Column
Secret deal with Israel

29 May 2016

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As time passes, it is becoming clear that the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has been secretly in touch with Israel through her son Tarique Rahman and some of his trusted lieutenants such as Chittagong-based businessman Aslam Chowdhury who is Joint Secretary General of BNP.

Aslam Chowdhury’s recent meeting with Mendi N Safadi, a leader of Israel’s major center-right Likud Party created huge uproar in Bangladesh. Aslam Chowdhury is known to be very close to Tarique Rahman, Senior Vice Chairman of BNP. It is clear  that Chowdhury would not have met Safadi without a clear go-ahead signal from his mentor Tarique Rahman.

 

Tarique Rahman has often showered kudos to his trusted lieutenant for his various anti-Awami League activities. There are 17 cases of arson and violence against Chowdhury. His being at the forefront of violent anti-government activities landed him the coveted position of BNP’s Joint Secretary General. Chowdhury got key position in the party at the specific instance of Tarique Rahman who has always championed and promoted an extremist and violent brand of politics and opposed progressive and democratic principles.
After his arrest on May 15, Chowdhury admitted that he met Safadi on the sidelines of a ‘Indo-Israel Relations’ seminar held in Agra, India, but he said that he attended the meeting in his personal capacity. He said that the seminar was organized by DelAviv, an Indo-Israel relationship platform.

 

It is now known that Chowdhury approached the Israeli leader seeking help from Israeli intelligence agency to topple the democratically elected government headed by Sheikh Hasina.

 

Tarique Rahman has often showered kudos to his trusted lieutenant for his various anti-Awami League activities. There are 17 cases of arson and violence against Chowdhury. His being at the forefront of violent anti-government activities landed him the coveted position of BNP’s Joint Secretary General. Chowdhury got key position in the party at the specific instance of Tarique Rahman who has always championed and promoted an extremist and violent brand of politics and opposed progressive and democratic principles.

 

A widely known acolyte of Tarique Rahman, Chowdhury owes his political relevance and importance to the former’s patronage. As a businessman Chowdhury heads Bangladesh’s Rising Group, which has interest in ship-breaking, real estate, transport and gas filling stations.

 

Chowdhury entered politics in 1991 by joining a platform called ’Zia Parishad’, an off-shoot of BNP. Ever since then he had a close association with BNP, especially BNP’s north district branch.

 

Knowing the style of functioning of BNP, where the writ of the mother-son duo runs unchallenged and unquestioned, it is most unlikely that Aslam Chowdhury would have attended a public meeting in India or hobnobbed with a senior Israeli political leader without specific instructions from Tarique Rahman in this regard.

Being a Muslim majority country Bangladesh does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and its citizens are forbidden to visit Israel. Bangladeshi people have strong anti-Israel sentiments. Salauddin Shoaib Chwdhury who leads the weekly Blitz was convicted of damaging national interests with his articles praising Israel and his planned trip to Israel over a decade ago. A Dhaka court in 2014 sentenced him to seven years in prison for his articles and for trying to visit Israel.

 

Being a Muslim majority country Bangladesh does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and its citizens are forbidden to visit Israel. Bangladeshi people have strong anti-Israel sentiments. Salauddin Shoaib Chwdhury who leads the weekly Blitz was convicted of damaging national interests with his articles praising Israel and his planned trip to Israel over a decade ago. A Dhaka court in 2014 sentenced him to seven years in prison for his articles and for trying to visit Israel.

 

Tarique Rahman is learnt to have instructed Aslam Chowdhury to open a line of communication with the Israelis.

 

There is a widespread feeling in the public domain that both Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman have displayed an utter disregard for standing and credibility of Bangladesh while doggedly pursuing their selfish agenda of returning to power by hook or crook. They have betrayed the Muslim Ummah, the state religion of Islam and showed scant regard for any ideological commitment in blind pursuit of power for which they could go to any length and would not hesitate even to seek help from the Jews. 




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