SELIM WARNS DIPLOMATS
Awami League presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim in parliament yesterday asked diplomats stationed in Dhaka not to interfere in Bangladesh’s internal affairs. He even went on to say that the government would take steps against them if they continued to do so.
“Maintain your diplomatic jurisdictions … don’t interfere into every single internal matter of the country. Give up your political diplomacy. If you [continue to] do it, we will have no alternative but to go tough,” he told the House taking the floor on a point of order.
He began an unscheduled discussion in the House yesterday regarding an alleged threat by al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. A recent audiovisual message thought to be of Zawahiri had urged the Muslims in Bangladesh to wage an intifada (popular uprising) to confront the “crusader onslaught against Islam”.
After Selim, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, JSD lawmaker Mainuddin Khan Badol, Workers Party MP Fazle Hossain Badsha, Tarikat Federation Chairman Syed Nozibul Bashar Maizbhandari joined the al-Qaeda and BNP-Jamaat alliance bashing.
They alleged that al-Qaeda threat against Bangladesh was part of a conspiracy against the country and Zawahiri’s message reflected statements of the BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and Hefajat-e Islam.
Selim said BNP and Jamaat have many lords, like Taliban and al-Qaeda. “These lords did not speak against the destructive activities carried out by the BNP-Jamaat coalition, rather some of them branded Jamaat a moderate Islamic organisation,” he said.
Hinting at an ambassador in Dhaka from the West, Selim questioned as to why the diplomat had to meet BNP chief Khaleda Zia four times since the January 5 national elections.
“Is it your important state activity? You were not successful in 1971 and you will not be successful with your agendas this time,” he said.
Matia Chowdhury alleged that Zawahiri had visited Bangladesh three times during the rule of BNP-Jamaat alliance government. She said, “Zawahiri’s call was aimed at encouraging Lady Laden [Khaleda] and Junior Laden [Khaleda’s son Tarique Rahman].”
February 17, 2014