Growing tension in Bangladesh

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is doing very little to calm down the situation

Gulf News

The situation in Bangladesh continues to go from bad to worse due to the controversial war crime tribunal and mismanagement over the people’s rights and freedoms. Unless political motives are set aside and the priority becomes the people, I fear for the future of this country.

Earlier this month, Bangladesh’s opposition party announced a three-day strike after the death sentence of three prominent leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami. Mir Quasem Ali was a prominent media tycoon and well-known person in the country. He was just 17 years old during the 1971 Bangladesh civil war.

So far, five prominent leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami have received a death sentence from the war crime tribunal and have been hanged in different parts of the country. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government is using the current scenario only for political gain. Unfortunately, despite growing tension between the government and opposition, Hasina is doing very little to calm the situation down.

Due to the brutality of security forces, hundreds of people were protesting outside the capital city of Dhaka. Several videos are circulating on social media showing heavily armed police deliberately targeting unarmed protestors. Human rights organisations claim that the death toll is much higher than what is being reported, because security forces use live ammunition against unarmed protestors.

Opposition parties claim that the government is trying to divert the attention of the public from the real issues. Only last year, more than 1,000 people lost their lives when a garment factory collapsed during working hours. Now, the European Union is expressing serious concern over poor safety standards in the Bangladeshi textile industry, which is the backbone of the economy.

Due to political uncertainty, daily strikes and low business activities, poor people find it hard to provide the daily necessities of life for their families, which is very unfortunate.

— The reader is a Pakistani accounts officer based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia