BNP shows its extremist, undemocratic and ultra-Islamist face

Bangladesh, Bangladesh Nationalist Party, BNP, Mein Kampf, Khaleda Zia, Tarique Rahman

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), a political party was founded by military dictator Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman with the prime goal of promoting ultra-Islamism and continuing hostility towards India and other non-Muslim countries. Those who know the meaning of Adolf Hitler’s book ‘Mein Kampf’ may note, Gen Zia’s “kempf” was ultimately taking revenge on Bangladesh’s pro-liberation forces and punishing India for helping in the independence of the country. He wanted to turn Bangladesh into a pseudo-Pakistan. For these reasons, Gen Zia upheld ultra-Islamism and Hindu hatred. Zia is seen by many as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler as during his tenure, Gen Zia had executed thousands of Army and Air Force officers which is seen as extrajudicial cold-blooded-murder, which had earned him the reputation of being a ruthless dictator amongst international observers. Zia was also one of the key-plotters behind assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and four national leaders.

Following the assassination of Gen Ziaur Rahman in 1981 through a military coup, ultra-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist went under the leadership of Khaleda Zia – Gen Zia’s widow. She led the party until February 2017. BNP went under the leadership of Zia couple’s son Tarique Rahman following arrest of Khaleda Zia on charges of misappropriating funds of an orphanage trust. Khaleda Zia was handed five year’s rigorous imprisonment, which was later extended to 10 years.

Back in November 2008, the US State Department imposed visa restriction on Tarique Rahman by branding him as a “notorious and feared figure” and “symbol of kleptocratic government and violent politics in Bangladesh”.

It may be mentioned here that on November 3, 2008, the US ambassador to Bangladesh, James F. Moriarty in a confidential cable (Canonical ID 08DHAKA1143_a) to the Secretary of State, seeking suspending entry of Tarique Rahman to the United State, Ambassador James F. Moriarty wrote:

“The Embassy is seeking a security advisory opinion under section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Presidential Proclamation 7750, suspending the entry into the United States of Tarique Rahman (aka Tarique), born on November 20, 1967 in Bangladesh. The Embassy believes Tarique is guilty of egregious political corruption that has had a serious adverse effect on US national interests mentioned in Section 4 of the proclamation, namely the stability of democratic institutions and US foreign assistance goals. The Embassy is not seeking to apply a 212(f) finding to Tarique Rahaman’s wife, Dr. Zubaida Rahman, to their daughter, Zaima Rahman, or to his mother Begum Khaleda Zia, a former Prime Minister of Bangladesh”.

Ambassador Moriarty further wrote: “Tarique Rahman, the notorious and widely feared son of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, was released on bail from prison on September 3. He departed Bangladesh to seek medical treatment in the UK on September 11. Having served as the Senior Joint Secretary General of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Tarique is an extremely high profile political figure. Notorious for flagrantly and frequently demanding bribes in connection with government procurement actions and appointments to political office, Tarique is a symbol of kleptocratic government and violent politics in Bangladesh”.

Accusing Tarique Rahman of accumulating hundreds of millions of dollars, Ambassador James F. Moriarty wrote, “Tarique reportedly has accumulated hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit wealth. There are multiple extortion cases pending against him, founded on the testimony of numerous prominent business owners who he victimized and exploited”.

It may be mentioned here that in December 2001, BNP secretly hosted a group of Al Qaeda, which was headed by Osama bin Laden’s second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri, for months in the country’s Cox’s Bazar, Chittagong and Dhaka cities. Security agencies as well as media outlets throughout the Western nations were either unaware or remained totally tight-lipped on this shocking and alarming incident.

It is essential to note that BNP has a history of harboring anti-American, anti-Semitic, and anti-Western sentiments. This ultra-Islamist party has been on record, setting fire to the American flag and chanting slogans like “Death to America” or “We shall become Taliban, Bangla [Bangladesh] will be Afghan”.

In a deeply concerning move, during the 2001-2006 rule of the BNP government, BNP even named a bridge ‘Hezbollah’ as a “mark of honor”, openly expressing their support for the Lebanese resistance group, Hezbollah, which the United States has designated as a terrorist organization. BNP government’s junior communications minister Salahuddin Ahmed told 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 a mark of honor”.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s hosting Al Qaeda group including Ayman al-Zawahiri was first exposed by eminent journalist and counterterrorism expert Alex Perry, who in a TIME magazine article on April 14, 2002 had exposed Al Qaeda kingpin al-Zawahiri and other members of the terrorist group’s arrival and stay in Bangladesh.

Following publication of Alex Perry’s article, journalist Bertil Lintner in another article in South Asia Terrorism Portal wrote: “…While Bangladesh is yet far from becoming another Pakistan, Islamist forces are no doubt on the rise, and extremist influence is growing, especially in the countryside. According to a foreign diplomat in Dhaka, “In the 1960s and 1970s, it was the leftists who were seen as incorruptible purists. Today, the role model for many young men in rural areas is the dedicated Islamic cleric with his skull cap, flowing robes and beard”.

It may be further mentioned here that BNP has been termed Tier-III terrorist organization by US courts.

BNP abandons democratic process

Bangladesh Nationalist Party, under the leadership of convicted terrorist Tarique Rahman has abandoned participating in democratic process while at the direct instructions of its acting chairman – the party has adopted a policy of refraining from all forms of elections in Bangladesh – including local government elections and even elections of bar councils. Tarique Rahman believes, BNP should return to power by flexing its muscles and committing terrorist acts and arson attacks. He also plans to turn Bangladesh into a neo-Taliban state, where he seeks support from the Western nations, particularly the United States and Britain. Criticizing Tarique Rahman’s anti-democracy stand, analysts say – Tarique Rahman has finally emerged into another version of Ayman al-Zawahiri who is openly denouncing democracy and democratic process despite the fact, Tarique’s political future is already doomed while he is finished, kaput, busted. BNP has been exposed as an undemocratic and ultra-Islamist pseudo-jihadist force.


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