Bhargav Reddy – APAC Assistance Operations Assistant
Major Issues In SOUTH ASIA
FRIDAY, April 5, 2019
Zardari threatens to topple government. Former president and Pakistan People’s Party co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari accused the government of trying to roll back the 18th amendment of the Constitution and targeting the opposition parties with corruption charges. He was speaking at a rally on the 40th death anniversary of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan who was sentenced to death and hanged by the military government in 1979. He said It is time to march towards Islamabad and oust the government. He said that if the Prime minister does not have funds and if he can’t collect funds through the Federal Board of Revenue then he should leave. Tensions between the political parties have been rising with multiple corruption cases against the opposition party leaders. Tensions can potentially trigger nationwide unrest if the protests by the opposition parties gain traction across the country.
(Update) Jute mill workers protest turns violent. Into its third day, the protest by the jute mill workers turned violent yesterday, leaving more than 16 people injured in Khulna district. Workers from major mills including Crescent, Platinum, Khalishpur, Daulatpur, Star, Eastern, and Alim Jute Mills held separate demonstrations to press home their nine-point demand which includes clearing their arrears, clearing gratuity and insurance payments of retired workers and regularising temporary workers. Jute mill workers also blockaded roads and railways in different parts of the country during their demonstration. Clients are advised to steer clear of still ongoing protests and plan for potential transport and road travel disruptions.
Travel Alert by the United States. The United State Embassy in Dhaka has updated its travel advisory for Bangladesh. The US embassy has cautioned that In light of calls for revenge in the wake of the March 15 terrorist attack against two mosques in New Zealand, U.S. citizens should exercise heightened awareness of the ongoing threat posed by transnational terrorist organizations such as ISIS and al-Qa’ida. The update comes about a month after the Christchurch attack. Nore of the other Five Eyes countries including the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia have issued a similar alert. Clients are advised to note the updated advisory from the US embassy and employ caution while traveling in Bangladesh.
Highways closed for civilian traffic. The government of Jammu and Kashmir has announced that civilian traffic will be banned on the Baramulla-Jammu highway twice weekly to facilitate movement of security forces. A government spokesman said, “No civilian traffic movement will be allowed along the highway on Sundays and Wednesdays between 4 am and 5 pm. Keeping in view the large movement of security forces on the national highway during the parliamentary elections and associated possibility of the fidayeen terror attack on security forces’ convoys”. The restrictions will remain in force till May 31. The decision has been taken after the February 14 terror attack on a paramilitary convoy at Pulwama along the highway which left 44 security personnel dead and several others wounded. The spokesman said that another “possible fidayeen attack” on another security force convoy at Banihal took place on March 30 but was foiled by the security forces. Security in the state has continued to deteriorate since the suicide attack and cross border shelling and firing continues along the line of control. Clients are advised to avoid all nonessential travel to Jammu and Kashmir.