ISI poking nose into Bangladesh polls | 2018-12-10 |

ISI poking nose into Bangladesh polls

Staff Correspondent

10 December, 2018 12:00 AM printer

The Pakistani intelligence agency, Inter Service Intelligence (ISI), is manipulating the upcoming general election in Bangladesh to help Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh form the next government, according to several counterterrorism organisations and individuals.

They said Jamaat-e-Islami is a terrorist organisation with network in a number of Western countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada.

One of the Jamaat-e-Islami war criminals, tried in absentia in Bangladesh, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, fled to the US and helped to establish and lead one of these American Jamaat-e-Islami organisations — The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA).                

According to a message received on Sunday, Pakistan is a state sponsor of jihadist terrorism itself. It is now claiming that it is Bangladesh and India that have the terrorist problem.

Abdullah Khan, Managing Director of Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies, accused Bangladesh and India of engaging in “state sponsored terrorism,” claiming that the Islamic State is “provoked by the governments of India and Bangladesh which are known for their ‘state-sponsored terrorism’ against the Muslim communities.”

Recently, Republican Representative William R. Keating submitted a resolution in Congress “asking the US government to promote free, fair, transparent, and credible elections in Bangladesh.”

Political analysts say US President Donald Trump only can save Bangladesh from going into the grips of radical Islamists. As a time-tested friend of Bangladesh, the United States needs to effectively help Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in saving the country from becoming a Sharia nation or Caliphate.

Bangladesh is scheduled to hold the next general election on December 30. This election particularly is seen as a battle between secularist Awami League and radical Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its political and ideological darling, Jamaat e Islami Bangladesh (JIB).

Despite this fact, India unfortunately has been maintaining total silence while Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) has become extremely active in ensuring victory of its long-time ally Jamaat and BNP. Pakistan wants to see an anti-Indian political force in power in Bangladesh.

According to credible sources, ISI is seeing the upcoming election as a battle between Islamabad and New Delhi and is willing to see an anti-Indian BNP and Jamaat win a landslide victory.

With this goal, ISI officials had already held meeting with BNP’s fugitive leader Tarique Rahman in London as well JIB leader barrister Abdur Razzak promising all possible cooperation in attaining this target.

ISI also has been using its contacts in the US Capitol, including the US Senate and Congress with the agenda of getting Washington’s support towards BNP and Jamaat.

Commenting on Jamaat e Islami, Abha Shankar, Senior Analyst at the Investigation Projection Terrorism Investigative Project on Terrorism and Sam Westrop, Director of Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum in an article wrote, “In the decades since the 1971 war, Jamaat has committed violent acts all across South Asia and, today, the Bangladeshi branch is closely involved with the Islamist terror in both Bangladesh and India. Jamaat leaders have openly expressed support for Taliban terrorists and mourned their deaths. And in 2017, the U.S. government designated Hizbul Mujahideen, a Kashmiri jihadist group and Jammat Pakistan’s “militant wing,” as a terrorist organisation.”

Earlier, a Pakistan-based research report conducted by Abdullah Khan, the Managing Director of Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) said, “Counterterrorism and counter-militancy initiatives of Bangladesh and India are state sponsored terrorism.”

It said Islamic State (ISIS) is “provoked by the governments of India and Bangladesh which are known for their ‘state-sponsored terrorism’ against the Muslim communities”.

According to the PICSS report, ‘Wilayat-e-Hind’ (WeH) is the new chapter of Daesh which is quickly attracting the educated youth in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and promoting its radical Islamic and anti-Semitic ideology.

The study titled “Prospects of Daesh’s Expansion in South Asia” further said, “An unorganised presence of WeH militants has been identified in parts of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and other countries of the South Asian region. The WeH operates as an Indian chapter of the ISIS which was formally announced in 2016.”

It highlights that the Indian citizens, especially from Kerala State, find ISIS more attractive than any other radical Islamic militancy group and at least 54 people from Kerala have announced to join the ISIS during the past three years.

“Those who have joined the Wilayat-e-Hind are well-educated and most of them are engineers, doctors and MBA degree holders. Indian citizens are mostly joining Khorasan chapter of Daesh than the core group in Syria or Iraq. However, the possible launching route of Indian ISIS members to Afghanistan is not clear yet,” the study reads.

Criticizing the counter-militancy initiatives of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Abdullah Khan told Pakistan Today, “…… the WeH Bangladesh chapter was another surprise addition where the so-called secular regime of Prime Minister Hasina was targeting religious Muslim groups under a witch-hunt drive.”

Here, Pakistani research group falsely portrays notorious radical Islamic militancy groups such as Ansarullah Bangla Team, Ansar Al Islam, Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) and the student front of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (JIB) as “Muslim groups” with the ulterior motive of misleading the global and in particular Western counterterrorism bodies.