Isha khan’s Weblog


Playing the Fear Card : Diverting Attention from the BDR Massacre Probe?
April 24, 2009, 6:19 am
Filed under: Bangladesh, India

Playing the Fear Card : Diverting Attention from the BDR Massacre Probe?

 

Dr. K. M. A. Malik

 

The recent (April 12-13) visit to Dhaka by India ’s foreign secretary Mr Shiv Shanker Menon has raised a lot of questions and speculations. He landed in Dhaka without being invited by the foreign office and met with prime minister Sheikh Hasina and army chief Gen. Moeen, few junior ministers and foreign secretary M. Touhid Hossain. Few details of his discussions with the Bangladesh authorities were made public. It was initially suggested in Dhaka media that he had invited some Bangladesh officials to visit the controversial Tipaimukhi Dam project on the Indian side of the Barak river. But nobody believed this cock and bull story. It was also assumed that the discussions had involved bilateral issues such as cross border terrorism and infiltration, road and river transit facilities, use of the Chittagong port facilities for transporting goods to India ’s north east regions, opening up Bangladesh market for Indian exports and investments, etc. But these are also long-standing issues and could not possibly prompt the Indian official’s surprise visit to Dhaka .

 

In principle, there is nothing wrong in India ’s foreign secretary visiting Bangladesh by arrangement with foreign ministry to discuss issues that affect the interests of both countries. But there are questions regarding the abrupt timing and the undiplomatic manner in which the visit was conducted. Under normal protocol, Mr. Menon should have met with his Bangladesh counterpart Mr. Hossain to discuss any relevant issue and then probably could have visited the ministers as a matter of courtesy. Instead, he first met with prime minister Sheikh Hasina, without anybody else being present, and then with army chief, Gen. Moeen, obviously to discuss some ‘secret’ issues or a hidden agenda. Naturally one may ask the question: Can Bangladesh foreign secretary go to New Delhi and meet with the Indian prime minister and India ’s army chief on a very short notice and bypassing the South Block? What message Mr. Menon conveyed to Gen. Moeen that cannot be made public ? And is it within the normal protocol for a foreign civil bureaucrat to call on the army chief of another sovereign country? Has Bangladesh under the new regime already become another Bhutan or a satellite state of India ?

 

The true purpose of the Indian official’s emergency visit to Dhaka is shrouded in mystery. An initial report on April 15 (2009) in The Indian Express [1] revealed that “Menon emphasised the need to crack down on elements that aim to destabilise peace and security in the two countries.” Menon was said to be “very satisfied” with the discussion in Dhaka .

 

The nature of the ‘elements’ to be cracked down was not made explicit, but one can easily understand that he was talking about the ‘Islamic’ terrorists and ULFA and other insurgents in India’s north east. But these issues again are not new; Indian rulers embedded have been raising these issues for more than a decade now, mainly to corner Bangladesh in international arena and to justify their ever-increasing militarism and subversion in Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries.

 

Another story on the purpose of Mr. Menon’s visit, according to a report in The Indian Express on April 18 (2009) [2], was to ‘warn’ Dhaka of a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Hasina. The report again said that there was a plot by ‘terrorists’ to target the new Sheikh Hasina Government, which “prompted India to go ahead and warn the Bangladesh top brass of the threat. Given the sensitivity of the information, Menon himself went to Dhaka to convey the information.” Menon also “exchanged notes with his counterpart on the activities of the radical groups operating in Bangladesh and are suspected to have played a role in the recent BDR massacre.”

 

The plot to assassinate Sheikh Hasina was given extra coverage in the Ananda Bazar Potrika of Kolkata on the same day (April 18, 2009) [3]. The story, written by Mr. Joyanta Ghosal, dealt with the recent BDR rebellion in Dhaka (February 25-26, 2009) and said that the plot was aimed at killing Sheikh Hasina and destabilising her government by ‘Islamic terrorists’. Mr. Ghosal blamed the outlawed ‘Harkat-Ul-Jihad – Bangladesh (HUJI-B) for two earlier attempts to assassinate Sheikh Hasina.

 

Mr. Ghosal also engaged in shameless fabrication and propaganda against the BDR forces. He alleged that on April 18, 2001, BDR forces under the command of Maj. Gen. Fazlur Rahman abducted and killed a number of BSF forces (Padua–Roumari border area) which was an act of aggression against India and also had militant (Jongi) links.

 

This type of propaganda carried by the ‘big brothers’ in India and supported by some of their ‘little brothers’ in Bangladesh is clearly motivated. It is clearly directed against the BDR forces by portraying them as aggressors and main barrier for peace along the border. However, for the sake of truth, it should be noted that on April 18, 2001, a contingent of heavily armed BSF forces forcibly entered into Bangladesh territory in Boraibari (Roumari) and faced a fierce resistance by the local BDR soldiers and Bangladesh villagers. About 18 BSF intruders were killed, all inside Bangladesh territories, which confirmed that it was BSF that was the intruder and aggressor and that BDR only did what was required of them, that is, to defend their country’s lands and people from foreign aggression. It is a shame on the part of Bangladesh governments and the self-styled ‘pro-liberation intellectuals’ that the BDR soldiers and common citizens (some of them gave their lives) who faced the enemy aggression have not been accorded their due honour and recognition. A nation that does not honour its heroes, inevitably end up being ruled by cowards, villains and traitors.

 

That the Indian official went to Dhaka to have exclusive meetings with the prime minister and the army chief just to warn Dhaka of a possible plot to assassinate Sheikh Hasina does not seem credible either. Even if there were a plot, Indian government could have simply passed on the specific information to Dhaka without the necessity of any controversial visit. In recent years, Bangladesh army together with different security and intelligence agencies have suffered setbacks due to a variety of reasons, but the country is still capable of protecting her prime minister by taking the necessary security measures.

 

The most likely reason for Mr. Menon’s unscheduled visit was probably connected with the investigations of the BDR massacre on February 25-26. By now, Bangladesh army’s own probe committee must have some definite idea about the real criminals and traitors within the BDR ranks as well as their external masterminds. Whether they will disclose the details (or will be allowed to do so) is another matter. But we want to know. Our people want to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The nation would not accept any cover up.

 

The tragic event has shaken in a very significant way the very fabric of Bangladesh state and its defence forces. The ruling government and their Indian ‘friends’ have been dishing out what seems to be a propaganda ploy by suggesting the involvement of, in their words, ‘anti-liberation forces’, HUJI-B/JMB, opposition Jamat or a section of BNP. Hundreds of BDR forces who took part in the conspiracy and/or the actual mayhem have been taken into custody and being interrogated. But nothing concrete has resulted so far. The investigations that should have taken only one week to finish according to the boastful Home Minister’s original announcement have now dragged on for nearly two months, without any immediate end in sight. The process is very complicated and may take some time, but there is a growing concern regarding the true intentions of the BAL government, since a national tragedy is being manipulated for political purposes.

 

It is now known that the trial of the BDR personnel involved in the Peelkhana crime would be held under military rules. It is most likely that all those found guilty in the murderous campaign would be given severe punishment including death sentence. But these are the foot soldiers. Many of them would pay a very high price for being involved (willingly or unwillingly) in somebody else’s deadly conspiracy.

 

But what about those who masterminded the commando-style operation to destroy the country’s defence forces? What about those elements belonging to the ruling BAL party who held conspiratorial meetings before the actual event on February 25? What about those ruling party MPs and leaders who were in contact with the BDR rebels? What about the crores of taka that were distributed within Peelkhana as Mr. Nanak said? What about the various killer groups and their leaders hiding in India during the last 5/6 years (to avoid ‘encounters’ with RAB) but returning home after the present government came to power in January last? Is it not mysterious that Indian Intelligence knows everything that happens or about to happen in Bangladesh while it fails to unearth hundreds of conspiratorial plots within its own boundaries?

 

What about the possible involvement of foreign commandos capable of planning and executing such a surgical strike against Bangladesh army? Who will gain most if the country and its defence forces collapse? Was the real mastermind ISI, R&AW, MOSSAD, CIA, MI6 or any other foreign agency determined to destroy Bangladesh defence forces? Was it, as alleged by some Indian media outlets, some elements of the Bangladesh Army itself who were supposed to be ‘anti-liberation’ and ousted by the ‘pro-liberation’ Gen. Moeen during the last two years?

 

We have to wait for few more months to see exactly what the government would do to identify the masterminds behind the Peelkhana conspiracy.

 

The threat to Sheikh Hasina’s life is not new; she had been targeted for assassination several times before by some ‘Islamic’ terrorist groups. But assassination of political leaders in South Asia (and also in other countries) is not something new and all the conspirators are not Muslim fanatics. The murderers of Sheikh Mujib and Ziaur Rahman were not ‘Islamic’ terrorists but agents of foreign powers. Assassins who took away the lives of M. K. Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajib Gandhi in India were Hindu or Shikh fanatics. The true identities of the assassins of Liakat Ali Khan and Benazir Bhutto are still shrouded in mystery. So, conspiracy for terrorism and assassination is not an exclusive reserve for some ‘Islamic terrorists’ alone, as implied by Indian media and their cohorts in Bangladesh . The culture of terrorism was first introduced in Bengal in early 20th century by the ‘nationalist’ Hindu youths (Anushiloni and similar underground groups). The culture of ‘suicide bombing’ was first introduced in the South Asian region by the Tamil Tigers (Hindu) in Sri Lanka .

 

The reports on the threat to Sheikh Hasina’s life by ‘Islamic terrorists’ are not ordinary ‘news stories’. These are designed to create an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty in the minds of Bangladeshi people as a part of ‘information war’ by India ’s rulers. This game of the ‘fear card’ is being played by Indian ‘information warriors’ in collusion with their surrogates and agents in Bangladesh . There are many historic and strategic reasons for this game against Bangladesh but the most important one at the moment is to divert public attention from exposing the real masterminds behind the Peelkhana massacre. The dark hands of R&AW and India’s other special forces (trained by MOSSAD) are widely believed to have planned and executed the commando-style operation at Peelkhana, with the use of some misguided BDR soldiers as front covers and cannon fodders. Whether Mr. Menon came to Dhaka to warn Sheikh Hasina and Gen. Moeen of ‘dire consequences’ in case India ’s involvement in the conspiracy is made public is not known. But such a possibility cannot be ruled out.

 

Let me conclude this essay with a quote from columnist M. Sahidul Islam, “The broader strategy involving the fate of Bangladesh is being implemented by phases. Now that the spotlight is being carefully shifted from the BDR tragedy to the removal of Khaleda Zia from her legitimately owned house, and to the bogey of Islamic militancy, we once again are scared to the hilt by the ongoing deflections and deceptions.” [4]

 

( Cardiff April 21, 2009)

 

Notes and references:

[1] http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-tells-bangla-to-crack-down-on-elements-threatening-peace/447028/

[2] http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-tells-bangla-to-watch-out-for-assassination-plot/448308/

[3] http://www.anandabazar.com/archive/1090418/index.htm

[4] http://www.weeklyholiday.net/front.html#02

 

[Dr. K. M. A. Malik is a former Professor of Chemistry, Dhaka University , and a Lecturer in Chemistry, Cardiff University (UK). He has published about 370 research papers in chemistry journals. As a freelance columnist, he also writes regularly on contemporary political and social issues. His published books include: Challenges in Bangladesh Politics – a Londoner’s view (2005); War on Terror – A pretext for new colonisation (2005), and Bangladesher Rajniti – Mookh O Mookhosh (2003). His e-mail contact: kmamalik@aol.com]



President Ahmadinejad’s Speech At The Durban Review Conference On Racism
April 23, 2009, 11:51 am
Filed under: Muslims, USA

President Ahmadinejad’s Speech At The Durban Review Conference On Racism

The following is the speech of the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Durban Review Conference on racism in Geneva on April 20

Mr. Chairman, honorable secretary general of the United Nations, honorable United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Ladies and gentleman:

We have gathered in the follow-up to the Durban conference against racism and racial discrimination to work out practical mechanisms for our holy and humanitarian campaigns.

Over the last centuries, humanity has gone through great sufferings and pains. In the Medieval Ages, thinkers and scientists were sentenced to death. It was then followed by a period of slavery and slave trade. Innocent people were taken captive in their millions and separated from their families and loved ones to be taken to Europe and America under the worst conditions. A dark period that also experienced occupation, lootings and massacres of innocent people.

Many years passed by before nations rose up and fought for their liberty and freedom and they paid a high price for it. They lost millions of lives to expel the occupiers and establish independent and national governments. However, it did not take long before power grabbers imposed two wars in Europe which also plagued a part of Asia and Africa. Those horrific wars claimed about a hundred million lives and left behind massive devastation. Had lessons been learnt from the occupations, horrors and crimes of those wars, there would have been a ray of hope for the future.

The victorious powers called themselves the conquerors of the world while ignoring or down treading upon rights of other nations by the imposition of oppressive laws and international arrangements. Ladies and gentlemen, let us take a look at the UN Security Council which is one of the legacies of World War I and World War II. What was the logic behind their granting themselves the veto right? How can such logic comply with humanitarian or spiritual values? Would it not be inconformity with the recognized principles of justice, equality before the law, love and human dignity? Would it not be discrimination, injustice, violations of human rights or humiliation of the majority of nations and countries

The council is the highest decision-making world body for safeguarding international peace and security. How can we expect the realization of justice and peace when discrimination is legalized and the origin of the law is dominated by coercion and force rather than by justice and the rights?

Coercion and arrogance is the origin of oppression and wars. Although today many proponents of racism condemn racial discrimination in their words and their slogans, a number of powerful countries have been authorized to decide for other nations based on their own interests and at their own discretion and they can easily violate all laws and humanitarian values as they have done so.

Following World War II, they resorted to military aggression to make an entire nation homeless under the pretext of Jewish suffering and they sent migrants from Europe, the United States and other parts of the world in order to establish a totally racist government in occupied Palestine. And, in fact, in compensation for the dire consequences of racism in Europe, they helped bring to power the most cruel and repressive racist regime in Palestine.

The Security Council helped stabilize the occupying regime and supported it in the past 60 years giving them a free hand to commit all sorts of atrocities. It is all the more regrettable that a number of Western governments and the United States have committed themselves to defending those racist perpetrators of genocide while the awakened-conscience and free-minded people of the world condemn aggression, brutalities and the bombardment of civilians in Gaza. The supporters of Israel have always been either supportive or silent against the crimes.

Dear friends, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen. What are the root causes of the US attacks against Iraq or the invasion of Afghanistan?

Was the motive behind the invasion of Iraq anything other than the arrogance of the then US administration and the mounting pressures on the part of the possessors of wealth and power to expand their sphere of influence seeking the interests of giant arms manufacturing companies affecting a noble culture with thousands of years of historical background, eliminating the potential and practical threats of Muslim countries against the Zionist regime or to control and plunder the energy resources of the Iraqi people?

Why, indeed, almost a million people were killed and injured and a few more millions were displaced? Why, indeed, the Iraqi people have suffered enormous losses amounting to hundreds of billions of dollars? And why was billions of dollars imposed on the American people as the result of these military actions? Was not the military action against Iraq planned by the Zionists and their allies in the then US administration in complicity with the arms manufacturing countries and the possessors of wealth? Did the invasion of Afghanistan restore peace, security and economic wellbeing in the country?

The United States and its allies not only have failed to contain the production of drugs in Afghanistan, but the cultivation of narcotics has multiplied in the course of their presence. The basic question is that what was the responsibility and the job of the then US administration and its allies? Did they represent the countries of the world? Have they been mandated by them? Have they been authorized by the people of the world to interfere in all parts of the globe, of course mostly in our region? Are not these measures a clear example of egocentrism, racism, discrimination or infringement upon the dignity and independence of nations?

Ladies and gentlemen, who is responsible for the current global economic crisis? Where did the crisis start from? From Africa, Asia or from the United States in the first place then spreading across Europe and their allies?

For a long time, they imposed inequitable economic regulations by their political power on the international economy. They imposed a financial and monetary system without a proper international oversight mechanism on nations and governments that played no role in repressive trends or policies. They have not even allowed their people to oversea or monitor their financial policies. They introduced all laws and regulations in defiance of all moral values only to protect the interests of the possessors of wealth and power.

They further presented a definition for market economy and competition that denied many of the economic opportunities that could be available to other countries of the world. They even transferred their problems to others while the waves of crisis lashed back plaguing their economies with thousands of billions of dollars in budget deficit. And today, they are injecting hundreds of billions of dollars of cash from the pockets of their own people and other nations into the failing banks, companies and financial institutions making the situation more and more complicated for their economy and their people. They are simply thinking about maintaining power and wealth. They could not care any less about the people of the world and even their own people.

Mr. President, Ladies and gentlemen, Racism is rooted in the lack of knowledge concerning the root of human existence as the selected creature of God. It is also the product of his deviation from the true path of human life and the obligations of mankind in the world of creation, failing to consciously worship God, not being able to think about the philosophy of life or the path to perfection that are the main ingredients of divine and humanitarian values which have restricted the horizon of human outlook making transient and limited interests, the yardstick for his action. That is why evil’s power took shape and expanded its realm of power while depriving others from enjoying equitable and just opportunities of development.

The result has been the making of an unbridled racism that is posing the most serious threats against international peace and has hindered the way for building peaceful coexistence in the entire world. Undoubtedly, racism is the symbol of ignorance which has deep roots in history and it is, indeed, the sign of frustration in the development of human society.

It is, therefore, crucially important to trace the manifestations of racism in situations or in societies where ignorance or lack of knowledge prevails. This increasing general awareness and understanding towards the philosophy of human existence is the principle struggle against such manifestations, and reveals the truth that human kind centers on the creation of the universe and the key to solving the problem of racism is a return to spiritual and moral values and finally the inclination to worship God Almighty.

The international community must initiate collective moves to raise awareness in afflicted societies where ignorance of racism still prevails so as to bring to a halt the spread of these malicious manifestations.

Dear Friends, today, the human community is facing a kind of racism which has tarnished the image of humanity in the beginning of the third millennium.

World Zionism personifies racism that falsely resorts to religions and abuses religious sentiments to hide its hatred and ugly face. However, it is of great importance to bring into focus the political goals of some of the world powers and those who control huge economic resources and interests in the world. They mobilize all the resources including their economic and political influence and world media to render support in vain to the Zionist regime and to maliciously diminish the indignity and disgrace of this regime.

This is not simply a question of ignorance and one cannot conclude these ugly phenomena through consular campaigns. Efforts must be made to put an end to the abuse by Zionists and their political and international supporters and in respect with the will and aspirations of nations. Governments must be encouraged and supported in their fights aimed at eradicating this barbaric racism and to move towards reform in current international mechanisms.

There is no doubt that you are all aware of the conspiracies of some powers and Zionist circles against the goals and objectives of this conference. Unfortunately, there have been literatures and statements in support of Zionists and their crimes. And it is the responsibility of honorable representatives of nations to disclose these campaigns which run counter to humanitarian values and principles.

It should be recognized that boycotting such a session as an outstanding international capacity is a true indication of supporting the blatant example of racism. In defending human rights, it is primarily important to defend the rights of all nations to participate equally in all important international decision making processes without the influence of certain world powers.

And secondly, it is necessary to restructure the existing international organizations and their respective arrangements. Therefore this conference is a testing ground and the world public opinion today and tomorrow will judge our decisions and our actions.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, the world is going through rapid fundamental changes. Power relations have become weak and fragile. The sound of cracks in the pillars of world systems can now be heard. Major political and economic structures are on the brink of collapse. Political and security crises are on the rise. The worsening crisis in the world economy for which there can be seen no bright prospect, demonstrates the rising tide of far-reaching global changes. I have repeatedly emphasized the need to change the wrong direction through which the world is being managed today and I have also warned of the dire consequences of any delay in this crucial responsibility.

Now in this valuable event, I would like to announce to all leaders, thinkers and to all nations of the world present in this meeting and those who have a hunger for peace and economic well-being that the unjust economic management of the world is now at the end of the road. This deadlock was inevitable since the logic of this imposed management was oppressive.

The logic of collective management of world affairs is based on noble aspirations which centers on human beings and the supremacy of the almighty God. Therefore it defies any policy or plan which goes against the influence of nations. The victory of right over wrong and the establishment of a just world system has been promised by the Almighty God and his messengers and it has been a shared goal of all human beings from different societies and generations in the course of history. Realization of such a future depends on the knowledge of creation and the belief of the faithful.

The making of a global society is in fact the accomplishment of a noble goal held in the establishment of a common global system that will be run with the participation of all nations of the world in all major decision making processes and the definite root to this sublime goal.

Scientific and technical capacities as well as communication technology have created a common and widespread understanding of the world society and has provided the necessary ground for a common system. Now it is upon all intellectuals, thinkers and policy makers in the world to carry out their historical responsibility with a firm belief in this definite root. I also want to lay emphasis on the fact that Western liberalism and capitalism has reached its end since it has failed to perceive the truth of the world and humans as they are

It has imposed its own goals and directions on human beings. There is no regard for human and divine values, justice, freedom, love and brotherhood and it has based living on intense competition, securing individual and cooperative material interest.

Now we must learn from the past by initiating collective efforts in dealing with present challenges and in this connection, and as a closing remark, I wish to draw your kind attention to two important issues:

Firstly, it is absolutely possible to improve the existing situation in the world. However it must be noted that this could be only achieved through the cooperation of all countries in order to get the best out of the existing capacities and resources in the world. My participation in this conference is because of my conviction to these important issues as well as to our common responsibility of defending the rights of nations vis-à-vis the sinister phenomena of racism and being with you, the thinkers of the world.

Secondly, mindful of the inefficiency of the current international political, economic and security systems, it is necessary to focus on divine and humanitarian values by referring to the true definition of human beings based upon justice and respect for the rights of all people in all parts of the world and by acknowledging the past wrong doings in the past dominant management of the world, and to undertake collective measures to reform the existing structures.

In this respect, it is crucially important to rapidly reform the structure of the Security Council, including the elimination of the discriminatory veto right and to change the current world financial and monetary systems. It is evident that lack of understanding of the urgency for change is equivalent to the much heavier costs of delay

Dear Friends, beware that to move in the direction of justice and human dignity is like a rapid flow in the current of a river. Let us not forget the essence of love and affection. The promised future of human beings is a great asset that may serve our purposes in keeping together to build a new world.

In order to make the world a better place full of love and blessings, a world devoid of poverty and hatred, merging the increasing blessings of God Almighty and the righteous managing of the perfect human being, let us all join hands in friendship in the fulfillment of such a new world.

I thank you Mr. President, Secretary General and all distinguished participants for having the patience to listen to me. Thank you very much.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=92046



Deep Recession in America: The Crash of 2009, The Collapse of 2010
April 9, 2009, 11:28 am
Filed under: USA
Deep Recession in America: The Crash of 2009, The Collapse of 2010
The real economic collapse could come by the end of this year


The Sugar-coated Poison: India’s offer of ‘help’ to restructure BDR
April 6, 2009, 9:34 am
Filed under: Bangladesh, India

The Sugar-coated Poison: India’s offer of ‘help’ to restructure BDR

Dr. K. M. A. Malik

 

Introduction

 

The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) headed by its Director General (DG), M. L. Kumawat, and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) led by its DG, Maj. Gen. Mainul Islam, had a three day ‘Border Coordination Conference’ last week (March 30-April 1, 2009) in New Delhi. This kind of conference is held more or less on yearly basis to discuss various problems along the Indo-Bangladesh border. And as usual, the BDR and BSF agreed to strengthen joint efforts for preventing trans-border crimes like illegal movements across the border, trafficking in women and children, drugs smuggling and gunrunning. The BDR chief on return home said on April 2 that both sides agreed for ‘closer cooperation’ between the two forces’ to deal with the complex range of issues on the border. He praised BSF for their professional role in maintaining peace and tranquility on the border during the recent BDR crisis [1].

 

We do not know exactly what was discussed and agreed upon in the latest meeting. Full details or records of the meeting are not available except few points on what both the BSF and BDR authorities want us to know. There lies the problem: the ordinary public in both India and Bangladesh are given only a partial picture of the situation, they are never presented with the ‘full story’. Although Bangladesh has been a victim of constant hostility and aggression along the border areas (hundreds of Bangladeshi civilians being abducted and killed by BSF every year) since its birth, its past and present rulers have never refrained from propagating the false idea that India is a ‘friendly neighbour’. Our people have been kept in the dark about the true design of BSF consistent with the policies of Indian rulers.

It has been reported that ‘the BSF chief praised Bangladesh government’s commitment not to allow use of Bangladesh territory for any activity against India [1], but it is not known if the BDR chief had also asked the Indian authorities not to allow different elements and outfits to use their territories for carrying out anti-Bangladesh activities [2]. It is also unknown if Gen. Islam has accepted the long-standing Indian allegation that the armed insurgents in India’s north east have hundreds of bases and training camps in Bangladesh and that Bangladesh security forces guided by Pakistan’s ISI provide active help to the insurgents to destabilize India. To our knowledge, this type of allegations (among many others), raised by India but denied by Bangladesh, has been a running theme in all past meetings between the two sides, especially on issues related to terrorism, security and border management.

The most significant, but not at all surprising, point is the offer of ‘Indian help’ by the BSF DG in ‘reorganizing’ BDR [3]. When asked how the Indian BSF would assist ‘reorganization’ of the BDR as reported by the Indian media, Gen. Islam said it could be through exchange of information between the two border guards. To another query about how some Indian media people had received information about the killing of BDR DG Shakeel Ahmed and other army officers on February 25-26 before the news broke out in Dhaka, the General said that ‘it was the responsibility of the Indian media to explain how they had received the information’ [1]. This was most probably not to imply that some Indian agents or pro-Indian sources were active inside Peelkhana or monitoring the tragic event from a very close distance from the very beginning of the tragedy. Such an implication, obviously, would have highly embarrassed the ‘friendly hosts’.

Awami League leaders linked with BDR Massacre?

It is now about 5-6 weeks that the Peelkhana massacre was perpetrated by the enemies of Bangladesh and her people. The ‘India-friendly’ government of Sheikh Hasina initially promised to find out the culprits within one week but nothing significant (apart from taking about 800 BDR soldiers in detention) has happened. The prime minister as well as her several cabinet colleagues have been blaming the ‘Islamic militants or (Jongis), opposing political parties and leaders as possible perpetrators even when the enquiries by government agencies and army are in progress. Obviously they have taken cue from the Indian propagandists linked with R&AW and are trying to divert public attention from the ‘real directors’ of the tragic drama. It has been already reported in the media that some Awami League leaders had prior contacts with some of the leaders of the BDR rebels and that they might have been involved in the conspiracy. According to a report in the American Chronicle, names of a number of leaders belonging to Sheikh Hasina’s party and supporters such as Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Mirza Azam, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Barrister Fazle Noor Taposh, Hasanul Huq Inu, Rahsed Khan Menon, Abdul Jalil, Liakot Sikder, Sajeda Chowdhury, Joinal Hazari, Haji Mockbul, Shamim Osman, Abul Hasnat Abdullah, Pankaj Deb Nath, Bahauddin Nasim are already in the list of suspects in the BDR massacre case [4]. Instead of advising the civil and military investigators to question these and all other probable suspects outside the BDR forces, the prime minister and her commerce minister Faruk Khan who is ‘coordinating’ the enquiries are both saying different things on different occasions. Doubts are already being raised about the true motives of the government and if the results of the investigations would be published at all. The reason is that the government is trying to ‘discover’ a Jongi-Jamat-Pakistani link with the Peelkhana Massacre at the exclusion of any probable Indian link. If the first link cannot be established beyond doubt or if any Grand Alliance-Indian link is discovered, then one can rest assured that the investigations results would never be published.

Silence of the army chief

The government has shown utter incompetence and naivety in dealing with the Peelkhana crisis and its aftermath. They are playing dirty politics with the national tragedy. Surprisingly, the very talkative (and India-friendly) army chief, General Moeen, who played crucial role in bringing Sheikh Hasina back to power, has remained conspicuously silent since the Peelkhana massacre. Ordinary soldiers and most officers of the armed forces are blaming the army chief as well as the prime minister for ‘negligence’ of duty and their failure to respond in time to the SOS call from General Shakil before he and other army officers were gunned down on February 25.

During the last 2 years, Gen. Moeen has spent too much time in trying to restructure the country’s politics and publishing books rather than concentrating on the defence and security aspects of the state. At the present time he is allegedly interested more in getting another year’s extension to his service as army chief than in finding out the actual planners and instigators (foreign and local) of the Peelkana Massacre. Deaths of about ten BDR rebel soldiers while in custody for questioning and of the Imam of the Peelkhana Mosque seem to be ‘too many’ for accepting them as ‘natural’ and questions are being raised if these deaths are due to torture for extracting confession or to eliminate ‘wrong’ witnesses. It is very sad that all our institutions have become suspects in public eyes mainly because of the lack of transparency in the activities of our leaders.

It is no secret that Sheikh Hasina and her foreign mentors are implementing a controversial and highly disastrous ‘restructuring programme’ of the armed forces and intelligence agencies, and that Gen. Moeen is a partner in the process. The ‘restructuring programme’ involves the retirement and removal of officers allegedly sympathetic to BNP/Jamat or linked with ISI/Islamic terrorists. Sheikh Hasina’s controversial son, Sajib Wajed Joy, who lives in the USA and also claims to be the prime minister’s adviser, has openly argued that Bangladesh army is riddled with ‘Islamic fundamentalists’ and that it should be remodeled by recruiting members from the ‘secularist’ forces [5]. This essentially means that the armed forces must conform to the so-called pro-Awami League and pro Indian policies, even if these policies are detrimental to Bangladesh ’s security and national interests.

Restructuring of BDR with India ’s ‘help’?

Let us return to the question of India ’s ‘help’ in restructuring BDR. It is true that BDR rebellion on February 25-26 and the associated tragedy have exposed the vulnerability of the country’s border defence forces in particular and the armed forces in general. It is also very clear that something went wrong somewhere and it is absolutely important that existing deficiencies within these and intelligence agencies are pinpointed and remedial measures implemented for the sake of the country’s security and defence.

The new BDR DG has spoken about the need for restructuring and remodeling the border security force including the change of its name from Bangladesh Rifles to something different. Different people may have different views about the change of name but considering the nature and ferocity of the rebellion and the large number of active participants in the heinous crime within Peelkhana as well as desertion from duties by large number of soldiers at many border posts require that the rebels and their sympathizers should be excluded from the new force. BDR soldiers who did not rebel or were not associated with the rebels should not be punished by early retirement or by other means. New members should be recruited on the basis of traditional recruitment rules and not based on the so-called ‘secularist’ criteria as proposed by Mr. Sajib Wajed Joy. Of course, the matter relates to the defence forces and appropriate decisions should be taken on the basis of our own experts from the armed forces.

Bangladesh authorities should reject the so-called offer of help by India to reorganize BDR, since whatever may be the PR campaign, R&AW and/or another secret arm of Indian defence forces are widely suspected as the planner and instigator of the Peelkhana Massacre. Different pro-Indian people have tried to link the JMB-type ‘Islamic’ terrorist groups to the massacre, but investigations carried so far have not found any evidence for such a link. On the contrary, some of those arrested and/or suspected to be involved in the conspiracy belong to the Awami League and their allied groups [4]. Many of these elements, previously accused of toll-collection, smuggling, terrorism, murder, arson and other serious crimes, fled the country after 2001 when the BNP-led government came to power and were sheltered by India. Kolkata and some districts in West Bengal became a haven for these criminals. Many Awami League leaders including Nanak and Mirza Azam also fled the country and lived in India during the military-backed Fakhruddin government. It is highly probable that some of these elements were groomed by R&AW to act as their operatives in Bangladesh . It is very hard to prove these accusations with documentary evidence, but it is widely believed that the R&AW network in Bangladesh (and other neighbouring countries) is widespread incorporating elements within political, academic, legal, media, cultural, NGO, business and religious (including JMB) organizations. It is also highly probable that the civil administration, military and BDR forces and intelligence agencies have long been infiltrated by R&AW agents.

Considering the long-standing record of anti-Bangladesh, anti-Muslim covert and overt actions by India on different fronts, it would be foolish to accept India ’s offer of help to reorganize and restructure BDR. India has never wanted a sovereign Bangladesh with relatively strong and credible border and defence forces that, at least, can thwart all aggressive foreign designs; it wants a subservient neighbour with only a nominal defence capability, which can be blackmailed and kept under Delhi ’s hegemony.

Indian rulers often remind us of their help in Bangladesh Independence Struggle in 1971. We have never denied their help, especially the help provided by the Indian people in sheltering and feeding millions of refugees who were forced to cross over the border due to the barbarity of the Pakistani occupation forces. But the help provided by the Indian government and its armed forces was not that benign or one-sided. India ’s main purpose was to dismember and weaken Pakistan , its arch-enemy since 1947 and the main obstacle in realizing its geo-strategic aim of establishing itself as the undisputed leader in South Asia and Indian Ocean regions [6]. And India , indeed, has succeeded, to a great extent, to fulfill its strategic aims to get a ‘great power’ status. Nobody should ignore the break-up of Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh as a contributing factor to India ’s self-confidence and gradual rise as a significant economic and military power.

Tajuddin Ahmad’s seven-point secret agreement

That Indian rulers did not want a fully independent and sovereign Bangladesh, but a client state under its hegemony, from the very beginning was made clear in a less publicized seven-point document which Mr.. Tajuddin Ahmad, the prime minister of the Bangladesh government-in-exile in India in 1971, was obliged to sign as a condition for India’s direct military campaign in Bangladesh accelerate the defeat and surrender of the Pakistani occupation forces and to install a puppet government in power.

The seven-point document referred to above reads as follows [7]:

(1)    A para-military armed force for Bangladesh will be raised under supervision of the Indian military experts; this force shall be stronger and more active than the regular armed forces of Bangladesh .

(2)    Bangladesh shall procure all military equipment from India and under planned supervision of the Indian military experts.

(3)    Bangladesh shall direct her foreign trade under supervision and control of the Indian government.

(4)    Yearly and five-yearly development plans for Bangladesh shall conform to Indian development plans.

(5)    Foreign policy of Bangladesh must be compatible with and conform to that of India .

(6)    Bangladesh shall not unilaterally rescind any of the treaties without prior approval of the Indian government.

(7)    In accordance with the treaties signed before December (1971) war of Pakistan and India , Indian force shall enter into Bangladesjh at any time and shall crush any resistance that may erupt there.


The above document should act as an eye-opener for all Bangladeshi citizens since it reveals the true nature of Indian ‘friendship and help’ towards Bangladesh and her people, right from the beginning of the liberation struggle. And there is no evidence to suggest that the India ’s mindset has changed even after 38 years to accept and respect Bangladesh ’s legitimate rights as a fully sovereign state.

Conclusion

The ‘India-friendly’ Hasina government, her top advisers, top military leaders and civil bureaucrats should remember that the people of Bangladesh have never wished to surrender to the dictates from Delhi and they will never do so without a fight. The present government has an overwhelming majority in the parliament, but they must not go against the collective will of our people and make our border and armed forces dependent on India ’s ‘help’. Any attempt to reduce the strength and status of our armed forces or the border security forces to the status of ‘Rakkhi Bahini’ under Indian advisers (as was done during 1972-75 during the first Awami League government) would have disastrous consequences for both the government and the country.

Notes and references:

[1] http://www.newagebd.com/2009/apr/03/front.html

[2] For detailed discussions on the Indo-Bangladesh border problems and BSF aggression (including Indira-Mujib Border Agreement (1974), please refer to the series of highly informative and analytical essays written by some prominent experts from Bangladesh and India and published in Bangladesh Defence Journal, September 2008, pp. 14-55.

[3] The topic was initially carried in the April 2 (2009) issues of only two (out of several dozens) daily newspapers in Dhaka : Prothom Alo (http://www.prothom-alo.com/archive/news_details_home.php?dt=2009-04-02&issue_id=1237&nid=MjI5MjY) and Naya Diganta (http://www.dailynayadiganta.com/2009/04/02/fullnews.asp?News_ID=137425&sec=1).

[4] http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/96992

[5] http://www.harvardir.org/index.php?page=article&id=1784&p=1

[6] This point is also confirmed by the Indian diplomat and writer, Mr. J. N. Dixit, in his comment, “Our political establishment, the media and academics are quite clear that India got involved in the Bangladesh liberation movement not only on the basis of human and political justification of the cause but also for meeting India’s own political and strategic interests (J. N. Dixit, Liberation and Beyond, The University Press Ltd, Dhaka, 1999, p. 270).

[7] Oli Ahad, Jatio Rajniti (1945 to 1975), 2nd Ed. , Bangladesh Cooperative Book Society, Dhaka , p. 450. It is also said that Tajuddin Ahmad signed this infamous instrument for surrender to Indian hegemony against his will and that he fainted after he put his signature on the document.

( Cardiff , April 4, 2009)

Dr. K. M. A. Malik is a former Professor of Chemistry, Dhaka University , and a Lecturer in Chemistry, Cardiff University (UK). He has published about 370 research papers in chemistry journals. As a freelance columnist, he also writes regularly on contemporary political and social issues. His published books include: Challenges in Bangladesh Politics – a Londoner’s view (2005); War on Terror – A pretext for new colonisation (2005), and Bangladesher Rajniti – Mookh O Mookhosh (2003).. His e-mail contact: kmamalik@aol.com