Daily news roundup

Kashmir

The CPIM issues a pretty mealy-mouthed denunciation of the excesses of the Indian security forces in Kashmir (but refuses to advocate for self-determination):

The all party meeting had also called for a credible inquiry into the circumstances which has led to the deaths of civilians in the recent days. But the process for such an inquiry has still not started. At the same time there are disturbing reports of young people being harassed by security forces in different places. This must stop.

The CPI(M) calls on the Government to stop its excessive reliance on administrative measures. The Central Government must initiate a dialogue with all organizations representing all shades of opinion. The political process of dialogue must start without delay.

The Asia Time’s Zahid Kramet argues that the inability of India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute will result in more Islamist-sponsored violence:

The “clear and present danger” spelled out from the failure of the Indian-Pakistan talks and the conference episodes, is that the jihadis are gathering momentum and set to spill over into Kashmir. From there, or so the region’s political pundits have it, al-Qaeda had planned to move on into India to secure “strategic depth” with heightened terror tactics. Then it can trek onto Central Asia to forward the jihadi movement for the liberation of Palestine.

Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban, in the introduction of his new offering Descent into Chaos, described the support system of al-Qaeda’s human resources succinctly when he wrote, “to a handful of Muslims, al-Qaeda posed a civilizational solution – albeit an extreme one – to the justice denied to Muslims in Palestine [and] Kashmir”. The failure of India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute will provide the international jihadi movement with all the space it needs.

Kashmiri’s in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir held a press conference asking for self-determination (though this is probably ceremonial than representative of anything meaningful):

The 64th anniversary of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan was observed on Monday, with renewal of the pledge to continue struggle for the achievement of the right of self-determination.  A grand ceremony was held at Kashmir Press Club organised jointly by National Events Organising Committee (NEOC) and the Press Club.

And once again, curfew has been reimposed all over the Kashmir Valley.

Characteristically, Omar Abdullah blames “inhuman elements” who are attempting to disrupt the life of the Valley.  It’s inconceivable that he might actually criticize the Indian occupation for the same.

Lambasting the enemies of peace, the chief minister said such elements not only want to destroy our tourism season, divide the three regions of the state on communal and regional basis, also wish to ensure that the dream of Shere-e-Kashmir of ‘Naya Kashmir’ is not realized. “They are making every efforts to see that no development work is executed and the Central funds released for the purpose go absolutely waste. The District Development Board meetings are being successfully conducted in every district to thwart their nefarious designs and ensure execution of development works to achieve the target within stipulated time frame,” he said.

BANGLADESH

Imports grew over last year, though this is confined to a single industry: textiles.

With 1.42 billion U.S. dollars export earning in June, up an impressive 21.24 percent over the same period a year ago, the country’s overall export earnings in the last fiscal year, however, fell short of target by 7.93 percent, it showed.

The growth though moderate in overall export earnings in the last fiscal year came as garment export marked rise after months of fall in the wake of global market slowdown.

Export earnings from garments, including knitwear and woven, in 2009-2010 fiscal year stood at 12.50 billion U.S. dollars, an about 77.1 percent of the total export income of Bangladesh during the same period of the year.

The Bangladesh government is pursuing attempts to restart the nation’s jute industry:

The Agriculture Minister assured that steps were being taken to re-start the bigger jute mills, so as to keep the government’s promise of renewing the jute sector, which has lost its glory in the post-independence years. Apparently, the government has decided to do everything possible to revitalize the past glory of jute, which was once upon a time known as, ‘golden fibre of Bengal’.

The Bangladesh Bank has announced new policies to curb inflation.  Big surprise: this means increasing loans to industry and reducing them for families.

And there are major problems inside the textile-led growth strategy.  As capital comes to Bangladesh seeking low-wage labor, it is being confronted by a strong labor force demanding higher wages and standards:

Consider that Bangladesh “has the lowest garment wages in the world, according to labor rights advocates.” One factory worker in the article earns just under sixty-five dollars per month. Compare this to the “minimum wages in China’s coastal industrial provinces ranging from $117 to $147 a month.” But low wages don’t necessarily make for an ideal LCCS environment. Bangladesh remains a clear third-world outpost from an infrastructure perspective. Consider how it “suffers blackouts six to seven hours a day because it has not invested enough in power plants and natural gas fields.” Moreover, if you combine a relative lack of infrastructure compared with China — and even Vietnam — with the prospect of rising wage demands as worker demands increase, the potential for the Bangladesh LCCS sourcing equation to not add up most certainly comes into play.

The political infighting continues in Bangladesh, with the Bangladesh National Party announcing a “mass hunger strike” until their arrested leaders are freed.  It still remains to be seen if the Awami League is overplaying its hand or not.

BNP leaders and activists from the capital’s neighboring districts will join the event, which will ultimately turn into a huge public meeting, said the leaders.

Delwar said the programme aims to press several demands of the party that includes halting “repression” on the opposition, withdrawal of false cases, release of detained BNP leaders, reducing public sufferings due to price hike of essentials and information about the whereabouts of BNP ward commissioner Chowdhury Alam.

He also said there is no democratic government in the country. Those who are in power are running the state in an autocratic way.

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