shahedul_anam_khan
A bus burns on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway near Sitakunda in mid November. Photo: file/Focus Bangla

The national security specter

What we are witnessing today hardly meets the definition of political programmes or agitation. The situation is radically assuming the character of subversion, particularly the acts of Jamaat, a recognised political party, following the execution of Quader Mollah. Targeting political

An undignified acquiescence
STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

An undignified acquiescence

WE should thank the two parties for agreeing to not only sit down to address the political stalemate but also to meet again soon to continue the effort. At long last the two parities have agreed to talk, to solve

We are all Geeta Sen
STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

We are all Geeta Sen

IN this time of political uncertainty and violence that attend such unrest one cannot but feel a very deep sense of psychological proximity with Geeta Sen and her feelings, because they are our feelings too. And no one crediting himself

Revisiting the Peace Accord

Revisiting the Peace Accord

TODAY is sixteen years since the CHT Peace Accord was signed and we are still waiting for its full implementation. No doubt, significant steps have been taken towards implementation of the Accord; institutions as stipulated by the accord have been

Profligate politics
STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Profligate politics

WHAT we have seen happen all over the country after the CEC announcement of the election schedule is a very good example of the effect of profligate politics in Bangladesh. On first day count seven people are dead. Who knows

EC’s probity in question

EC’s probity in question

THE CEC’s announcement of the election schedule has, regrettably, dealt a body-blow to whatever little chance there was of a resolution of the current impasse revolving on the issue of poll-time government. Whatever may be the motives behind this, overlooking

Off-the-wall politics
STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Off-the-wall politics

TO term the recent political developments — the resignation farce, induction of new ministers and the Ershad antics — as bizarre, would be an understatement. Politics has been tarnished by the admixture of both lust and aspiration for power on

The resignation tamasha
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The resignation tamasha

THERE is no end of farces in Bangladesh. First we had the “talk – talk” farce, the country eagerly waiting for a long time to see as to who would call whom and when to discuss the interim government issue.

February 25 revisited
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February 25 revisited

THERE are no instances in recent history where such a large number of officers were killed in the spate of 24 hours as that of the BDR massacre on February 25, 2009. During the entire period of the nine-month long

The Defence of the Duffer’s Drift
STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

The Defence of the Duffer’s Drift

ANY fool can get into a hole as a Chinese proverb goes. And I am sure most will agree that we, given the current political situation with little prospect of an amicable solution, are in the hole now. And we

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

What now?

AT least the AL and BNP proposals have helped to reduce the prospect of a violent situation, for the time being at least, all revolving round the character of the interim political arrangement. How much this will help to address

RMG unrest, conspiracy and the enfant terrible!
STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

RMG unrest, conspiracy and the enfant terrible!

EVERY so often our RMG sector comes under battering, most of which are self-inflicted. Some are delivered by the owners and result from violation of rules and norms that wreak losses in terms of lives of workers and destruction of

Fundamentalism, extremism, and terrorism alert!
Strategically Speaking

Fundamentalism, extremism, and terrorism alert!

The words fundamen-talism, terrorism and extremism continue to be subjects of intense public discourse. These three words have been bandied about so very often that they are likely to lose importance, as happens so often with issues that are both

Attack on Syria on hold
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Attack on Syria on hold

DIPLOMACY has been given a chance in Syria for the time being. President Obama has asked the Congress, in his speech on the eve of September 11, to put on hold its vote on Iraq, a vote, according to some

Quick Comment

Then who killed Felani?

Felani has been killed twice. The first time was in the early hours of January 7, 2011, by bullets fired from BSF rifles, and her lifeless body left to hang on the barbed wire fence that cordons the territory of

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Bangladesh-US relations: Bangladesh matters

THERE is perhaps no other country in the globe that is so disparate in every measurable way from the US and yet that merits so much attention of the lone superpower than Bangladesh. The US leaders writing off the country

Are politicians losing sanity?
Strategically Speaking

Are politicians losing sanity?

Some of them willy-nilly are, by the random comments they have been making. And if they did not rein in there tongues we shall soon have a situation where people would be taking the comedians seriously and the politicians as

Star Archive
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21/8 revisited

ONE ventures to comment on a sub judice case not without a little bit of trepidation, more so when it relates to a very sensitive and important case like that of the grenade attack on the then leader of the

PM’s press posse: Epitome of ineffectiveness

THE media in Bangladesh is used to taking broadsides from high-ups in the government from time to time. And that includes the PM, who perhaps surpasses some of her more voluble colleagues in having a dig at us. And only

STAR
STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Who will win the war of attrition?

THERE is an on going war of attrition in the political arena in Bangladesh whose outcome is both unforeseen and unquantifiable. It is our misfortunate that we have had to endure the harmful consequences of political attritions since the very

Instant Comments

Losing the war against al-Qaeda?

It is a pity that even after twelve years of the so-called war on terror the al-Qaeda continues to call the shots. And this has been attested once again by the heightened alert that the US was forced to adopt,

Strategically Speaking

Why is the EC shooting itself in the foot?

In an environment where the level of trust between the two major political parties is zero, the only hope for the people for a free and fair election to Parliament lies with the Election Commission (EC). Regrettably, some of the

Quick Comment!

Rohingya terror training camps in CHT

Reports of alleged terrorist camps in certain areas of CHT is a matter of serious concern, and one which must be addressed with urgency by the government and the law enforcing agencies. These camps, reportedly located on the Bangladesh –

SPEAKING STRATEGICALLY

A land of many Muslims but little of Islam

I went to the West and saw Islam, but no Muslims; I got back to the East and saw Muslims, but not Islam.” That was what Muhammad Abduh, the Egyptian scholar and jurist, had to say about Islam in the

Quick Comment!

Our peripatetic foreign minister

It seems that our foreign minister has taken a very literal meaning of her appointment, and that too extremely seriously. Taking stock of her travel abroad since she became the first woman foreign minister of the country, the FM has

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

War crimes trial: We should be united behind it

THE icon of the massacre of the Bengalis, the symbol of repression and torture in 1971, has been handed down a 90-year prison term. That Ghulam Azam’s age was the mitigating factor in the award of the verdict is very

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Another AL debacle

ONE has to commit blunders of grand proportions for a person, who had been Pourashva Chairman since 1995, to be rejected so overwhelmingly by the voters. And that too in a constituency that is supposed to be an invincible bastion

Strategically Speaking

Justice is a hidden treasure

In formulating the heading of this piece I could not help appropriate a part of the comments a reader had made in response to news report on the NHRC commissioner’s so-called mediation attempt between Limon’s family and the state, Reportedly,

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

City corporation elections — AL’s Catch-22

FOR the Awami League it was damned if you win and damned if you lose. It was caught in a peculiar situation that ruled out any escape from the outcome of the elections with its credibility and credentials relatively intact,

Amran Hossain
STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING
Anti-Terror Law

Misgivings justified

THE government has passed the Anti-terror Amendment Bill 2013 on Tuesday that has added a number of new provisions to the Act of 2009 which had undergone the first amendment in 2012. The BNP staged a walkout before the bill

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Make war a crime

TWO very contrasting but related remarks caught my attention last week. And the remarks were made in relation to war from two different ends of the globe. While talking to the war veterans on Memorial Day in the US, President

Quick Comment!

Legislation to end parliament boycott

The issue needs serious consideration by the lawmakers. Indeed it has become more than a culture to abstain from the parliament. And there is need to ensure that this abhorrent practice is brought to end immediately. It is odious to

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

The talk of the town

TALK” is the talk of the town. And, unfortunately it seems, the compulsion for talks between the major parties, had been felt by the public only. Serious commitment on the part of the political parties had so far been missing

Case for a CTG

ADMITTEDLY, there is a general consensus on the caretaker government (CTG) among the public. A recent countrywide poll by the Prothom Alo shows that ninety percent of those polled wants a caretaker government to conduct the next election. The moot

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Motijheel mayhem

NOBODY was prepared fully prepared for what happened last Sunday and Monday in the capital, that was centered on the Hefajat-e-Islam’s (HI) so called seige programme of Dhaka and the unscheduled rally at Shapla Chattar. The level of violence perpetrated

Strategically Speaking

Sohel Rana: The true face of politics

If anyone wants to see the image of politics in Bangladesh one has to only look at the picture of Sohel Rana. His is the face that encapsulates the quintessential character of Bangladesh politics — politics that thrives on sheer

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Politics with Medina Charter

NOT since I was studying history in school that I have heard the phrase, “Medina Charter” being uttered so randomly than in the last one month. Talk-show ‘masters’ and politicians, particularly those belonging to the ruling party, have referred to

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Where is ‘Hefazat-e-Bangladesh?’

WHILE Hefajat-e-Islam is doing its “duty to protect” Islam and the Sangskrit Jote and the likeminded groups are avidly trying to “protect” the values of our Liberation War and our cultural identity, we do not find anyone actually engaged in

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Police: Victims of operational inadequacy?

IT seems that the police are quickly becoming an endangered species. The latest attacks on them were carried out by the student wing of a party that suffixes “Islam” after its name. If this is their idea and practice of

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Kindly leave the army alone

IT is for no fault of theirs that the army (the generic term for the military in Bangladesh) is making the headlines once again. They have come to be mentioned in recent times by both the prime minister and the

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Rantings of our leaders

Our agony is not only unending, the senseless and cynical rantings of our leaders is adding to it also. With so many issues snowballing into problems with every passing day, the disdainful attitude of those, whose job it is to

Strategically Speaking

Putting up with the turmoil: For how long?

Must the nation’s pain be as repetitive and regular as to assume a degree of permanence in national life? We had hoped that the end of the autocratic regime would usher in political stability with politics back on track and

Strategically Speaking

Now what?

We in Bangla-desh have never stopped living in interesting times. Some of these have come to define our history. It is such a moment perhaps that we are passing, with the commonly heard refrain from all those who want to