A secret communication between BNP and ISI exposed

Sohail Choudhury

Secret communication between pro-jihadist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and a clandestine business outlet of Pakistani security agency named ARY has been recently tracked by an intelligence agency. According to information, on December 4, 2018, a person named Towhidul Islam alias Ashiq Islam communicated with an official of ARY Digital asking for “immediate transfer” of the “committed fund” and said the fund is required “for that plan. “

Towhidul, hailing from Bogura district currently lives in the US. He has been active with infamous Hawa Bhaban during the 2001-2006 rule of BNP. He also belongs to the “inner circle” of BNP leader Tarique Rahman. It may be mentioned here that, Towhidul had served in the office of the Prime Minister when Khaleda Zia was the Prime Minister during 2001-2006.

According to a credible source, ISI is plotting of assassinating several members of the court that has been dealing with war crimes. It is anticipated that the Pakistani security agency might take the scope of the election-time situation in Bangladesh in implementing such nefarious plan. Eyeing on the upcoming general election in Bangladesh, ISI operatives in UAE have increased their activities and are regularly contacting with their agents in Bangladesh.

Seeking anonymity a source told Blitz, Pakistani ISI has become desperate in re-establishing its influence in Bangladeshi politics and administration. As part of this plan, this agency is looking into various options in ousting Awami League led government and reinstate BNP-Jamaat nexus into power.

The source added, while the ruling party in Bangladesh are confident of a third consecutive term, it is in total dark about some unforeseen situation as well the administration gradually becoming inactive in aggressively helping the ruling party in continuing in power. Due to ISI’s influence, major segment of the Bangladeshi media has already started avoiding anti-ISI and anti-BNP-Jamaat news contents.

It added the ruling party is not aware of the exact situation and those serious conspiracies and the possible consequences.

A business front of Pakistan security agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) is Abdul Razzak Yaqoob (ARY). In December 2000, Yaqoob established a television channel to “to the growing demands of South Asian entertainment in the region.” Now this ARY has expanded to six television channels, such as ARY News, ARY Musik, ARY QTV (Quran TV), ARY Zindagi, ARY Family and ATN Urdu.

ARY bouquet of channels use Samacom, a “monopolising uplink provider” based in the UAE, as the uplink teleport station. The channel started off with a format more closely resembling that of PTV (Pakistan Television) Prime.

According to ARY officials, “Qatar-based Al Jazeera was enjoying its fifteen minutes of fame that rooted its name prominently in the events folding after the 9/11 attacks but when the war on terror came to neighboring Afghanistan, Pakistan had no decent coverage and the likes of PTV hired people without prior knowledge of journalism to be investigative journalists. There was a limit as to how much PTV could show on their network. Soon enough, when ARY Digital started broadcasting news covering the Afghan war, ARY Digital was hailed for their efforts. This one-screen TV business grew into a network of channels beaming into over 130 countries.”

Because of its special status being a project of ISI, the network obtained license for DTH (Direct To Home) operations in Pakistan. ARY network has built ARY Digital Tower, which is one of the tallest buildings in the United Arab Emirates.

In 2003, ARY Digital received criticism upon its airing of a prisoner’s derogatory comments against the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC-3) and a video showing balded young girls behind bars begging for mercy. ARY News and particularly its Q-TV promotes radical Islam and Sharia rule.

According to information, ATN Urdu is a Canadian exempt Category B Urdu language specialty channel that is owned by Asian Television Network (ATN). Owners of the channel claims it to be a general entertainment service, airing programming that appeal to the entire family including comedies, serials, talk shows, music, spiritual programs and more.

In December 2012, the channel was re-branded ATN Urdu due to the expiration of the programming agreement with ARY. As of January 3, 2013, ATN Urdu no longer airs any programming from ARY Digital as the rights are now held by a different broadcaster. On August 30, 2013, the CRTC approved Asian Television Network‘s request to convert ATN Urdu from a licensed Category B specialty service to an exempted Category B third language service.

The very launching of the ATN Urdu and later handing over rights to a different broadcaster is dubious enough. It may be mentioned here that, Asian Television Network originally was launched via Thaicom-3 satellite airing Indian and Bangladeshi contents. Later, ATN emerged as a Bangladeshi broadcast company.

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