ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Farid BakhtSubscribe to Farid Bakht

Time to Do Deals?

With a weak political opposition and Indo-Bangladesh relations closer than they have been for a generation, Bangladesh's military regime perhaps considers this a good time to attempt a deal with New Delhi over transit facilities. On the domestic front, attempts are being made to gain legitimacy by inducing political parties to participate in the elections.

On a Bumpy Road to Elections

Fakhruddin Ahmed announced that the elections in Bangladesh will take place as scheduled in December. The ultimate motives are questionable as the state of emergency is still in place. Qualms about closer civil-military cooperation are widespread. With the pretext of bolstering national security the fear is that military will play a permanent role in political affairs. The choice of the new us ambassador is also indicative of American intervention in empowering the army.

Will There Be Elections in Bangladesh This Year?

The caretaker government claims it will hold elections before end 2008. However, the generals and their advisers will be worried about the outcome. All has not gone according to plan in the removal of Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia from the domestic political scene and the management of the economy has been dismal.

Caught on the Back Foot

The caretaker government in Bangladesh has been severely criticised for its incompetence in organising relief after cyclone Sidr devastated large parts of the country. By arranging for movement of people to high ground, the government did see that the casualties were kept relatively low, but it has refused to recognise the enormity of physical damage wrought by the cyclone and has been inept in relief management.

Economic Clouds Gather over Dhaka

On the surface, the Bangladesh economy seems to be doing well. What the caretaker government does not seem to be aware of is that economic sovereignty is building up as a major issue of concern for domestic industry and the middle class.

Army Entrenches Itself in Bangladesh

Despite its protestations, the army is expanding its control in Bangladesh. The administration, which owes its existence to the defence forces, is emasculating the political parties and the hope is that the "two begums", Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina, will be thrown out of their respective parties or even that a "national unity" government will be formed.

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