ISI's zeal of Jamaat controlled govt -The Asian Age

Bangladesh is scheduled to hold the next general election on December 30. This election particularly is seen as a battle between the Awami League and 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 the victory of its long-time ally Jammat-e-Islami and BNP. Pakistan wants to see an anti-Indian political force in power in Bangladesh.

ISI is sees the upcoming election as a battle between Islamabad and New Delhi and are willing to see an anti-Indian BNP and Jamaat win a landslide victory. With this goal, ISI officials had already held a meeting with BNP's fugitive leader Tarique Rahman in London as well Jamaat leader Barrister Abdur Razzak promising all possible cooperation in attaining this target, reports Times of Assam.

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, Jamaat is a terrorist organization with a network in Western countries including the USA, the UK and Canada.

Commenting on JIB, 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, Jammat-e-Islami 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.

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". The report claims, "Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan are under a new resulting from a major shift from the Middle East."

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.

Criticizing the counter-militancy initiatives of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Abdullah Khan told Pakistan Today, a Pakistani English newspaper, "The WeH Bangladesh chapter was another surprise addition where the so-called secular regime of PM 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 (ABT), Ansar Al Islam (AAI), Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) and the student front of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (JIB) as "Islamic groups" with the ulterior motive of misleading the global and in particular Western counterterrorism bodies.

Abha Shankar and Sam Westrop further wrote "In America, 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.

"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.

"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." 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 tirelessly for years to help relieve the victimization of Jammat workers in Bangladesh."

Pakistan, BNP and Jamaat are aggressively working in grabbing power by exerting force. They are seeing the December 30 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 counter-terrorism 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's ain" (Allah's rule) meaning Caliphate. On the other hand, Islamist coalition partners of BNP are in favor of replacing Bangladesh's secular nature to brute Sharia rule.

As per political analysts' report, US President Donald Trump has the potential capacity to save Bangladesh from going into the grips of radical Islamists. As a time-tested friend of Bangladesh, United States needs to effectively help Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in saving the country from becoming a Sharia nation or Caliphate.