With two-thirds of its work force in the rural sector, Bangladesh’s agriculture contributes just 19 percent to its GDP. Sixty-six percent of exports are from the garment industry that makes it the third largest clothes exporting country in the world. It is perhaps the cheapest and most profitable place for garment manufacturers. However, the conditions of the workers, mainly women, are atrocious.

Although the sixty-five years of Pakistan’s existence have been marred by instability and crisis, now even from Pakistan’s dismal standards the turbulence and conflagration has reached unforeseen heights. In the last few years’ violence, apathy, hyperinflation, sprawling poverty and callousness have acquired unprecedented proportions.

The recent pilgrimage-linked Indian sojourn of President Zardari has been puffed up by the mainstream media. The Islamists and the extreme right wing, as usual, condemned it. Reactionary politics infested with hatred, prejudice, chauvinism and bigotry could not have come up with any other opinion. On both sides of the divide, this hostile crusade serves the interests of sections of the elite and the state.

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