Thou Shalt not Lie
Home Minister (HM) Altaf H. Chowdhury's much-publicised Jihad
against listed criminals has so far resulted in nothing. Instead
of arresting criminals and curbing corruption, the HM has turned
his hounds on the opposition. Last Thursday, during an opposition-called
dawn to dusk strike, the Hmís faithful had mercilessly beaten
up the opposition workers near the Dainik Bangla crossing. Two
opposition leaders, including an MP, Ahsanullah Master, were
wounded. While the newspapers carried the photographs showing
police lathi-charge on the leaders, the HM, with his characteristic
bombast, denied any police action. "The Awami League leaders
were not injured by police personnel, rather they hurt themselves
by falling on the road in a melee during hartal hours,"
have lost faith in police long ago; the HM was no exception
either. But the HM himself has never lied before in such a brazen
way, not even in the Parliament.
President Ershad seems to have become a convenient target of
harassment (for political reasons) of the successive governments.
Some days back he along with his wife Bidisha was barred from
going abroad at what the immigration officials termed "instruction
from higher authorities". Later when Jatiya Party MPs wanted
to know reason behind this government action in the Parliament,
Salauddin Kader Chowdhury, Advisor to Prime Minister, came up
with a very interesting explanation. The reason for barring
Ershad is the same as it was in the case when Morshed Khan,
the present Foreign Minister and myself were not allowed to
go abroad during Ershad's regime." The indication is clear
since Ershad didn't allow them to go abroad they are now doing
the same to Ershad. Strange arguments for someone no less than
that of an advisor to the PM. It seems government actions are
guided by personal vendetta, than anything else.
Blasts the Government
of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries
(FBCCI) have come down heavily on the government. The FBCCI
blamed the 'culture of conflict for deterioration of law and
order. The apex business body condemned the killing, looting
and extortion and other forms of adversaries that the business
community are facing across the country. They are aggrieved
and are concerned ever the deteriorating situation that are
resulting from political squabbling between the major political
rivals of the country.
Abdul Awal Mintoo, president of the FBCCI, after a meeting of
the board of directors at the office of the apex business body
of the country last week said, "All countrymen are frustrated
and aggrieved over the over all situation of the country."
e also said that immediate steps need to be taken to rescue
both from this adversarial situation. "We want security
of over lives and assets," he added.
business leaders observed that the government has the responsibility
to provide security to the countries traders.
the Police are away the Extortionists Play
Daily Star reports a new strategy employed by extortionists
to kill or abduct businessmen when they refuse to pay toll or
to extract ransom money. Between January 20 and February 14,
nine businessmen have been killed in Dhaka and the law enforcers
have done little about their murders. In cases where victims
have or their relatives been spared their lives, they have been
beaten up mercilessly. Incidentally, during the Eid holidays
a huge robbery had taken place at Karnaphuli Market. The robbers
stole about 10 crore Taka of gold and cash. An association of
businessmen in this industry observed a protest-strike and announced
that they would stop paying taxes if the authorities did not
do anything to recover the losses. But the latest spat of murders
has created extreme panic among the business community. The
report quotes a hardware trader at Nawabpur: "I would prefer
paying the extortionists a fixed amount in toll to going to
police to seek action as they cannot ensure I will be alive
after refusing to pay toll."
Cloning -- Not Such a Good Idea Says the U.S.
first successful cloning of a human embryo and the extraction
of stem cells from it has provoked new calls from a ban on all
forms of human cloning in the U.S. reports AP. South Korean
scientists have announced successfully cloning although strictly
for therapeutic reasons. The American Congress and church leaders,
however, consider any form of human cloning for whatever reason,
to be unethical and therefore, must be banned.
Over to the Enemy
American soldier Ryan Anderson was arrested for his alleged
links to Al Qaeda. Anderson who recently converted to Islam,
has been accused of giving intelligence to the Al-Qaeda in violation
of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.
long last President Pervez Musharraf has admitted that some
anti-government activity in Afghanistan was being carried out
from over the border in Pakistan. Now, Islamabad promises to
take steps to stop this.
came up with an interesting conclusion last week: "Certainly
everything (within Afghanistan) is not happening from Pakistan,
but something is happening from Pakistan". He was addressing
at the National Defense College in Islamabad on February 12.
has frequently complained that anti- government rebels use Pakistani
tribal territory across the border as a sanctuary and springboard
for launching attacks inside Afghanistan.
tens of thousands of Pakistani troops have remained deployed
along the porous border since early 2002 to stop infiltration
of Al-Qaiada and Taliban fighters into the country's tribal
territory from Afghanistan.
than 500 fugitives have been captured over the period and Pakistani
troops have carried out regular operations in the tribal region
to flush out intruders hiding in the rugged region with support
from local sympathisers.