India minister in Beijing for talks

Updated 05 July 2013
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India minister in Beijing for talks

NEW DELHI: India’s defense minister led a high-level delegation to China yesterday, the first such trip in seven years, as the two sides ramp up efforts to rebuild trust after a recent flare-up over a border dispute.
A. K. Antony will meet his Chinese counterpart General Chang Wanquan during the three-day visit, with talks to include peace on their shared border as well as regional security issues, the Defense Ministry said.
“Both ministers are expected to discuss a number of issues, including those related to maintainance of peace and tranquillity on the border... and matters relating to regional and global security,” India’s ministry said in a statement.
The visit coincides with a five-day trip by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to China, his first foreign visit since his May election.
Antony’s trip is the first by an Indian defense minister since 2006 and comes after a spat between the two nuclear-armed neighbors in May over troop movements in a disputed Himalayan border region.
Delhi alleged Chinese troops intruded nearly 20 km into Indian-claimed territory, triggering a three-week standoff that was resolved after talks between local military leaders, and a withdrawal of troops from both sides.
The Line of Actual Control has never been formally demarcated, although the sides have signed accords to maintain peace in the region that was the site of a brief Indo-Chinese war in 1962.
Antony was also likely to hold negotiations on a Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, a new mechanism suggested by China last year for improving border security, an official said.
His delegation, due to arrive in Beijing on yesterday evening, includes the defence secretary and top military commanders.
The trip comes after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged to build trust with India, declaring that ties between the Asian giants were key to world peace, during a visit to New Delhi in May.
Li made India the first destination on his first foreign visit, since China’s leadership change in March, which he said showed the importance that Beijing attached to ties with Delhi.
Last month, India’s National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon held negotiations on the boundary issue with his counterparts in Beijing.


Bangladesh declares zero tolerance against drug dealers

Bangladesh's Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) soldiers during a raid on suspected drug dealers at Mohammadpur Geneva Camp in Dhaka Saturday. (AP)
Updated 27 May 2018
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Bangladesh declares zero tolerance against drug dealers

  • Law enforcers have so far arrested 3,000 drug dealers, while 23 drug peddlers were killed during “gunfights” while they were being captured.
  • Human rights activists and the country’s largest opposition party the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have criticized the “gunfight” incidents as a “violation of human rights.”

DHAKA: Bangladesh has declared a war on drugs throughout the country. In the past 12 days around 84 alleged drug dealers were killed during gunfights with the law-enforcing agencies.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the anti-narcotic drive in early May.

Human rights activists and the country’s largest opposition party the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have criticized the “gunfight” incidents as a “violation of human rights.”

On early Sunday, 11 drug dealers were killed in separate gunfight incidents throughout the country. Among the dead was a ruling party leader who was a city councilor in Cox’s Bazar City.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), a paramilitary law-enforcing agency, started its anti-narcotic movement on May 4. And it has so far arrested 3,000 drug dealers, while 23 drug peddlers were killed during “gunfights” while they were being captured.

Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan, spokesperson of the RAB, told Arab News: “There is no question of violation of human rights in our ongoing war against drugs.”

He said that when the RAB captured any armed person or group generally some shootout incidents took place. And, he claimed, it also happens in the US and other developed countries. “We arrest the drug dealers based on intel information and later on they are produced to the court.”

Bangladesh Police started its all-out operation against drugs on May 15, and police headquarters has directed all its units to start countrywide operations against dealers.

Mohammad Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said: “Our anti-narcotic operations will continue till the situations come down to a tolerant level.” He said the only objective of this operation was to bring down the usage level of narcotics in society.

Justifying the anti-drug movement, Masudur added: “We only arrest the persons with whom we get drugs. And we will continue this movement for an indefinite period.”

Obaidul Quader, general secretary of ruling party Bangladesh Awami League, said: “Any drug trader, irrespective of party, won’t be spared if accusations become true.

“The countrymen have amicably welcomed the law enforcement agencies’ drives against narcotics. Only those with evil political intentions are criticizing the crackdown,” Quader told local media on Saturday.

But Advocate Asadujjaman, human rights secretary of the BNP, claimed that in many areas of the country their supporters and leaders were arrested in the name of the anti-drug movement.

He added: “Any kind of extrajudicial killing is unconstitutional, illegal, inhuman and a violation of human rights of international standard. It shows that the government is not showing any respect to protect the basic rights of the people as stated in the Constitution.”

The country’s human rights group is also criticizing the killings. Nur Khan, renowned human rights activist and adviser of the Human Rights Support Society, demanded an investigation into every extrajudicial killing through a neutral and credible Investigation Commission.

Nur said: “This type of extrajudicial killing will establish the culture of absence of justice in the society. People will get frightened due to this situation.”