Leading English newspaper in India, The Economic Times (TEC) on January 29, 2019 published a report titled ‘Pak Lt Gen Navid Moktar figures in failed plot to assassinate Sheikh Hasina’ by Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury, where the newspaper claimed a bid to assassinate Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was foiled “with support from friendly partners”.
In the report, Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury wrote: “A sensational plot to assassinate Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her family members besides top leaders of the ruling Awami League ahead of the recently concluded December 30 parliamentary polls had been foiled, sources from Dhaka claimed.
“Bangladesh government with support from friendly partners had stumbled upon an alleged plan by Pakistan’s ISI to smuggle a huge cache arms for the operation that was planned ahead of the elections, said the sources. Hasina returned to power for the third consecutive term with a thumping majority.
“Lt. General Navid Moktar from ISI is believed to have played a big role in the plot, where several ISI agents apart from some members of the Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard were involved, sources further claimed. It is not yet known if the pro-Pakistan radical group Jamaat-e-Islami had a role in this operation.
“Aship [a ship] carrying AK-47s, carbines and grenades under a Greek flag was planning to enter a Bangladesh port ahead of December 30 –reminiscent of the 2004 ten truck arms smuggling case when BNP was in power — but the ship sunk mid-way, one of the above quoted sources said.
“The plan was to assassinate PM Hasina and her family members and create mayhem. There were also plans to cause a blast in Dhaka from the ship through remote control,” another source claimed.”
Who is Lt. General Navid Moktar?
Naveed Mukhtar is a retired three-star rank Pakistan Army Lieutenant-General and former spymaster who served as Director-General of Inter-Services Intelligence, the premier intelligence agency of Pakistan, from December 11, 2016 till October 25, 2018.
Although Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury has categorically mentioned the name of Naveed Mukhtar as the ‘mastermind’ behind the ‘assassination bid’ by the timing he has mentioned in his ‘exclusive report’, Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) already was having a new director general.
Fictitious story of Greek vessel:
The Economic Times (TET) in its report claimed a Greek-flag vessel carrying huge volume of weapons to have been sunk in the “mid-way”. It also said, “There were also plans to cause a blast in Dhaka from the ship through remote control”.
While the TET report claims the weapon carrying Greek-flag vessel was sunk in the mid-way, in reality there has not been any such incident of any vessel sinking in the Bay of Bengal or within the maritime territory of Bangladesh.
Most interestingly the report claims “There were also plans to cause a blast in Dhaka from the ship through remote control”, without knowing it is simply impossibly charging grenades in Dhaka city through remote control sitting in Chittagong, which is 244.6 kilometers away.
Agenda behind this false propaganda:
Security analysts in the US said, there must have been ulterior motive behind the publication of report by the Indian newspaper.
It said, the very pattern of presentation of the story in the ‘report’ is clearly aimed at discrediting Bangladeshi intelligence agencies as it would evidently prove, while a vessel loaded with arms and explosive was heading towards Bangladesh, none of the intelligence agencies had any knowledge about this until the vessel had sunk in the “mid-way”.
Moreover, if the Bangladesh authorities really had come to know about this plot and had foiled it with the help of “friendly partners”, why the vessel was not arrested before it could sink. Most importantly why the matter did not come in the local media or why the Bangladesh authorities did hide the matter.
“It’s a report lacking any substance. Whoever is behind this report should now be identified by the Bangladesh authorities for the sake of saving image of its intelligence agencies”, it added.