Stories about Bangladesh

The Taliban must not be painted as violent savages

“You have no option but to take direct military action.” This was the advice given by John F Kennedy’s top military aide at the height of the Cuban missile crisis which brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war. The future of the world hinged on Kennedy’s acquiescence. After the Second World War, global politics were dominated by the political, ideological and power clash between the Americans and the Soviets. Communists were painted as violent savages to the Americans who were made to fear communism. However, the idea of communism gained ground in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union grew as a global superpower. Following ...

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Underdog alert: Let Sarfraz Ahmed play, PCB!

He bats like Saeed Ajmal and keeps like Kamran Akmal. He is simply a quota player. No one knows why selectors are so kind to Sarfraz Ahmed. These are some of the many comments which have been posed against Sarfraz – the man who was the real architect behind Pakistan’s victory in Sharjah against Sri Lanka, on January 20, 2014. However, if we keep these comments aside for a moment and relive the scenario of the match, when Sarfraz stepped in just before tea break and swept the game away, I am sure many would disagree with these aforementioned views. Sarfraz Ahmed. Photo: AFP Sharjah Test match, 2014 Pakistan was still 205 runs ...

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Here is why breastfeeding your child is important

Hooray! The Balochistan Assembly finally enacted the Balochistan Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Bill 2014 on January 18, 2014. This is truly a progressive step towards a healthier province and a healthier Pakistan. However, the real test for the provincial government will be to effectively implement this bill, in letter and in spirit. I say this because, even though the Protection of Breastfeeding and Young Child Nutrition Ordinance 2002 is very much present on the statute books since its approval, its implementation  continues to remain a distant dream. As most of us know, Pakistan is not on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal ...

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Is India’s BCCI planning a cricket coup with the ICC?

As old colleagues renew acquaintances at the current cricket board moot at the International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai, they will share uneasy stares – the big elephant in the room is nothing short of a flashback to the colonial days, where might was right. The ‘Big Three’ – India, Australia and England – based on their financial muscle and certainly not on merit, will table a proposal to take over the reins of the cricket world. I should point out that the word ‘proposal’ is only a misnomer. This document, in substance, is an ultimatum and shall be treated as one. The gist of this document ...

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Bangladesh elections 2014: Where democracy is a prisoner of history

It was an election of the ruling party, by the ruling party and for the ruling party. That is how one can describe the recent general elections in Bangladesh. More than half of the candidates won the elections without even contesting and the remaining half, in a parliament of 300, romped home with a token fight between friendly parties. The ruling Awami League, therefore, got a three fourth majority in the national assembly, which was an unprecedented victory. This is a parliament where the largest opposition in the country, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has no representation at all. Political monopoly No doubt, a House ...

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No prayers for the soldier…

When the Pakistan Army started full-scale anti-insurgency operations in the tribal areas of Pakistan, it suffered a lot of causalities mainly because the army had not been trained and equipped for undertaking full-scale anti-guerrilla warfare. The worst part was that half the nation termed it a war against our own people. The families of the slain officers and soldiers who died fighting in Waziristan often faced a bigger trauma when their fellow countrymen doubted the shahadat (martyrdom) of these men. For them, these soldiers gave their lives while fighting other Muslims for a war which served the United States. It took 12 long years for this mind-set to ...

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Indian elections 2014: It’s Kejriwal versus Modi, and I know who the winner is

The biggest victim of the Indo-Pak conflict has been the aam aadmi or the common man. In fact, he is considered nothing more than just a chess pawn by the ruling class on both sides, to be played off against the ‘enemies’. His life is cheap and can be sacrificed. His blood is of no worth and can be shed like water. Thousands of innocent lives have been lost in this mindless conflict since independence and yet, the insatiable craving for blood by these beasts of prey, on both sides, remains far from being gratified. First came the white man and divided us in the name of ...

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Opening old wounds and Quader Mollah’s execution: What did Bangladesh accomplish?

About a week ago I was in New York on holiday and at some point got into a cab with a very chatty Bengali cab driver. His first question to me obviously, as all desi cab drivers in NY must ask, was where I’m from; the minute I responded he said to me in broken Urdu, “Oh! You come from the country that looted, raped, killed and tortured us for 24 years!”  I am used to being attacked like that; for the past three and a half years I have been married to a Bangladeshi and spend a lot ...

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Can Ireland really have a cricket team if England keeps stealing their players?

It was on March 17, 2007 when world cricket started taking minnows seriously. A few days before Saint Patrick’s Day, the Irish cricket team had caused arguably the biggest upset in World Cup history. On a green Sabina Park pitch, Trent Johnston, Ireland’s captain won the toss and invited Inzamam’s boys to bat. The Irish bowling line-up swept away Pakistan’s batting order and bowled them out for a dreadful score of 132 runs. Although Pakistan showed some fight when they came on to the field, they were unable to prevent defeat. A clean 72 runs from wicket keeper-batsman Niall O’Brien helped Ireland ...

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Was the creation of Pakistan a mistake?

Over the years, I have come across many people who believed that Pakistan should never have been created. Keeping today’s lawlessness and corruption in mind, I often feel that they are indeed right. However, amongst the many reasons given to me by such individuals for Pakistan being a mistake, one of the most prominent is that had India not been divided then, Muslims today would have been the largest religious group in the subcontinent. Such statements are misguiding as these people are misinformed. Currently the population of Muslims in the subcontinent is 510 million, with roughly 180 million each in Pakistan and ...

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