Middle East crisis to impact South Asia: Analysts, The Daily Star, October 13, 2011

The Arab spring, evolving situations in Iraq and developments in Afghanistan have implications for the South Asian countries, said former Foreign Secretary Farooq Sobhan yesterday.

Sobhan, now president of Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI), said a lot of happenings and developments are taking place across the Middle Eastern region, Egypt and Libya, and it may continue.

“We have keen interest in the Arab spring,” he said while speaking at a discussion on Middle East: Economic Condition and Development, at the BEI office, where former Professor of Ankara University Turkkaya Ataov shared his analysis on Arab uprising.

Turkish Ambassador in Bangladesh Vakur Erkul, who was also present, said Turkey sits astride the peninsula joining two continents of Asia and Europe.

“We have one foot on the east and the other on the west,” he said, adding that the country gets affected by the ramifications of the happenings developments surrounding it.

He said his country is ready to help the Middle Eastern countries to establish democracy and democratic processes.

Prof Ataov said events of global significance are taking place in the Arab world, Horn of Africa and North Africa.

“People have begun to challenge established old orders in the world as a whole,” said Ataov who authored almost 130 books.

The professor said the world economic crisis, rise in costs of basic foods and fall in remittances accelerated the uprising in Egypt, people of which toppled the country’s long standing ruler Hosni Mubarak in 18 days.

“It was a popular revolt. It was for democratic reform, social justice and redistribution of wealth,” he said, referring to the long time deprivation and impoverishment of the Egyptian during the Mubarak regime.

Citing protests in Greece and Spain, Ataov said the happenings in Egypt also inspired movements in other parts of the world. “People demand better life,” he said.

He also warned that all kinds of fundamentalisms are on the rise. He said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not have any constitution as it follows the Quran. But what about human rights, he questioned.


13 October, 2011