Nawaz: Time for Tough Love for Bangladesh?

South Asia Center Director Shuja Nawaz writes in Nikkei Asian Review on how Western governments can help stabilize Bangladesh:

In early January, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League won another term in power, by a landslide, thanks largely to the move by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by Begum Khaleda Zia, to boycott the polls. The controversial election has only deepened political unrest.

If the economy cannot recover from its resulting downward spiral, this election win may well be a Pyrrhic victory. Ultimately, the people of Bangladesh will be the big losers in the long-running feud between the “battling begums.” A pragmatic compromise is Bangladesh’s only hope for averting a new chapter of political and economic chaos — and influential governments, including those in Europe, the U.S., India and Japan, must push firmly for a conciliation.

Nawaz on Afghan Taliban Talks

South Asia Center Director Shuja Nawaz is quoted by The Daily Beast on Pakistan’s role in the Afghan reconciliation process:

Shuja Nawaz, director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, said that the Pakistani government hasn’t yet decided that Afghan reconciliation is in Pakistan’s interest and the Pakistanis are also reluctant to help because they don’t want their own lack of influence over the Taliban to be made public.

“In the past the Pakistani intelligence services claimed much more control over their contacts in Afghanistan. By now they are much more realistic about the reality of the situation,” he said.

Without a thaw in his relations with the Taliban, Karzai is unlikely to ever sign the BSA, said Nawaz, because he doesn’t want that to be his final substantive act as he leaves more than a decade in office.

Nawaz Remembers Famed Pakistani Economist

South Asia Center Director Shuja Nawaz is quoted in The News International on the passing of renowned Pakistani economist Dr. Meekal Ahmed:

Shuja Nawaz, who also worked at the Fund, remembers Meekal as a professional who “never sold out.” “That is why he may have turned down senior positions in Pakistan fearing that he might have to compromise his principles”, he says. Another IMF colleague Zubair Iqbal describes Meekal as “a first-rate economist, a noble person, driven by truth and unwilling to compromise on principles”. “They don’t produce such economists anymore”, he adds.