BNP, JAMAAT ARE ALLIES OF AL-QAEDA: SELIM
“The BNP and Jamaat are allies of al-Qaeda. A BNP leader has said that Bangladesh is a huge prison. (al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri) also said the same,” he said in Parliament on Sunday.
“If there are any supporters of al-Qaeda (in Bangladesh), then they have to be traced and give exemplary punishment,” said the ruling party leader.
Labelling the BNP and Jamaat as terrorist organisations, Selim said: “What they are doing is done by terrorist organisations.”
An audio recording purportedly allegedly by Zawahiri was circulating on the Internet calling on Muslims in Bangladesh to wage an uprising against the enemies of Islam.
Zawahiri in the clip interprets the Bengali struggle for freedom from Pakistan in a way that is chillingly similar to the one offered by the Jamaat.
He is heard accusing the government of killing ‘thousands of people’ during last year’s crackdown on the violent rally by Hifazat-e Islam at Dhaka’s Motijheel, echoing the claims by the Chittagong-based outfit along with the BNP and the Jamaat.
The audio tape also expresses anger over the trial of suspected war criminals, most of them belonging to Jamaat, the party that had opposed independence from Pakistan in 1971.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, quoting the US magazine ‘Time’, told Parliament that Zawahiri had visited Bangladesh thrice between 2001 and 2006 “under the supervision of BNP and Jamaat when they were in power”.
The senior Awami League leader came down hard on the BNP Chairperson branding her as the female version of Osama bin Laden, the founder of al-Qaeda, killed by US forces in 2011.
“Zawahiri’s message comes at a time when Lady Laden’s programmes to resist the election failed.
“This is a part of upholding the spirit…Mr Zawahiri, we are the guerrillas, not you. This is Bangladesh, Razakars will lose, guerrillas will win,” said Chowdhury.
“She (Khaleda Zia) enjoyed the hospitality of the Pakistani army during the Liberation War. And her son has been raised by army batmen,” she further said.
Earlier, Health Minister Mohammad Nasim told Parliament that the BNP and Jamaat had implemented al-Qaeda’s agenda while they were in power.
“Al-Qaeda has attacked the Muslim countries. They have targeted the Muslims. What kind of Islam do they want to preach?
“It needs to be found out who issued this threat. I’ve come to know it has been drafted in Bangla. The people will be in panic if it’s not traced.
“It can be found in this age of information technology whether it’s issued by that al-Qaeda (the global one) or the al-Qaeda in Bangladesh. We (the government) can’t be pushed from power by any threats.”
Tariqat Federation MP Nazibul Boshor Maizbhandari called upon the Prime Minister to come up with a decision on Jamaat, Shibir and Hifazat-e Islam.
“Jamaat-e-Islami has to be banned soon. Resistance should be formed wherever Jamaat-Shibir and Hifazat try to take a position,” he said.
Speaking on an unscheduled discussion in Parliament on Sunday, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim said a “deep conspiracy” against Bangladesh was on.
“Zawahiri has reiterated what the Jamaat-Shibir and the BNP said earlier,” he said.
The Awami League presidium member also had a word of caution against Zawahiri.
“I warn against any kind of overdrive in the name of religion. He (al-Zawahiri) wants to turn Bangladesh into a terrorist state.
“It kills him to see that the people of Bangladesh are in peace. They have attacked to serve their own interest using religion.”
BNP chief Khaleda Zia had claimed that police had shot dead ‘pious’ Muslims while resisting the violence unleashed after the war crimes verdict of Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee.
“Zawahiri has said the same thing,” Selim said, “Khaleda Zia has conveyed this message to Zawahiri. Whatever, Khaleda Zia has said about war criminals and the tribunal, Zawahiri reiterated.”
Speaking on the al-Qaeda chief’s message, JaSad lawmaker Mayeen Uddin Khan Badal said, “What should we conclude if the tone of Zawahiri and the BNP, Jamaat matches?”
“I want to tell those who are raising a hullaballoo over a stateless Zawahiri that, you are connected to the 10-trucks arms smuggling. Your signatures are seen there.
“Your son had meetings with terrorist in Dubai. You knew all of it,” said Badal addressing Khaleda.
“Why do you want to join with the force which is involved in evil deeds worldwide?” he asked.
Workers’ Party MP Fazle Hossain Badsha told Parliament that that it would not be right to assume that al-Qaeda currently operated in Bangladesh.
“Videos of al-Qaeda’s military trainings were shown in madrasas after 2001.
“BNP, Jamaat have been connected with al-Qaeda since the day they assumed power. It has been proved that an international conspiracy against Bangladesh’s sovereignty is going on when the Pakistani Parliament discussed (Abdul) Quader Molla’s execution,” he said.
Badsha demanded a motion be tabled condemning the Pakistani Parliament’s motion condoling Molla’s execution for war crimes.
“We should take a stance against Zawahiri’s statement,” added the Worker’s Party lawmaker.
FEBRUARY 16, 2014