Govt rejects Al Jazeera report as smear campaign

Diplomatic Correspondent

3 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The Bangladesh government has rejected the Al Jazeera report as a desperate politically motivated ‘smear campaign’ instigated by extremists and their allies working from London and elsewhere.

The government also regrets that Al Jazeera has allowed itself to become an instrument for their malicious political designs aimed at destabilising Bangladesh’s secular democratic government with a track record of extraordinary socio-economic development and progress.

Soon after Al Jazeera, a Qatar-based news channel, published a report titled "All the Prime Minister's Men," the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a strongly-worded statement in the early hours (1:22am) of Tuesday, protesting the report.

The statement reads: “The Bangladesh government has learnt of a false and defamatory report titled “All the Prime Minister’s Men” published by Al Jazeera.”

Bangladesh protested the report, terming it a politically motivated ‘smear campaign’ by notorious individuals associated with the extremist group Jamaat-e-Islami, it says.

The report is nothing but a misleading series of innuendos and insinuations and it appears to be a politically-motivated ‘smear campaign’ by notorious individuals associated with Jamaat-i-Islami, which has been opposing the secular principles of Bangladesh since its very birth as an independent nation in 1971. 

The fact that the report’s historical account fails to even mention the horrific genocide in 1971 in which Jamaat killed millions of Bengali civilians and raped over two lakh Bengali women, is but a reflection of political bias in the Al Jazeera’s coverage and that of its principal commentator Mr. David Bergman, convicted by the International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh for challenging the official death toll of 1971 Liberation War.

It is noted that the main “source” of the Al Jazeera’s allegations is an alleged international criminal claimed to be a “psychopath” by the news channel itself.

There is not a shred of evidence linking the Prime Minister and other state institutions of Bangladesh to this particular individual, and it is highly irresponsible for an international news channel to draw conclusions on the basis of the words of a mentally unstable person.

It is also not surprising that the report aligns with the string of anti-Bangladesh propaganda orchestrated by a few convicted absconding criminals and discredited individuals patronised by Jamaat-e-Islami, which on certain occasions conspired with international extremist groups and news media, especially Al Jazeera.”