As Bangladesh prepares to elect representatives to its tenth parliament, the country is at a crossroads. The political opposition organized massive nationwide general strikes during the first half of 2013 to pressure the ruling Awami League, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, to hand over power to a caretaker government. This is creating a situation of increasingly intense political crisis that could negatively impact Bangladesh’s recent accomplishments in terms of economic growth and social progress. Such a crisis could also affect the internal security of Bangladesh’s immediate neighbors and hold significant implications for the region as a whole.

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni discussed the crucial days ahead, not only for Bangladesh, but for the South Asia region more broadly. Jessica T. Mathews moderated.

Dipu Moni

Dr. Dipu Moni serves as the foreign minister of Bangladesh and one of two joint secretaries of the Bangladesh Awami League. Prior to taking up her post, Moni was secretary for Women’s Affairs and a member of the Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Bangladesh Awami League. Moni is also a qualified physician and represents Chandpur-3 as a member of the Bangladesh Parliament.

Jessica T. Mathews

Jessica T. Mathews was appointed president of the Carnegie Endowment in 1997. Her career includes senior positions in the White House, State Department, Congress, Council on Foreign Relations, World Resources Institute, and the Washington Post.