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Political Unrest and Democracy in Bangladesh

According to media reports the Bangladesh opposition has announced a two-day strike after the hanging of a prominent leader of the Jamat-e-Islami party. Qamar uz Zaman, secretary-general of Jamat-e-Islami, who was hanged in Dhaka prison. He was elected a member of parliament and was a well-known political figure in the country. Zaman also ran an orphanage for poor children. Several Jamat-e-Islami leaders are facing harsh sentences after the formation of a war crimes tribunal. 

Human rights organizations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concerns over the recent verdict of the Bangladesh war crimes tribunal. Last year 500 people lost their lives after the hanging of another prominent Jamat-e-Islami leader, Abdu Qadir Mullah. The recent sentences on Jamat-e-Islami leaders and house arrest of major opposition leader Khalida Zia have fueled further anger and the opposition has called for a country-wide general strike. 

Now the European Union has expressed serious concern over poor safety standards in the Bangladeshi textile industry, which is the backbone of the country’s economy. Due to political uncertainty, daily strikes and reduced business activity, poor people find it hard to provide the daily necessities of life for their families. 

Khawaja Umer Farooq

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