India backs Bangladesh reforms

India backs Bangladesh reforms
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First Published: Wed, May 02 2007. 01 49 PM IST
Updated: Wed, May 02 2007. 01 49 PM IST
Washington: Backing the reforms being undertaken by the caretaker Bangladeshi government, India today said they were needed so that people of the country have a chance to express their will freely through elections.
“We want a peaceful, stable, moderate Bangladesh.That is in our interest. We want to be a good neighbour to Bangladesh. We would like to see the restoration of democracy in Bangladesh,” Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon said.
“The present caretaker government is doing things that needs to be done... so that people of Bangladesh have a chance to express their will, freely and fairly through elections. And we would encourage that...” he told reporters after talks with US Under Secretary Nicholas Burns.
The Foreign Secretary noted that Bangladesh did figure in his talks with senior Bush administration officials as did other countries in the immediate region of South Asia.
Bangladesh’s military-backed government has launched a massive campaign against corruption since its installation on January 12 this year. It has witnessed the grilling of more than 60 high profile politicians mostly belonging to past premier Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
Reforms in judiciary
The military-backed-caretaker government in Bangladesh is set to extend its reform process to the judiciary in order to “clean up the judiciary and restore its independence,” a news report has said.
A Supreme Court source said that the government is now collecting background information on controversial judges who were appointed or whose services were confirmed between 2001 and 2006 reportedly on political considerations.
“We believe the move is an indication that the government is planning to do something to clean up the judiciary and to restore its independence,” the source was quoted as saying by The Daily Star yesterday.
Chief Adviser of the Caretaker Government Fakhruddin Ahmed said earlier that the judicial department will have to be independent and neutral.
“We want the image of the judiciary to be held high, and the rule of law and justice established on a firm foundation,” he said.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Mohammad Ruhul Amin told a gathering of lawyers on Sunday in Noakhali that the damage done to the judiciary in the recent years will take more than 20 years to remedy.
Senior Supreme Court lawyers have urged the authorities “to cleanse the higher judiciary through reforms” including forming a supreme judicial council for the purpose.
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First Published: Wed, May 02 2007. 01 49 PM IST