign on Wednesday (Dec 26) as opposition leaders stepped up complaints over the organisation of what they consider a one-sided vote. Youths on motorbikes carrying a banner of the ruling Awami... More

India could destroy Bangladesh’s democratization backing Awami League: Dr. Kamal Hossain to...

India could “jeopardise” Bangladesh’s democratisation process and “destroy” the country’s fledgling democracy if it continued to support Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League government which has “taken to organised terror” to intimidate voters ahead of the December 30 elections,... More

Masked youths attack Bangladeshi journalists covering election campaign

Around two dozen masked youths attacked a group of Bangladeshi reporters with hockey sticks and batons, injuring about 10 of them, when they were resting at a hotel after covering an election rally, the journalists said on... More

Bangladesh police arrest 10,500 activists ahead of polls

More than 10,500 Bangladeshi political activists have been arrested in a crackdown ahead of elections this week, opposition parties said Tuesday. The figures were released after Washington urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government to do more to ensure... More

Pre-poll violence in Bangladesh spikes but army remains inactive as India maintains...

Two days after the army was deployed across Bangladesh to “preserve the peace” and ensure free and fair parliamentary elections on December 30, there has been no noticeable or appreciable change on the ground even as the... More

Tradition and spirituality grace Bangladesh at Christmas

Christmas is a time of relaxation and joy for Susmita Ruga, a Catholic from the Garo tribe of predominantly indigenous Mymensingh Diocese in northeast Bangladesh. The Garo are a matrilineal minority, in which children take the surnames of... More

Foreign observers shunning Bangladesh polls: A sign not all is okay with...

The controversy regarding foreign observers for the forth coming Bangladeshi election, particularly the latest spat between the Sheikh Hasina government and the United States, is unfortunate. The result, however, is quite clear. Observers for the Asian Network... More


How the Taliban have become leading actor in Afghan peace talks

While the Taliban have established their domination both politically and militarily in almost half of Afghanistan, the consequent talks with the US and the way they have progressed show that they are already in a commanding position. They certainly have become the leading actor in these talks not just because they are the ones fighting the war against the US and Afghan forces, but also because they are directing... More

Exploiting Pakistan’s ‘Gold Coast’

The emerging markets of Central Asia require that a sea-land (south-south) dimension to support the north-south axis be added for expansion, otherwise all facilities and opportunities are likely to be clogged because of unplanned urban population expansion. The long coastline with stretches of virgin beaches and adjacent vast empty hinterland require well-planned commercial exploitation. It is personally satisfying that recommendations made in my articles of nearly three decades ago,... More

US withdrawal from Afghanistan showcases India’s hollow Afghan policy

When Donald Trump recently mocked India for building a library in Afghanistan, it signified a lot more than the fact that India is not fighting the Taliban as a US ally; it showed the actual limited presence of India in Afghanistan, although the Indian government has, as of lately, been busy responding to Trump’s jibe by listing its many projects in Afghanistan worth billions of dollars. But there can... More

Beginning with insurance and banking sectors, Myanmar’s financial reforms hit top...

Myanmar’s long-anticipated plans for economic liberalisation have finally gone into overdrive. To usher in the new year, the government announced radical changes to the insurance sector and removed some of the barriers to foreign insurance companies operating in the country. This follows several other reforms in the financial sector in recent weeks, including further easing of restrictions on foreign banks, setting up of a credit rating bureau and formation... More

Pakistan: Do our laws provide justice?

To provide justice is a central endeavour of any human society and the aim of any state. However, not all human societies have the same idea about what is just. This means that the idea of justice is different in different cultures and it changes over time. The understanding of justice in a tribal or a feudal society is different from a democracy where justice is supposed to mean... More



The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More