Bhargav Reddy – APAC Assistance Operations Assistant
Major Issues In SOUTH ASIA
FRIDAY, 29 March 2019
Fire at an office tower. A fire reportedly engulfed an office tower in Banani commercial district in Dhaka killing 25 people yesterday. More than 73 others were injured in the fire. The number of victims could increase as the blaze trapped others in the 24-floor building. Fire disasters regularly hit Bangladeshi’s major cities where safety standards are notoriously lax. On February 21, a fire killed 70 people and injured 50 others in Dhaka’s old quarter. In November 2012, a fire that swept a nine-story garment factory near Dhaka killed 11 workers. Clients are advised to avoid the Banani commercial district as the authorities are working to bring the situation under control. The site of the fire has been cordoned off and the emergency vehicles in the area are likely to cause traffic congestion and delays.
No evidence on terror links with Pakistan. Yesterday the Government of Pakistan said it has found no links between militants detained during a crackdown on Islamist organizations and the February 14 suicide bombing in Pulwama. Indian government responded saying that Pakistan continues to be in denial about terrorists operating from its soil. Pakistan has said that the dossier with evidence on terror camps in Pakistan and terror groups involved in the February 14 suicide attack is unactionable. The response from Pakistan is likely to perpetuate the tensions between the two countries. India has been seeking concrete steps against the terror groups involved in the suicide attack.
FATF delegation dissatisfied with anti-terror operations. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Thursday expressed dissatisfaction over action against eight major proscribed organizations in Pakistan. The third and last round of the three-day talks between Pakistan and FATF’s Asia Pacific Group concluded today in Islamabad. The group was briefed by the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) about the steps taken to regulate suspected financial transactions. The delegation was apprised of various steps including the freezing of bank account and confiscation of property, as well as actions taken against financial institutions and companies. Pakistan has been under international pressure since the February 14 attack on Indian paramilitary forces at Pulwama to act on terror groups in the country. The FATF delegation expressed reservations over lack of cooperation among law enforcement agencies and their procedure of taking action against the terror groups. Pakistan confiscated properties owned by Islamists organizations including Jammat-ud-Dawa and Jaish-e-Mohammad.