Bangladesh ranks 24th in arms importersMuktadir Rashid
Bangladesh ranked 24th in the world in spending on the import of military weapons, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Bangladesh upped its place to the 24th in 2012 from the 40th in 2011 after it had bought weapons worth $325 million (Tk 2530.3 crore), according to information available with the SIPRI, the Sweden-based independent resource on global security.
In the same year, neighbouring India ranked first with its import of weapons worth $4,764 million while China was the second importing weapons worth $1,689 million. Pakistan ranked fifth importing weapons worth $1,244 million.
According to the SIPRI statistics, Bangladesh imported military equipments and weapons worth $ 2,773 million between 1988 and 2012.
Economist Anu Muhammad said that the defence should be modernised but transparency in the arms purchase should be ensured.
There is taboo about the defence in the country and the issue of import of arms remains out of discussion, the economist said adding, ‘at the same time, there is scarcity of data relating to military purchases that cause doubt about transparency.’
‘As the purchase is made by public money,’ Anu said, ‘people have the right to know how their money is being spent…At least parliament should be
informed about the purchase in order to ensure transparency.’
He said, ‘We are not talking for disclosing state secrecy in parliament but we are willing to know how the money is being spent.’
On 29 January, the Transparency International UK in its index on 82 countries, reviewed corruption risk and corruption vulnerability in defence ministries and armed forces, placed Bangladesh in 15 high risk countries.
According to the data available with SIPRI, the Bangladesh governments significantly increase arms imports in the last year of their tenure.
Retired lieutenant general HM Ershad’s government had imported weapons worth $241 million in 1988, $305 million in 1989 and $189 million in 1990, when the regime was facing political turmoil for restoration of democracy.
Ershad, the Jatiya Party chairman and a lawmaker, however, currently is facing, among others, a trial for corruption in radar purchase for Bangladesh Air Force.
The spending on arms imports, however, dropped to $99 million in 1991 when the Bangladesh Nationalist Party assumed power.
In 1995, the last year of its tenure, the BNP government led by Khaleda Zia spent $119 million in arms imports, while the spending was $61 million in 1994.
The Awami League government led by Sheikh Hasina spent $185million in 1998 and $201million in 1999, the last two years of its tenure, on the import of weapons. The expenditure was $30 million in the first three years f its tenure.
After BNP-led alliance assumed power again in 2001, the now defunct Bureau of Anti-Corruption had filed a case against Hasina and others on August 7, 2002 on charge of causing loss of about Tk 747 crore to the state exchequer through corruption in the purchase of a frigate.
The bureau filed another case against Hasina and six others on December 11, 2001 on graft charges in the purchase of eight MiG-29 fighter planes.
The High Court, however, quashed the cases in 2010.
The BNP-led alliance government spent $221 million in 2006, the last year of its tenure, and $91 in the previous four years of the tenure on imports of military weapons and equipments.
The incumbent Awami League-led alliance government increased the expenditure to $235million in 2012 from $166 in 2011.
comments powered by Disqus
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Saturday urged people to vote for the Awami League’s election symbol of boat in the forthcoming general elections for the continuation of development. Full story
None in the administration is aware of the one bigha of land given to boxing legend Muhammad Ali during his 1977 tour of Bangladesh in the beach town of Cox’s Bazar. The sea has eroded the piece of land in course of time. Full story
The authorities have missed the deadline to report to comply with the High Court directives regarding compensations to the victims of Rana Plaza building collapse or their families, and the action and safety measures... Full story
Only a few thousand supporters of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi turned out for protests on Friday despite calls for massive marches, as Islamists reeled from a fierce police crackdown. Friday was set to be a test of the remaining... Full story
The Jahangirnagar University teachers rallying for the resignation of the vice-chancellor, Anwar Hossain, on Saturday night called off their programme of siege for 15 days after the education minister, Nurul Islam Nahid, earlier assured them... Full story
The Dhaka University senate at its special meeting on Saturday elected three people unopposed to a panel for the appointment as the vice-chancellor amid protests by some teachers and students. Full story
Hefajat-e Islam will hold a ‘high-level’ meeting on August 26 at Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Muinul Islam Madrassah in Hathazari upazila of Chittagong to discuss its next ‘course of action’. Full story
Oishi Rahman, the prime accused in the murder of her parents, on Saturday admitted to being involved in the murder and said that she was repentant. Oishi gave her statement under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal... Full story
Bangladesh ranked 24th in the world in spending on the import of military weapons, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Bangladesh upped its place to the 24th in 2012 from... Full story
Survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse went on demonstrations in front the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters’ Association building in the capital on Saturday marking four months of of the disaster. Apparel workers’ platform... Full story
A nine-year-old schoolgirl was found dumped in a graveyard at Pakuria in the Rajshahi city on Friday night, the police said on Saturday. She was strangled after being gang-raped, the police said adding that two... Full story
A photo journalist was gang-raped in the Indian city of Mumbai, police said on Friday, evoking comparisons with a similar assault in New Delhi in December that led to nationwide protests and a revision of the country’s rape laws. Full story
The police are yet to find any clues to the identities of the people whose decomposed body parts were found in Dhaka City Corporation’s garbage dump in Matuail and whether they had been murdered. Full story
A Bangladesh Chhatra League activist was hacked by masked attackers at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet on Friday night. The police arrested nine Activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir... Full story
The University Grants Commission on Tuesday opposed an education ministry move regarding the validation of library science diplomas Darul Ihsan University is offering. The commission also refused to verify... Full story
The police recovered the decomposed body of a young man from a canal in Jamsing area of the upazila on Friday; three days after he had gone missing. The deceased was identified as Saiful Islam, 22, a laundry... Full story
The ruling Trinamool Congress of West Bengal on last Monday obstructed placing of the Bangladesh-India Land Boundary Agreement amendment bill in the Rajya Sabha raising accusation that the state government... Full story
The US ambassador in Dhaka, Dan Mozena, on Saturday welcomed the move the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon had taken on Friday to phone Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia seeking the political crisis centring... Full story
The Jatiya Party chairman, Hussain Mohammad Ershad, on Saturday said that the present Election Commission lost its neutrality and his party would not contest the next general polls unless the commission was reconstituted. Full story
A clash between two rival groups left two people dead and 50 others injured at Shyauk village in Nasirnagar upazila Saturday. The deceased were Harun, 35 and Monwar. Full story