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May 10, 2013

Pakistan marks democratic milestone in close-fought election

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Pakistan goes to the polls on Saturday for an election that will bring the first transition between civilian governments, but the milestone’s significance may be lost on some voters who have lost faith in politics after years of corruption and misrule.

Widespread disenchantment with the two mainstream parties appeared this week to have brought a late surge of support for former cricket star Imran Khan, who could end up holding the balance of power if there is no clear-cut winner.

May 9, 2013

Pakistan’s Khan: cricketer, playboy and now a political spoiler

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – When Imran Khan tumbled spectacularly off a mechanical lift at an election rally this week, a frenzy of media coverage erupted, the last thing Pakistan’s mainstream parties needed as they fend off a spoiler threatening to up-end the political order.

Khan has predicted a “tsunami” of support for his party in Saturday’s general election as voters, particularly urban youth, turn against the traditional grandees of Pakistani politics after years of misrule and corruption.

May 9, 2013

Imran Khan: cricketer, playboy and now a political spoiler

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – When Imran Khan tumbled spectacularly off a mechanical lift at an election rally this week, a frenzy of media coverage erupted, the last thing Pakistan’s mainstream parties needed as they fend off a spoiler threatening to up-end the political order.

Khan has predicted a “tsunami” of support for his party in Saturday’s general election as voters, particularly urban youth, turn against the traditional grandees of Pakistani politics after years of misrule and corruption.

May 8, 2013

As Pakistan votes, the military watches sternly from its barracks

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – When a rock-band song mocking Pakistan’s army was mysteriously blocked on Internet sites recently, no one was surprised. But, as political parties jousted their way to this Saturday’s elections, it was a small reminder of where power really lies.

There is no doubt that attempts to bury a legacy of decades of military rule have made headway in Pakistan, where – for the first time – a civilian government completed its five-year term and stood aside to allow voters choose its successor.

May 3, 2013

Special Report: How textile kings weave a hold on Bangladesh

DHAKA (Reuters) – Bangladesh’s garment boom has made Mohammad Fazlul Azim a wealthy man. Over three decades his empire has grown from a single factory to a string of plants that employ 26,000 workers and clock up an annual turnover of about $200 million.

Azim, who is also a member of parliament, has benefited from government policies to grow the industry into a global powerhouse. His elegant home here in Dhaka is a haven of luxury with an outdoor swimming pool, walled off from the chaos of the capital’s streets.

May 2, 2013

How textile kings weave a hold on Bangladesh

DHAKA (Reuters) – Bangladesh’s garment boom has made Mohammad Fazlul Azim a wealthy man. Over three decades his empire has grown from a single factory to a string of plants that employ 26,000 workers and clock up an annual turnover of about $200 million.

Azim, who is also a member of parliament, has benefited from government policies to grow the industry into a global powerhouse. His elegant home here in Dhaka is a haven of luxury with an outdoor swimming pool, walled off from the chaos of the capital’s streets.

Apr 16, 2013
via FaithWorld

Violent Islamist agitation against bloggers fuels unrest in Bangladesh

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(Bangladesh Jammat-e-Islami activists throw bricks as they clash with police in Dhaka February 12, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Biraj )

One night in February, Rajib Haider was set upon near his Dhaka home by five knife-wielding youths. His face was so lacerated that a relative who found the body wasn’t sure it was him until he called Haider’s cellphone and heard it ring inside a pocket.

Apr 15, 2013

Islamist agitation fuels unrest in Bangladesh

DHAKA (Reuters) – One night in February, Rajib Haider was set upon near his Dhaka home by five knife-wielding youths. His face was so lacerated that a relative who found the body wasn’t sure it was him until he called Haider’s cellphone and heard it ring inside a pocket.

Haider was a blogger, one of hundreds in Bangladesh demanding the death penalty for Islamist leaders accused of wartime atrocities, whose grisly murder swelled the crowds at student-led rallies many hailed as a “Bangladesh Spring”.

Jan 17, 2013

Pakistan urges India to cool rhetoric over Kashmir

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Pakistan urged India on Thursday to tone down the “Pakistan bashing” over a spate of military clashes in Kashmir between the nuclear-armed neighbors, and again offered foreign minister-level talks to try to cool tensions.

“I think it is important not to let this cycle escalate into something which becomes even more ugly than it is today,” Pakistani High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir said in an interview with Reuters. “Let’s try to see if we can cool down and resume normal business.”

Dec 24, 2012
via India Insight

Editor’s choice: Best of Reuters India in 2012

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Here are my picks for the best Reuters India stories of the year:

Sahara – massive, splashy … and mysterious
By Tony Munroe and Devidutta Tripathy
KHALILABAD, Uttar Pradesh - Like millions of Indians, Jag Ram Chaudhary invested with the Sahara conglomerate – 1,300 rupees a month in his case – to put away money for a rainy day. Read more here.

ANALYSIS – India’s deficit-cutting plan faltering as clock ticks
By Ross Colvin and Rajesh Kumar Singh
NEW DELHI - Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has banned government officials from holding conferences at five-star hotels, restricted travel and ordered a freeze on hiring to fill vacant posts. Read more here

    • About John

      "John Chalmers is the Reuters' Bureau Chief for South Asia. He was previously a correspondent in London, Paris, Hanoi, New Delhi and Brussels."
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