The forthcoming general election has turn into a battle between secularist Awami League and radical Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) along with its political and ideological ally Jamaat e Islami Bangladesh (JIB).
As a result, Pakistani intelligence agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) has become extremely active in ensuring victory of its long-time ally JIB and BNP. Pakistan’s military-backed government is hatching conspiracy to oust the Sheikh Hasina government to bring pro-Pakistani force in power, reports online magazine weeklyblitz.net.
ISI has become active in seeing BNP and JIB form the next government in Bangladesh following December 30 general election.
According to credible sources, ISI is seeing the upcoming election as a battle between Islamabad and New Delhi and are willing to see a pro-Pakistani 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, said the media reports.
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.
According to several counterterrorism organizations and individuals, JIB is a terrorist organization with network in a number of Western countries including United States, United Kingdom and Canada.
Commenting on Jamaat e Islami (JI), 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, JI has committed violent acts all across South Asia and, today, the Bangladeshi branch is closely involved with Islamist terror in both Bangladesh and India. JI 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 JI Pakistan’s “militant wing,” as a terrorist organization.”
Abha Shankar and Sam Westrop further wrote, “In America, JI [Jamaat-e-Islami] operatives have their own prominent institutions, which pose as representative bodies of American Muslims. These institutions and their officials have served as vocal supporters of JI in Pakistan and Bangladesh, helped coordinate protests against the War Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh, and organized lobbying and PR efforts in DC.”
“In fact, one of the JI war criminals tried in absentia in Bangladesh, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, fled to the US and helped establish and lead one of these American JI organizations: the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). Testimony and evidence showed that Khan served as the “chief executor” of a JI killing squad, named Al-Badr. The war crimes tribunal concluded that he had carried out the abduction and murder of 18 Bangladeshi intellectuals. “They killed top professors, journalists, and doctors to make the nation devoid of any talent,” senior prosecutor M.K. Rahman said immediately following the guilty verdict against Khan.
“ICNA does not hide its JI affiliations, and is openly identified as a JI proxy within Islamist circles. ICNA’s educational programs have featured staunch hardline ideologues, and JI founder Maududi’s books have been promoted on the website of ICNA’s youth division, Young Muslims. In fact, JI leader Yusuf Islahi, a leader of JI’s Indian affiliate (JI Hind), has spoken at ICNA conventions and is a chief patron of an ICNA proselytizing project named “WhyIslam.” At a 2001 JI Hind event hosted in the Indian city of Aligarh, Islahi reportedly blamed Jews for the 9/11 attacks, which he nevertheless described as a befitting response to American arrogance.
“ICNA operates an international relief arm named Helping Hand for Relief and Development, a 501(c)(3) which raised an astonishing $40 million in 2016. Despite its position as one of the wealthier charities in America, Helping Hand organized a conference in Pakistan last December with the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, which was designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department in 2010 because of its function as the charitable wing of the Pakistani terrorist network Lashkar-e-Taiba, which helped mastermind the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
“Helping Hand chairman Mohsin Ansari (also the former chairman of ICNA Relief) openly identifies as a JI member, and refers to the convicted 1971 killers as “heroes” whom the “Pakistani nation will remember… for centuries to come.” He praises Islamist politicians who are elected in spite of efforts by “anti-Muslim media headed by jews [sic].” And in 2016, Ansari revealed that ICNA was asked to arrange funeral prayers for one of the executed war criminals, Motiur Rahman Nizami, the founder of the Al Badr killing squad. Ansari praised Nizami and noted that his son had “has worked in USA (sic) tirelessly for years to help relieve the victimization of Jammat workers in Bangladesh.”
Terror ties have dogged American JI groups for years. One of the two women indicted for their role in a 2015 Islamic State bomb plot lived in an ICNA-run shelter and appeared in ICNA promotional material. And just the other week, on Sept. 6, an ICNA official in Connecticut, Fareed Khan, was indicted by a grand jury after lying to the FBI about his involvement with ICNA and Helping Hand. An FBI affidavit revealed that Khan had been questioned on suspicion of financing terror in Pakistan through the purchase and sale of medical supplies.
Pakistan, BNP, Jamaat and the bloc of radical Islam and militancy are aggressively working in grabbing power by exerting force. They are seeing the December 30 general election as the most suitable scope of ousting secularist forces from power. It may be mentioned here that, both BNP and Jamaat are favorable to radical Islamic terrorism. According to counterterrorism experts, if this nexus manages coming to power on December 30, Bangladesh may become the next safe haven of radical Islam and militancy. Jamaat promotes “Allah’r ain” (Allah’s rule) meaning Caliphate. On the other hand, Islamist coalition partners of BNP are in favour of replacing Bangladesh’s secular nature to brute Sharia rule.