There are multifaceted attempts by domestic and external forces to topple the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh from power by November. With this goal in mind, a vicious nexus of ‘three musketeers’—namely, William B. Milam, John Danilovich, and Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey – is working under direct instructions from Tarique Rahman, a convicted terrorist and acting chairman of the ultra-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Tarique, based in London, has been spending millions of dollars in the US and other Western countries, as well as in Bangladesh, with the agenda of intensifying international pressure on the ruling Awami League government and law enforcement and security agencies in Bangladesh. Furthermore, he is heavily funding destructive and terrorist plots aimed at destabilizing the country’s law and order situation.
Meanwhile, at Tarique Rahman’s direct order, members of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party are carrying out numerous terrorist acts, including arson attacks, assaults on hospitals and ambulances, vandalism, physical assaults, and murders of police and political opponents. There are also reports in the media about the BNP’s attempts to sow confusion in society through a fake advisor to US President Joe Biden.
According to media reports, Mian Zahidul Islam Arefy visited the office of the ultra-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on October 28 and claimed to be an advisor to the US President Joe Biden’s election campaign and a member of the National Democratic Committee (DNC). Addressing the media, he stated, “I am a member of the National Democratic Committee… we have a close connection… Joe Biden [US president] and we exchange text messages 10 to 15 times a day”. He assured BNP supporters stating the US has given a deadline for Hasina to step down from the government on November 3. “If she doesn’t comply, you will see our actions”, he added, stating that one of his close associates is currently in Bangladesh, working closely with US embassy officials in Dhaka.
It may be mentioned here that, the then US ambassador James Moriarty in an official cable dated November 3, 2008 dubbed BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman as “notorious” and “widely feared” and termed him as a “symbol of kleptocratic government and violent politics in Bangladesh”.
Days before Biden’s fake advisor Mian Zahidul Islam Arefy appeared at the office of BNP along with its leaders, a controversial reporter named Chandan Nandy through a piece published in a suspicious website named NENews had openly proclaimed stating he had telephonic conversation with a high-officials at White House and State Department who reportedly notified him that Biden administration has instruction Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to step-down by November 3. Nandy even went further by claiming that those “high-officials” in Washington even confirmed by matter by reading their letter which had been handed to Bangladesh authorities.
Later, it was revealed that Chandan Nandy had conspired to circulate this baseless rumor at the behest of William B. Milam, John Danilovich, and Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey. Ansarey had arranged a phone call between Chandan Nandy and Mian Zahidul Islam Arefy, during which Arefy, posing as an advisor to Joe Biden and an “influential leader” of the Democratic Party, informed Nandy that Sheikh Hasina would be forced to step down by November 3. When Mian Zahidul Islam Arefy was arrested by law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh, he provided detailed information about how BNP leaders had plotted the conspiracy to spread rumors about the Biden administration’s threatening message to Sheikh Hasina, calling for her resignation and the transfer of power to an unelected “interim government” led by BNP members.
Prior to this, the BNP succeeded in influencing Mujib Mashal, South Asia bureau chief of The New York Times, to write a lengthy article filled with lies against Sheikh Hasina and the Awami League government. Similar vile propaganda was also published in The Economist. A few days ago, TIME magazine published a cover story clearly aimed at tarnishing the image of Sheikh Hasina and her government.
Following the publication of the TIME magazine story, Indian journalist Dibakar Dutta wrote an article titled ‘Clear signs of US trying to topple Sheikh Hasina government: Regime change operation underway in Bangladesh and why India should be alert’ in the Indian portal OpIndia:
… With just two months away from the elections, the United States government, its agencies and the embedded media are called out for orchestrating a ‘regime change operation’ in Bangladesh.
Attempts are now being made to distort the public perception of incumbent Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and present her as an ‘autocratic leader.’ The Joe Biden-led-US government is accused of election interference under the pretext of ‘saving democracy’ and conducting ‘free and fair elections’ in the Islamic Republic.
Indian journalist and political commentator Balaji Subramaniam also wrote an article titled ‘Is US trying to engineer regime change in Bangladesh to bring a radical Islamist party to power?’ published in The Commune, where he said:
There are clear signs that the United States of America is interfering in the affairs of Bangladesh and trying to get rid of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government. Elections are set to place in Bangladesh in January 2024, with the Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina, seeking a third consecutive term.
Sheikh Hasina has held the position of Prime Minister in the country since 2009 and is known for her centrist political views and has been very active on the international stage, representing Bangladesh in various global forums and advocating for issues such as climate change, refugee crises, and regional cooperation. However, now the incumbent is in trouble with the US which wants a political change to take place.
Now it seems the US is leaning towards the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) which was founded in 1978 by General Ziaur Rahman, a former military officer who became the country’s President. BNP at present gets a lot of support from the Islamists who want Sharia law implemented in one of the most secular Muslim-majority countries.
Just two months before the elections, there are allegations that the United States government, its agencies, and the media with ties to them are involved in a “regime change operation” in Bangladesh. Efforts are currently underway to manipulate the public’s perception of the current Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, portraying her as an “authoritarian leader”.
The Joe Biden-led US government is being accused of interfering in the election process under the guise of “protecting democracy” and ensuring “free and fair elections” in the Islamic Republic.
Also, whenever the photo of a political leader from Asia, Africa, or South America appears in Time Magazine, it must be understood that their time has run out. The US which has powerful state and non-state agencies is utilizing its supportive media outlets, and local representatives in Bangladesh with the resolute in its pursuit of a ‘regime change initiative’ under the pretext of reinstating democratic governance.
While the nefarious attempts of the United States government, its agencies, and embedded media are facing growing criticism and even condemnation, a highly controversial journalist in India, known for his connections with the Pakistani spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has been recruited by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to orchestrate a campaign of fabricated news stories targeting Bangladesh’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, and other important figures in the government. With his notorious leanings towards Pakistan and against India, he is attempting to jeopardize the delicate fabric of India-Bangladesh relations. His actions, perceived as hostile to Indian interests, are causing alarm among those who value the bilateral harmony that has been carefully cultivated over the years. Nandy’s actions are seen as not just a threat to diplomatic ties but also as a catalyst for potential discord between the two friendly neighbors.
Since September this year, Nandy has continuously spread fabricated stories on a dubious website named NENews, targeting Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and key figures in the government, law enforcement, and security agencies. Recently, appearing on Ekattor TV, a popular news channel in Bangladesh, Nandy claimed that a ‘highly placed source in Washington’ informed him of an order by Joe Biden to topple Sheikh Hasina by November 3, which was later proven to be bogus.
Still, during his interview, Chandan Nandy frantically tried to establish his rumor as ‘genuine information’, although it is well-anticipated that for an individual like Nandy, it is impossible to have any access in the White House or State Department from where he can obtain such information. This demonstrates that Nandy was acting on the directives of his employers – the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and the Pakistani ISI. Such a baseless claim by Nandy, though unfounded, points to the complex web of disinformation that can permeate political discourse. It serves as a stark reminder of the potent effects that such deceptive assertions can have on the perception of international relations and internal political stability.
While sensible media in India and around the world continuously expose such conspiracies against Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, it is well-anticipated that as the election date approaches, domestic and external conspirators, vested interest groups, and their mercenaries will intensify their notorious efforts to destabilize Bangladesh.
To prevent Bangladesh from becoming a neo-Taliban state, it is essential for Sheikh Hasina to win the upcoming general election. This is also crucial for regional security.