Distinguished Professor Ali Riaz is quoted in Washington Post in a report about the ongoing anti-corruption drive in Bangladesh. Since mid-September the ruling Bangladesh Awami League has launched a drive to address the rampant corruption and other illegal activities of the party members. Several illegal casinos and bars operated by the leaders of the youth wing of the ruling party have been raided where police have discovered stashes of cash and illegal arms, and several arrest have been made.
“This is an acknowledgement that corruption, extortion and unlawful activities have permeated the ruling party to the grassroots,” said Riaz. He commented that “It remains to be seen how high up the campaign will be allowed to reach. Casinos and the unbridled power of the party leaders are just the tip of the iceberg of the corruption and absence of any accountability in the country,” he said. In response to a question whether this poses a risk for the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Riaz said, “As of now, I think it’s a low risk campaign.” “The campaign hasn’t touched central leaders, any bureaucrats or legitimate businessmen. The risk, if any, is of image of the party” Riaz commented.