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Talks took place about the imposed friendship. How a friendship can be imposed? Several events can make the ground. There can be a campaign carried out where significant part of the media will exasperatedly not let you forget about that friendship. Again, the same campaign can take care of the other task, that, all of not-so-friendly-acts of that ceremonial friend will be well covered and obstructed while reaching the people. The whole effort becomes even more illustrious if the regime is found to have the same exasperation.

“…India’s foreign policy toward Bangladesh for these years got the fame of harshness, and it doesn’t appear to get better even after Sheikh Hasina became the Prime Minister….”

It ain’t really our fault to get anxious when a minister of the current regime Ramesh Chandra Sen places his statement like Newton placed his laws of motion, saying, the Farakka Barrage in fact never had anything to do with floods and other related difficulties in Bangladesh; it was all about the problem we have been having in ourselves. So this is another way you can help impose a friendship, or at least can help abate the bitterness about that particular ‘friend’, unnoticed of the fact that the bitterness is getting to a hike.

But it becomes hard if the friend doesn’t cooperate. You know, you are teaching me that ‘Rahim is your friend! Rahim is your friend!’, and suddenly Rahim categorizes me that I will need this and that specific clearances from him to even seek permission to enter his home, this means Rahim is giving you a real hard time. It’s just like a physics tutor is teaching Newton’s 1st book while Newton is writing a 2nd book contradicting the 1st one.

India’s foreign policy toward Bangladesh for these years got the fame of harshness, and it doesn’t appear to get better even after Sheikh Hasina became the Prime Minister. Before 5 weeks passed after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned home ending this January 2010 India trip, hailing immense success of her visit and hailing the reinstating of ‘strong’ Bangladesh-India ties, the Indian authority enlisted Bangladesh as one of the few countries whose citizens will need to have special security clearances from the Indian Home Ministry to join a seminar in India.

The PIB press release upon the decision.

A press release by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) of Indian government, published at 4:12pm Indian standard time on 18 February, 2010 describes an announcement from the Home Ministry of India that says, “As per the revised procedure, while the Ministry of Home Affairs (Foreigners Division) grants in-principle approval for holding the event, security clearance for grant of Conference Visa is required from this Ministry only in respect of participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka & Sudan and in respect of foreigners of Pak origin and Stateless persons.”

Well, it’s their land and it’s in fact their choice that who they will permit in what purpose and how. India as a sovereign state does have the right to design its own foreign policies, and even the minimum count of realism allows them to categorize the nationals and types of the entries they will like to approve or not.

Including Bangladesh in the list containing China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Iran etc. however came as a surprise. India’s relationship with other 7 nations have certain attributes which to some extent can justify such Indian sanctions to them for granting conference visas.

India has been having several military tensions turned to conflicts with China and Pakistan since 1960s, so sanctions for them are not bolts from the blue. Sri Lanka’s annihilating of RAW aided LTTE has stressed the India-Sri Lanka relationship. So sanctions for Sri Lanka too ain’t a surprise. Rather the Sri Lankan Army’s 2008 offensive was financially, diplomatically and militarily supported by China, so the China-India relationship was further stressed. Iran’s relation with presently India’s closest ally United States is sourest of all time, same applies to Sudan, so sanctions for Sudan and Iran are not bolts from the blue too.

But according to our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina including the entire of her cabinet, the tie between India and Bangladesh is unbreakable, right?

According to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, whatever measure India takes in whatever consideration, it won’t show any aggression by any mean to any concern of Bangladesh, right?

According to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and many others inside or not inside her government, regimes of the past few years largely contributed in deterioration of Bangladesh-India ties, which Sheikh Hasina has been 100% successful to fix, 100% successful! Right?

The most recent Indian aggression toward Bangladesh was BSF intrusion in Jaintapur frontier of Sylhet, where a BSF unit allegedly raided to occupy a water body. Photo shows an argument between BDR and BSF personnel at Jaintapur, taking place inside Bangladesh territory.

And still the Bangladeshis are to be through the security filter to join conferences in India, rather accompanied by those who have longstanding or presently stressed ties with India.

After Sheikh Hasina returned Bangladesh from India last month, number of Bangladeshi political analysts came to the decision that any presentation of a stressed Bangladesh-India ties presently and any presentation showing India’s not-friendly-acts to Bangladesh are just insubstantial, old-fashioned and malicious propaganda to hamper the our ‘progressive tie’ with India. Now, if we ask them that why Bangladesh, having a ‘progressive’ and ‘mutually beneficiary’ tie with India as they have said, will have to be through the Indian filter of suppressing the public thoughts and freedom of expression, what the answers will be?

Indian political analysts and experts have already responded to the announcement and several pieces have been so far published criticizing such tendency of policing the free expression of opinions.

After the 2009 Awami League regime took office, tensions arose about the Tipaimukh barrage. With freshest memories about the damages Bangladesh conceded by the Farakka accord, the outcry emerged in Bangladesh against the Indian attempts at Tipaimukh. The unleashed group of intellectuals who wrote or spoke in support of the Tipaimukh barrage or kept mum shamelessly, were all turned down.

A certain manner that activism against India’s Tipaimukh efforts showed is, it associated activists both from Bangladesh and India where they worked with unity to an extent. Moreover their promotion with joint efforts and joint expressions were taking place both in Bangladesh and India. The recent decision of Indian Home Ministry hints at the Indian stance of policing public thoughts.

Special scrutiny for conference visa seekers hints at the effort by Indian analysts where the several attributes of a visa seeker like literary or activism contribution records, pattern of expression in previous seminars or conferences etc. will be scrutinized. This means, a conference about Tipaimukh Barrage in India will be participated by only those Bangladeshis who to the date haven’t even imagined about denouncing the aggressive Indian effort. Those who strongly protested the effort, in fact are the people for whom the filter in name of special security checkup has been set.

So, what about the friendship our honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was talking about?

Moinuddin Naser
14 January, 2010, New York

India has become desperate to capture the Bangladesh’s telecommunication system and to build up a fibre optic network by using the Cox’s Bazar submarine cable to connect India’s seven sisters in the Northeast India. In this connection the Indian Telecom companies Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications have already submitted a joint proposal to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC). Thaindia news, a web based news media reported about the development centring the Bangladesh’s communication system.

Bangladesh’s defence network

Experts opined that if India has to depend on Bangladesh regarding maintaining communication with its north eastern provinces, why it had turned down the proposal of sub-regional cooperation as was mooted by the Awami League government in the year 1996. Experts now opine that if it happens so, India will be able to control Bangladesh’s communication system, including the defence network fully. Even the military establishments of Bangladesh will be nothing but an extension of the Indian eastern command.

Apart from the proposal of fibre optic network, Bharti Airtel is about to complete a deal to buy 70 per cent share of Bangladesh’s Warid Telecom for a reported $900 million from Abu Dhabi Group. While Bharti and Reliance are rivals to each other in the Indian domestic market they have joined hands while bidding for fibre optics network in Bangladesh.

Before getting Transit – Corridor through Bangladesh for easier communication with the isolated North-Eastern Provinces (Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Monipur, Mizoram, Arunachal and Nagaland), India wants to build up the fibre-optic network, by using the existing submarine lending cable of Bangladesh, the backbone of the Bangladesh’s international communication. The cable again is frequently disrupted, sometimes due to theft of cable and sometime for technical reasons. However Bharti and Reliance have offered Bangladesh access to the alternative submarine cable in exchange of the permission to build up fibre optic network.

The seven north eastern states now get telecom services through VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) at a high price.

Cox’s Bazar: Disruption likely

A BTRC official confirmed the report and said that as per the proposal Bangladesh could use the companies’ undersea cable network as an alternative to lone submarine cable SEA-ME-WE-4. The existing optical fibre line connects Dhaka to the south-eastern Cox’s Bazar’s submarine cable landing station. It serves as the backbone of international communication, while satellite services act as backup with limited bandwidth.

Experts opined that if India is allowed to build up fibre optic network in Bangladesh that will surely disrupt the Bangladesh’s communication with outside world. It is not feasible before launching its own satellite by Bangladesh.

Meanwhile Bangladesh plans to join 50 other countries, including South Asian neighbours India and Pakistan, to ramp up its communications network by launching a satellite.

The cost of the programme will be between $150 million and $200 million according to Post and Telecommunications Minister Raziuddin Ahmed Raju. Bangladesh has started talking to different countries including the US, Japan and China, to help launch own satellite by Bangladesh.

Reuters’ report

Bharti Airtel has almost finalized a deal with the Abu Dhabi group to buy 70m percent of Bangladesh’s Warid Telecom. The total deal will cost $900 million while the initial investment will be $300 million. Reuters reported from India that Bharti declined to make any comment, but its share has gone up by 2.8 per cent while Abu Dhabi Group Chief Commercial Officer Ali Tahir said that they expect to seal the deal by mid-January 2010. But he did not disclose the sale price.

Bharti targeted this small deal with Abu Dhabi Group to buy Bangladesh’s share when the company failed to materialise its $24 billion merger with South Africa’s MTN. South Africa showed its reluctance to allow a flagship corporate to lose its national character.

Warid is the Bangladesh’s fourth-biggest telecom company. As per the contemplated deal, Abu Dhabi Group will retain 30 per cent share, said the report quoting the source of the selling firm. The sale proceed is likely to help Dubai, which has been crunched recently.

Reuters report said: UAE-based Abu Dhabi Group, a consortium of investors that includes members of the royal family of Abu Dhabi, sought approval from Bangladesh’s telecoms regulator for the sale on December 13, according to the regulator’s chairman, Zia Ahmed.

The deal is set against a backdrop of this week’s announcement that oil-rich Abu Dhabi will provide $10 billion to Dubai in order to help its neighbour meet its debt obligations.

Bharti’s expansion would give the Indian phone leader access to Bangladesh’s rapidly growing mobile sector at a time when it is locked in an intense price war in India with rivals Reliance Communications. For the Abu Dhabi Group, the deal will enable it to focus on other telecoms markets where it can have a bigger market share, Tahir said.

No comment from Bharti

Bharti said on Wednesday it was evaluating international opportunities, but declined to comment on plans to buy Warid. Bharti initially plans an investment of $300 million. He said a written proposal by Abu Dhabi Group did not pin a full value on the deal. A section of newspapers in Bangladesh had reported the final deal could be worth $900 million, citing Warid officials.

“The dynamics of the Bangladesh market are similar to those in India, where Bharti has proven itself,” said Phani Sekhar, fund manager at Angel Broking, which holds Bharti shares, in Mumbai Stock market.

Warid Telecom also operates in Pakistan, Uganda and the Congo. Singapore Telecommunications bought a 30 percent stake in Warid’s Pakistan business for $758 million in 2007 from the Abu Dhabi Group. Warid’s operations in Pakistan, India’s neighbour and political rival, are not part of the Bharti deal. At the end of October, Warid had 2.79 million subscribers – far fewer than Grameenphone whose majority share is owned by Norway’s Telenor.

Bharti, which has more than 100 million subscribers in India, is looking to replicate its staggering growth at home in other emerging markets, where scale is vital, many customers are poor and rural, and penetration rates are low but rising fast. Indian mobile operators are locked in an intense tariff war that has raised concerns about profitability. The price war is aimed at grabbing new users as new firms enter the market.

Bangladesh’s mobile sector has grown rapidly, with subscriber numbers reaching more than 51 million at the end of October from 200,000 in 2001, helped by low penetration levels, competitive tariffs and steady economic growth. Analysts predict the number of subscribers could top 70 million by 2011, nearly half the country’s population of 150 million.

The news came two-and-a-half months after talks between Bharti and MTN Group to create the world’s third-largest mobile operator collapsed for the second time in just over a year on South Africa’s reluctance to allow a flagship corporate to lose its national character.

* * * * *

Moinuddin Naser is a Bangladeshi writer, contributes in the Weekly Holiday from New York.

M. Tawsif Salam
19 July, 2009, Dhaka

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Group of responsible personalities including government people and the Indian diplomat, have been showing unpalatable stubbornness over the Tipaimukh Dam issue.

Dr. Dipu Moni’s remark about Indian High Commissioner Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty that he breached a diplomat’s code of conduct was not her first remark to be considered as a flap. She received spectacular criticisms after forgoing an Indian journalist who marked Bangladesh as a ‘buffer state’ in a press conference presided by her. People from the top brass of present Awami League government power structure have set some more examples of being kind to forgo a couple of must-protest commentaries of people associated with India. The most recent one was Dipu Moni’s presence in a seminar where Indian High Commissioner added the adjective ‘so-called’ while naming Bangladeshi experts, especially those who are critical to India’s unpopular Tipaimukh dam. After the Chakravarty’s flawless conduct, BNP’s lawmaker Adv. Mahbubuddin Khokon, who is also BNP’s sole representative to the parliamentary body for foreign affairs, demanded immediate expulsion of the rowdy diplomat.

Following Khokon’s demand, Dr. Dipu Moni’s popular remark about Chakravarty’s breaching the code of conduct was almost covering up the controversy that she caused by her silence against humiliation of Bangladesh. Now, it’s to be noted that Dr. Dipu Moni became a part of several events where she received criticisms by either her humiliating silence, or her apparent incompetence to put thrashing replies against what it’s been insulting remark against Bangladesh; and throughout all these Awami League’s attention to her activities never became public. But at a certain point Awami League top brass became really tensed about her statements and took no time to differ what she told about the rowdy diplomat. After no time from Dr. Dipu Moni became coldly vocal about Chakravarty’s rowdiness, Awami League’s spokesperson and the Minister of Local Government and Cooperatives Syed Ashraful Islam said that he at no point thinks that Chakravarty has breached a diplomat’s code of conduct.

minister

Ramesh Sen, the Minister of Water Resources, has done most of the contributions to the series of erratic speeches over Tipaimukh Dam issue. The recent of his performances has been utterly denying that Begum Khaleda Zia has ever sent a letter to the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Khaleda Zia’s letter to the Prime Minister over her concerns about Tipaimukh has been covered by entire of the media, which our minister Ramesh Sen has confidently denied to have ever taken place.

The Tipaimukh Dam issue has seen more passes than sometimes satirically presented Dutch ‘total football’ could ever have produced or suggested. We don’t know who were midfielders, attackers or defenders, but the passes have been subsequently carried out by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Water Resources, and Environment & Forest, without much of the senses of their particular roles. Whenever the responsible individuals received stern quizzes about the issue, they either kept passing it to other offices, or made remarks those are solely enough to humiliate the sovereignty of a nation.

The Minister of Commerce Col. Faruk Khan, who in accordance with his official functions wasn’t supposed to be concerned with the issue, claimed all of a sudden that the Bangladeshi experts who are being critical to Tipaimukh issue don’t know anything. Following his statement, Chakravarty made two subsequent comments; one is that the protest against Tipaimukh issue was politically ill-motivated, and the other is no laws on earth could bar India from building Tipaimukh dam. Quoting Chakravarty, Minister of Communication Abul Hossain also told the protest against Tipaimukh dam is insubstantial. Minister of Water Resources Ramesh Sen, who did something more serious than a quotation, told that if there is any negative impact of Tipaimukh dam, Bangladesh should concede the damages at least for sake of the alliance with her greater neighbor.

As it has been told earlier, this series of comments is solely enough to humiliate the sovereignty of a nation. The present government as well as the ruling party, and most importantly Syed Ashraful Islam who was in a hurry to reestablish the submissiveness of his government to the Indian authority by differing Dr. Dipu Moni’s cold protest within hours, should get the note that friendship cannot be imposed. You just cannot pick up a group of people and ask them to recite “Bangladesh and India are friends”, who already are holding newspapers with headlines of Bangladeshi frontier population body-counts to the BSF bullets. Or, you cannot just ask people to accept long-lasting damages just for sake of alliance with a nation which appoints ‘so-called’ diplomats to meddle in our internal politics and humiliate our sovereignty.

People won’t accept speeches from a minister like Ramesh Sen hints to sacrifice Bangladeshi resources for sake of India’s friendship, or of lawmakers like Abdur Razzaq states Bangladesh can make up her desertification by importing Tipaimukh produced power; hence Bangladesh can accept both her desertification and Indian bills just to have power produced in Tipaimukh. These comments hint their loyalties being to something else than the sovereignty of Bangladesh.

This post has also been published at Weekly Economic Times, 26 July, 2009 issue.

Originally Published on: Onnesha.TK

Ti[aimukh Dam

Tipaimukh Dam. It is clear that it will put it's adverse effect on Surma and Kushiara as well as other rivers of Bangladesh too.

The Indians are going ahead with the construction of the massive Tipaimukh barrage-this events collectively impinge on us in more than one ways but the one which directly affects our very ability to survive is the issue of water-sharing of some 53 common rivers between India and Bangladesh. By constructing Tipaimukh and other barrages, India is depriving us of life-giving waters, drastically reducing our ability to survive and therefore this is the issue needing immediate and continued public attention and the subject of this commentary. India has resumed construction of the Tipaimukh barrage on the Barack river just a kilometer north of Jakiganj in Sylhet; the construction work was stalled in March 2007 in the face of protests within and outside India. The barrage when completed in 2012 is supposed to provide 1500 megawatts of hydel power to the Indian state of Assam but in return its going to bring about a major disaster for Bangladesh, practically contributing to drying up of 350 km long Surma and 110 km long Kushiara rivers which water most of the north-eastern regions of Bangladesh. The Tipaimukh barrage is going to seriously affect not only agriculture in large portions of Bangladesh, particularly in winter, but is also going to bring about negative ecological, climatic and environmental changes of vast areas in both Bangladesh and India.

Indian government is constructing the dam without consultation with Bangladesh government, which is violation of International River Law. Three crores people of the northern and eastern parts of the country would be vulnerable seriously when the construction of the dam would be completed by 2012.

It’s not just this one Indian barrage that is a source of considerable concern and trepidation in Bangladesh; in 1976 India put into operation the Farraka Barrage which more or less destroyed the Ganges-Brahamaputra Basin, most of which lies in the deltaic plains of Bangladesh and in 1990 India also constructed a barrage along the Teesta river thereby virtually making ineffective much of the Teesta barrage project constructed down-stream in Bangladesh to support irrigation and agriculture in the north-west region of the country. What is even more worrying is that India has evolved plans to divert waters, from the north of the country to its drought-prone southern and eastern states, of some 53 river which flow from India to Bangladesh.

Bangladesh shares a common border with India in the west, north and east and with Myanmar in the southeast. These borders cut across 57 rivers which discharge through Bangladesh into the Bay of Bengal in the south. The upstream courses of these rivers traverse India, China, Nepal and Bhutan. Trans-boundary flows, which enter Bangladesh from remote catchments extending short distance to thousands of kilometers upstream, are the important source of water resources.

Bangladesh gets 7 to 8 percent of its total water from the Barak in India’s northeastern states. Millions of people are dependent on hundreds of water bodies, fed by the Barak, in the Sylhet region for fishing and agricultural activities.

Environmentalists in Bangladesh have held many talks on the adverse impact of the proposed dam. They say the dam would dry up the river and the water bodies in the downstream, leaving millions jobless and upsetting the ecological balance.

Among the trans-boundary rivers, the ones most affected by Indian barrages and their related systems of canals, reservoirs and irrigation schemes are Ganges, Brahmaputra, Meghna and Teesta. Although the Indian and Bangladeshi governments have a water sharing agreement for the Ganges, there are none for the other 53 rivers that cross the border. With the Tipaimukh barrage now underway, India seems to be going ahead with its mega-project of diverting river waters from its north to its south and east, thereby putting Bangladesh’s very survival at stake.India is taking unilateral decisions about matters which affect Bangladesh’s core interests and if these cannot be resolved bilaterally, Bangladesh must look at options of going to multilateral forums such as the UN to get its right not only recognized but also implemented. International laws dealing with water-sharing of common rivers and sources are ambiguous, unclear and contentious and so, Bangladesh ought to vigorously pursue these matters, perhaps even garner international support for a change in those laws dealing with water-sharing – this international dimension is a crucial factor affecting the management of the trans-boundary river systems. There is thus, no scope for Bangladesh to be deflected from this core issue of water-sharing notwithstanding Indian deceitful and diversionary insistence and propaganda on “terrorists and transit”.

The Indian high commissioner has admitted that a dam will be built on the proposed Tipaimukh hydropower project over the cross-boundary river Barak but said it will not harm Bangladesh. (But I don’t know how? You will put a barrage in the river and it will not affect the nature???)

The Tipaimukh hydropower project was not like the Farakka irrigation project. A little amount of water will be diverted to produce hydroelectricity and the water will be released soon, Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty said. (So he agreed that Farakka Barrage is a problem for Bangladesh. And saying that Tipaimukh will not be like that! But how Bangladesh would beleive it? India previously said many thing abouthis Farakka Barrage. But ultimately Bangladesh is suffering from it. So how will we beleive that you are talking truth? And one barrage must put it’s adverse effect on nature. And the position of the Barrage clearly indicates that Bangladesh will offcourse suffer with this project. It will be a destructive project for Bangladesh. We must protest it now!)

Bangladesh should not be wary of the project, he told.

He said bilateral discussions have long been on-going on the project. Indian government has invited Bangladesh to see the dam site and its design, Chakravarty said. A Bangladeshi organisation, International Farakka Committee, demanded suspension of ‘construction of Tipaimukh barrage’ and rightful share of the Indian river Ganges.

The organisation called upon the United Nations to form a regional river commission involving China, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

Government of Bangladesh and people of Bangladesh must be aware of this project from now and must have to protest. It will come as a destructive project for Bangladesh. bangladesh will become desert if the project is completed. India is using their power to complete this destructive project. They are trying to giving wrong ideas to Bangladesh as they given at the time of constructing Farakka Barrage. They are doing the same thing here. We all now that how Bangladesh is suffering because of this Farakka Project. How our Bangladesh is affected by the Farakka Barrage. We don’t want to see more destruction in bangladeshi economy and nature. We must protest. And it is the time. Bangladeshis must be aware of this from now and this is the only way to safe our beautiful country Bangladesh.

David Loyn
27 November, 2008. Delhi.

Front page newspaper adverts appeared on Friday even while shooting was still going on, saying the incident shows that the Congress government is ‘unwilling and incapable’ of dealing with terrorism.

With the country in the middle of crucial state elections which could determine the timing of the next general election, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is facing intense scrutiny.

Following the attacks, he has been seen visiting the injured in hospital, alongside Congress party president Sonia Gandhi.

He has already promised to strengthen anti-terrorist laws, and in a TV address came close to threatening retaliation against Pakistan if their involvement in the attacks can be proved.

“We will take up strongly with our neighbours that the use of their territory for launching attacks on us will not be tolerated, and that there would be a cost if suitable measures are not taken by them,” Mr Singh said.

Recent overtures

The Indian Navy has seized two Pakistani merchant ships and is investigating the possibility that they dropped off the militants who then came ashore in fast boats.

They are linking this with the discovery of a trawler, found abandoned off the Indian coastline on Thursday with its captain dead.

Pakistan’s denials of involvement have been clear and unambiguous.

The Pakistani ambassador to the US, Hussein Haqqani told the BBC that his country had suffered from terrorism just as much as India had, and offered every assistance in bringing the attackers to justice.

Analysts in Pakistan have been pointing instead to the possibility that these militants are home-grown Indian extremists, operating without external support.

The incident comes just as the first democratic government in Pakistan since the coup in 1999 has made overtures for better relations with India.

For the first time, President Asif Ali Zardari made the quite unexpected unilateral offer to make no first use of nuclear weapons in any conflict.

On Tuesday, home affairs ministers from the two countries met in Islamabad, and Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi is by chance currently visiting India.

Proxy attacks

Such contacts are opposed by significant parts of the Pakistani army and particularly its intelligence service, the ISI, who have in the past inspired terrorist attacks in India to stop just such an improvement in relations between the two countries.

Feeling encircled – with India to their east allied with Afghanistan to their west – analysts believe they have taken the option of encouraging attacks by proxies, Islamists inspired to wage unconventional war.

An armed assault by militants on the Indian parliament in 2001 led to a significant worsening in relations that escalated into troops on both sides being sent to confront each other across their shared border.

A further possibility though is that this attack was carried out from Pakistan, but beyond the control either of Pakistan’s democratic government or its military establishment.

The war in Afghanistan has led to a further radicalisation of politics in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province, where a “Pakistani Taleban” have emerged.

Allied with foreign fighters from al-Qaeda, they have both the financial power and political will to carry out attacks of the sort seen in Mumbai.

* * * * *

David Loyn is a BBC Special Correspondent, one of the BBC men covering the deadly terrorist attacks on Southern Mumbai.

Another killing festival by BSF (India’s Border Security Force) done yesterday. This time it is in Moyanaguri village of the Majhipara border area in Tentulia, Panchagarh.

An infant, the mother and another Bangladeshi were killed late Sunday night by India’s Border Security Force on the country’s northernmost border. At least one other person, Majeda’s husband Shahidul, 30, was critically wounded and taken to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.

BSF personnel entered Moyanaguri village of the Majhipara border area in Tentulia, crossing the border through the Pillar-435 area at around 10.15pm.

They started opening fire after villagers had intercepted them.  Shahidul, Majeda and Mamun were shot as they lay asleep in their home.

Shahidul’s neighbour, Alamgir Hossain said: “I was woken by the sound of gunfire and realised it was BSF. I cycled to Matirpara BDR camp for help.”

Two sides traded fire after BDR members reached the spot.

The Indian border guards eventually withdrew. “BDR members with villagers later captured one BSF man,” the major said.

Now my questions is- Why BSF cross border? Because it is not first time. They entered Bangladeshi land before and killed many civilians before. I have few previous posts, which links are given bellow.

Onnesha
September 18, 2008.

I am shocked!
I am surprised!
I am worried!

That’s all I can say after hearing the news that 14 Bangladeshi Players are going to play Indian Cricket League (ICL) which is a private cricket league and banned by BCCI and ICC also said that it is ‘NOT’ a legal cricket league.

Bangladesh is a land of dreamers. It does not matter whether we have two square meals or a place to sleep, we dream big and when most of these dreams do not come true we get frustrated. The entire Bangladesh nation is sports crazy. Off late cricket became a game of billions. Cricketers put Bangladesh in the world map. It is not that we became world champions .We lost most of the matches in all forms of games, most by comfortable margins. Yet our brilliant occasional victories made us rejoice wild. Bangladeshi cricketers became heroes. Millions worship them. They are ambassadors of the 150 Million Bangladeshis. Everywhere they play Bangladeshi community remains present to cheer them up. Our cricketers also carry Bangladesh on their shoulder. They did enough to make Bangladesh proud. Whatever they earned they earned with their hard labour .They deserved it. No one gave them any money for charity.

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14 Bangladeshi players recently join the REBEL Cricket League which is BANNED in the country where it is based. They players who joined knew that they will be banned because of joining the league. Because other country boards also do the same. They players are-

Habibul Bashar (capt), Aftab Ahmed, Shahriar Nafees, Alok Kapali, Dhiman Ghosh (wk), Farhad Reza, Manjural Islam, Golam Mabud (wk), Mahbubul Karim, Mohammad Rafique, Mohammad Sharif, Mosharraf Hossain, Tapash Baisya . Another one is yet to be confirmed. Nazimuddin give his resign letter to BCB but didn’t signed with ICL yet. Let’s see what he do.

I will not blame Mohammad Rafique because he already retired from international cricket career few months back. So he has right to earn money now at the terminal part of his career from my point of view. So he has right to join ICL but others are not.

In spite of knowing this, they join the league. Among the 12 players there are some players who has potential to be famous player and star by playing for Bangladesh. But they has gone to the wrong way and they are just FINISHED. Bangladesh Cricket Board banned the 13 players from each type of cricket for 10 years that means there is few chances for them to play for Bangladesh and to be proud by playing for his country.

Now the question arise why they do so? What was there problem? Why they become REBEL and joined ICL?

Is it for money? I think yes. It is for money. The players signed for ICL just for money. They forget what the country gave them. Whay they are Habibul, Aftab, Nafis now. Why the whole World know them know. They just thought about the money.

In their resignation letter to BCB said that they are resigning is for ‘PERSONAL PROBLEM.’ And then they joined ICL. They didn’t say it to any officials of the cricket board or directly to cricket board. They just give the letter and went for India.

I think BCB tries their best to keep the player and bring the to right path after knowing the issue. They tried to discuss about the matter with the players. They send SMS to the players to attend the meeting. They called them but their mobile phones were switched off. But after all, the players refuse to talk with the board and went to India to sign contract with ICL to play for Dhaka Warriors, a new team which will play in ICL this season. Thay said to media that they didn’t get any letter or phone call from BCB to attend the meeting. They just get a SMS. How BCB will get them if their phones are switched off. And I think sending letters with in a day to all 14 players is tuff for any organisation as well as BCB. So I can say that players were determined that they will not meet the cricket board and wil run for money.

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Government and board expended a lot of money behind them. They get a lot of money for them. They get treatment in abroad when they are injured. They get well facilities. They get money. After after all they forget all of these and ran for ICl, you know what for. Players complained that unsupporative structure and behavior lead them to play for ICL! “Some of the players are joining the ICL because they are fed up at the way they have been treated by the board,” batsman Shahriar Nafees has been quoted as saying. Is there any logic in this comment? They could talk with the board and inform them what is there problem. Cricket Board arrange meeting for this after knowing they are resigning, But they refuses to talk. Why?

“Please don’t call us rebels,” said Habibul Bashar. “The ICL contracts do not prevent us from playing for Bangladesh. We are as keen as anyone to play for our country.”

I don’t know why they forgot the country, pride, people? They take this kind of decission just before New Zealand series which is very important for Bangladesh now. They just create a problem for the country’s National Cricket Team.

Bangladesh now facing the disastrous face of the illegal league ICL. BCCI already said that it is the internal matter between the cricket board of Bangladesh and the players. But I think BCCI should talk to ICL authority. They should not force to split cricket into two parts which will not be good for cricket.

I think Bangladesh Cricket Board took the right steps for the players. They banned the players joined ICL for ten years. I hope that will stop more players to join ICL. But Board work is not finished. Board have to think why it happened, who are responsible and have to take more steps. They have to think about the contracts of the players. They have to bring more facilities for the players and offcourse the all players who are not in contract with Bangladesh Cricket Board.

Report said that the unrecognized Indian Cricket League took a swipe at the sport’s governing body on Wednesday after signing 11 Bangladesh internationals for their second season.

Meanwhile Bangladesh coach Siddon said, “All I’ll say is that we haven’t lost one player who was in the team for the last Test,” who will shortly begin preparing a squad for a home series against New Zealand. “The guys who were going are gone – and the guys who are staying can get on with the job,” he added.

This post has also been published in Onnesha Blog.

* The Sunderbans:

The Sundarbans is the largest mangrove forest in the world, spreading across parts of Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. The Sundarbans features a complex network of tidal waterways, mudflats and small islands of salt-tolerant mangrove forests. The area is known for its wide range of fauna, with the Royal Bengal tiger being the most famous, but also including many birds, spotted deer, crocodiles and snakes.

* Cox’s Bazar Beach:

Cox’s Bazar is a major city and district in Bangladesh. It is also one of the world’s longest natural sandy sea beaches (120 km) including mud flats. It is a wonderful natural site and place to visit.

* Ganges River

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