Professor and Chair of Department of Politics Ali Riaz has testified as an expert witness at the US Congress on Wednesday, November 20 ,2013. The hearing entitled ‘Bangladesh in Turmoil: A Nation on the Brink?’ was held by the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Ongoing political instability leading the scheduled election in early January and concerns regarding violence prompted the hearing by the committee headed by Steven Chabot. Ali Riaz, in his statement to the committee, insisted that ‘an election without the participation of the opposition will have disastrous consequences. It will engender violence which will have high human cost and may bring instability to the region. The economic and social progress made by Bangladesh in the past decades will be seriously hampered.’ Professor Riaz said that it is in the interest of the US and international community to act. Describing Bangladesh as an ally of the US he said, ‘With imminent withdrawal from Afghanistan and unpredictable relations with Pakistan, the US cannot afford to lose a partner in South Asia.’ Riaz is currently working as Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars at Washington DC.
Video is available here: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-hearing-bangladesh-turmoil-nation-brink