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Audio Overview of South Asia Issues, Monday, 4 February 2019

APAC Assistance Operations Assistant Bhargav Reddy discusses Main Issues in South Asia

Main Issues in South Asia

Firstly in PAKISTAN

  • Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said yesterday that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari are either going to London or prison. The statement reinforces the aggressive posture of the government on the corruption charges against the opposition leaders. Fawad was referring to the corruption cases on the two opposition leaders and their alleged illegal properties in London.
  • Zardari is under investigation on multiple corruption charges while Sharif is serving a 10-year prison sentence after being convicted on corruption charges by the Supreme Court last year. The opposition parties have held protests against the government for using the law enforcement agencies to serve their political interest on the pretext of corruption charges.
  • Protests by the opposition parties are likely to intensify and cause nationwide unrest if Zardari is convicted of corruption charges. Clients are advised to monitor the developments in the corruption cases against the opposition leaders.

In INDIA

  • Yesterday Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee began a sit-in in front of the Metro Cinema in Kolkata to protest “insults” from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mamata started the sit-in protest over the Central Bureau of Investigation’s attempt to question the Kolkata Police Commissioner, Rajeev Kumar in an investigation on a financial scam. Mamata insisted that the Bureau’s actions stifled the spirit of “Constitution and federalism”.
  • The controversy began when a team of Central Bureau of Investigation officers tried to question Rajeev Kumar at his residence. Mamata claims that the Bureau had no warrant to question the police chief. The team was detained by the Kolkata police when they attempted to enter Rajeev Kumar’s residence.
  • Mamata has claimed that the central government is targeting her government as a revenge for the massive rally she organized on January 19. Clients are advised to monitor the political developments before the general elections scheduled in April this year.

Main Issues in East Asia Pacific

Firstly in the INDONESIA

  • Unidentified assailants assaulted two Corruption Eradication Commission investigators in Jakarta on Saturday midnight. The two investigators were in Hotel Borobudur, Central Jakarta, investigating a tip from a member of the public about alleged corruption.
  • Officers of the commission have been frequently targeted by criminals. The assault comes less than a month after a suspicious package was left at the private residence of the commission’s chairman Agus Rahardjo.
  • The Corruption Eradication Commission have investigated high profile politicians, businessmen and civil servant on corruption charges leading to several convictions.

The PHILIPPINES

  • A local terrorist tagged as the prime suspect behind the twin explosions last week has surrendered to the armed forces. The twin blasts killed 22 people and injured more than 90 others in Jolo island of the Sulu province. Four of his accomplices have also surrendered to authorities.
  • Philippine National Police announced today that Kamah L. Pae or “Kamah” and four other members of the Ajang Ajang group surrendered to the military and were turned over to the police yesterday. The four accomplices were identified as Albaji Kisae Gadjali, Rajan Bakil Gadjali, Kaiser Bakil Gadjali, and Salir Alih. Kamah has not yet admitted their hand in the attack.

Also in PHILIPPINES

  • Eight members of an Islamic State-affiliated terrorist group was killed while 10 others were injured during a military operation on Saturday. The operation was conducted near the town of Sultan Sa Barongis in the southern province of Maguindanao.
  • The terrorists belonged to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters group, a splinter group of the Moro Independence Liberation Front.
  • The military and the police have intensified their operations against the insurgents in the region. Clients are advised to employ extreme caution while traveling on the southern island of Mindanao.

AUSTRALIA

  • Authorities have issued a high alert for floods in the northern regions of Queensland. Areas around Townsville are expected to be flooded due to the high water levels in the River Ross dam after heavy rainfall.
  • The Townsville City Council estimates up to 2000 properties may have been affected by floodwaters. The local authorities have warned that the heavy rains and floods are expected in the next 24hrs.
  • Clients are advised to avoid the northern areas of Queensland affected by the heavy rains and floods. Consider contingency plans for supply chain disruptions in the region.
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