Bangladesh’s position on global terrorism index has improved: Australian agency CPES

An Australian outfit, Centre for Peace and Economic Studies (CPES), has stated that Bangladesh has gone up four positions in the global terrorism index, according to it’s ranking. Several other countries in South Asia have gone down... More

Bangladesh elections: A transitional moment in politics?

Bangladesh’s general election was a complex affair but with a simple premise. The Awami League won the election for the third term in a row with an overwhelming majority. With the Bangladesh Election Commission (BEC) declaring that... More

Bangladesh’s most intriguing elections ever?

The 2018 general elections weren’t even supposed to be held. Many believed that given the political situation and hostility, violence would spill over onto the streets and the elections would be postponed. This was particularly so when... More

December 30 and the cycle of violence  

Election related violence is already at its peak and more is expected. This was not quite unexpected. Arrests, court cases and attacks on motorcades and public rallies continue unabated. With just three weeks to go for elections... More

In Bangladesh, a poor politician is of no use to anyone

In Dhaka’s swirling political speculations and gossip, the latest is about who among the electoral candidates is wealthy and who is not. On paper, many have declared their wealth and almost none have been found credibility among... More

Bangladesh elections: A problem of plenty?

The electoral environment in Bangladesh is becoming exciting and slightly less predictable by the day. There is intense activity, at least among the supporters of a large number of party candidates, if not the public. After years... More

Bangladesh politics beyond 2018

Suddenly no one is completely sure about the outcome of the 2018 Bangladesh general elections. It was a certainty once when only political parties were involved but with voters in, it’s a bit ‘interesting”. Speculation is now... More

Is conflict driving Bangladesh’s politics and society?

Hate, insults, endless allegations and occasional physical confrontations have become the staple of Bangladesh’s political culture. No one is spared, and no one wants to be excluded. Instead of debate there is abuse. And then comes the... More

Bangladesh: A certain election in an uncertain season

Politics in Bangladesh is fluid in a way that would completely befuddle a non-citizen. However, the average Bangladeshi is a resilient human who has suffered so much political and other related turmoil that anxieties that usually beset... More

Parties over people

With elections to Bangladesh’s JatiyaSangsad (National Assembly) now declared to be held on December 23, the political scene in the country will enter a new phase. The announcement was sudden but not really unexpected given the way... More

Maldives elections and China-India ties

afsan Neither China nor India are in any ideological conflict over any issues. Both are dedicated trading nations, and both have gained from globalisation. China has done better with its infrastructure, skilled labour and management. It’s a... More

Bangladeshi politics and media: Strange bedfellows?

Bangladesh is well known for a flourishing media, rights violations of journalists and political activism rather than excellence. Media workers imagine themselves more as human rights and political activists than professionals. Many see themselves as frontline workers... More

Bangladesh’s grenade attack case: Politics of past or future?

The October 10 special tribunal verdict on the August 2004 grenade attack case that killed 24 and injured many including Bangladesh’s current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina didn’t carry too many surprises since it was a foregone conclusion... More

Indo-Bangla relations and the “termite” problem

fsan Indian’s ruling party BJP leader Amit Shah has called ‘illegal Bangladeshis’ as “termites” which will be cleaned out from the woodwork of Assam in particular. Its not just the unseemly language coming from a major political... More

South Asian media: Inventing a region?

South Asia is a popular buzz word which is rarely defined properly. This lack of clarity suits many as people have no idea what it actually means and how one is supposed to respond to it. The... More

Has digital media changed politics in Bangladesh?

Political nostalgia in Bangladesh centres around public and street agitations. It begins with the language movement of 1952 which defined the basic parameters of national aspiration. The next station of political memory is the 1962 student’s movement against... More

Does international pressure matter anymore?

There was once a time when international pressure on domestic issues of the less developed countries mattered. People would look at the West as the great savior particularly in countries where human rights was at bay. During... More

Bangladesh: A social media driven state?

It’s not easy to have a calm conversation in Bangladesh. Everyone is rushing to make a comment, observe and abuse. Or make a counter to all that. Anything that requires critical thought is discarded and the instant... More

Is the Myanmar military looking a bit inept?

“While everything else is in flux, the position of the Tatmadaw in national affairs appears more stable than ever. Snug in its constitutional bunker, it can reap the fruits of improved foreign relations, a cooperative civilian government,... More

Bus killings: Children’s protest works where adults fail

School and college students of Dhaka embarked on protests that almost shut down traffic in Dhaka after two of their own were killed by public buses that ran them over. The matter became grave after Shipping Minister... More

Genocide in Myanmar says the UN but does it matter?

Almost to the year after the 4th edition of Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas began, the UN has published a report calling the army’s action against the Rohingyas as genocidal. This report has gone further than any... More


The sorry state of Pakistan’s police

The imperial form of police infrastructure that Pakistan inherited was deliberately created to serve the British rulers rather than promote harmony, security and adherence to the law. The 1861 Police Act has never changed except for minor amendments. Even the new laws introduced by the provinces retain more or less the essence of the original imperial law. The persisting culture is to ensure that the weak remain subservient to... More

Bangladesh’s position on global terrorism index has improved: Australian agency CPES

An Australian outfit, Centre for Peace and Economic Studies (CPES), has stated that Bangladesh has gone up four positions in the global terrorism index, according to it’s ranking. Several other countries in South Asia have gone down in terms of vulnerability, including Pakistan and India. Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have also improved their standings in this index. CPES has reported that introduction of modern education in madrassas, investment in... 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



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