Bangladesh opposition demands release of Islamists and militants


Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on December 10, 2022 has pressed 10-point demand which includes immediate annulment of sentences, including capital punishments handed to war criminals and the leaders of pro-Caliphate Hefazat-e-Islam (HeI), kingpins and members of various militancy outfits including Ansar Al Islam (local franchise of Al Qaeda), Harkatul Jihad (HuJI), Hizbut Tahrir, Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh JMB, which has later rebranded itself as ISIS-B after becoming local franchise of the Islamic State (ISIS). This particular demand pressed by BNP may seem shocking or even unbelievable to most of the people who are not aware of the ideologies and agendas of Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party or BNP was founded by military dictator General Ziaur Rahman following the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It is well-documented that General Zia was one of the masterminds behind the assassination of Bangabandhu. Immediately after grabbing power, General Zia started process of forming a political party with the strict ideology of transforming Bangladesh into an Islamic republic or in other words – another version of Pakistan. He first named the party as Jago Dol, which was later renamed as Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). In addition to promoting Islamist ideology, BNP also has adopted policy of nurturing ant-India sentiment in Bangladesh, while the party later also had emerged into a repressive tool targeting Hindus and religious minorities. Bangladesh Nationalist Party became a platform of war criminals and Islamists while it later had also sponsored anti-US and anti-Semite ideologies. But Zia’s tenure ended when he was murdered in 1981 through a coup d’etat, where another military dictator – General Hussain Muhammad Ershad came to power. General Ershad conceived Zia’s pro-Islamist policies, while he made fresher bids of transforming Bangladesh into a sharia state. Within months of grabbing power, General Ershad also became politically ambitious and formed a political party named Jono Dol, which was later renamed as Jatiya Party.

General Ershad continued in power for almost nine years and he was toppled-down through a mass-movement led by Awami League, Bangladesh Nationalist Party and other smaller political forces in the country. Following resignation of Ershad, major political parties in Bangladesh unanimously decided to hold general election under a “caretaker government”. The election was held in 1991, where BNP got majority and formed government with Khaleda Zia, General Ziaur Rahman’s widow as the prime minister. During 1991-1996 tenure, BNP leaders, including family members of then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, particularly her brothers and sons got indulged into rampant corruption while hundreds of millions of dollars were smuggled-out of the country by the Zia Crime Family. BNP also started extending direct patronization to separatist groups in India, while some of these insurgents were allowed to use Bangladesh soil for running secret training camps. But things turned worse when BNP returned to power in 2001 by forming coalition with pro-militancy Jamaat-e-Islami. During this period, the radical Islamic government began granting patronization to militancy outfits and even helped in formation of a dangerous militancy outfit named Jagrata Muslim Janata (JMJ) which was later named as Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB). BNP-Jamaat ministers and MPs were openly extending support, patronization and funding to JMB as well as other militancy outfits such as Harkatul Jihad (HuJI).

During the 1991-1996 and 2001-2006 rule of BNP, ministers and leaders of the ruling party and its political alliances were openly pronouncing solidarity with anti-India terrorist, jihadist and separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir and northeastern states in India by terming those elements as “genuine friends of Bangladeshi nationalist forces” and even “soldiers of Allah”. These leaders were advocating “creation of many nations within India”. They were saying, “a Hindu India needs to be teared-apart”. BNP government was not only continuing anti-India rhetoric, they also were providing weapons, explosives and logistics to separatist groups such as United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) in the northeastern parts. People of Bangladesh were being brainwashed to treat India as the “main enemy of Bangladesh and Muslims”.

On August 21, 2005, BNP-Jamaat government attempted to assassinate Sheikh Hasina along with other senior leader of Awami League through gruesome grenade attacks, as they consider Sheikh Hasina and Awami League as a trusted ally of India and the West.

Kyle Shideler, the Director of the Counter Islamist Grid (CIG) saidBangladeshi National Party is a sometimes-violent nationalist Bangladeshi political party devoted to implementing an Islamic nationalism for Bangladesh”.

Shideler said, “BNP is the political ally of Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist political party whose armed wing, Hizbul Mujahedeen, was designated as a terrorist group by the US State Department”.

In May 2018, Canadian Federal Court in a verdict said, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) “has engaged or will engage in acts of terrorism”.

Just before Sheikh Hasina assumed power for a second time in 2009 following a landslide victory in the 2008-general elections, the entire world was expressing concerns about Bangladesh being becoming another “Afghanistan or Pakistan”. Radical Islamic forces were openly flexing muscles chanting slogans such as “Aamra Hobo Afghan, Bangla Hobey Taliban” (We shall become Afghan, Bangla will be Taliban).

During the tenures of Khaleda Zia and BNP, Islamist and jihadist forces had no problem in holding rallies and processions in various parts of Dhaka city and towns in the country – chanting anti-US slogans and most disturbingly burning American flags in broad daylight. Law enforcement agencies did not interrupt such notorious activities as they knew – the hearts of ruling elites were filled with anti-US and anti-West poison. At the request of Yasser Arafat, General Zia sent hundreds of Bangladeshi nationals to ‘Palestine’ to take part in ‘war against Israel’ and kill Jews and Christians – in Zia’s words – enemies of Allah.

In 2003, the then BNP government named a bridge after the name of cruel jihadist group Hezbollah. The bridge is located in the southern part of Bangladesh, spanning the Batakhali river in Cox’s Bazar district. Justifying naming of the bridge, Salauddin Ahmed, state minister for communication to French news agency AFP, “I named the bridge Hezbollah because of our love for the Lebanese resistance group”. “Hezbollah is the only group which is fighting Israel and the bridge is named after the group as mark of honor”, he added.

The United States has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist entity, meaning, BNP has a track record of not only appeasing terrorists, jihadist and Islamists, but also of harboring and defending enemies of the United States.

As Bangladesh is heading towards another general elections which is scheduled to take place in January 2023, eyeing on this, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Islamist partners are spending millions od dollars for establishing influence on policymakers in the United States, Britain and the European Union. BNP-Jamaat wants to uproot secularist and anti-Islamist and anti-militancy forces in Bangladesh and desires of turning Bangladesh into another “Islamic State”. With this agenda, BNP has openly demanded immediate annulment of sentences and release of Al Qaeda and ISIS affiliated militancy kingpins and leaders of pro-Caliphate Hefazat-e-Islam.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here