Eyeing on the 2023 general elections, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its political allies as well as pro-Caliphate Hefazat-e-Islam are taking preparations for beginning massive anti-government activities, including demonstrations, processions, rallies and propaganda from March next year. Meanwhile, Hefazat-e-Islam is also taking preparations of beginning countrywide protests immediately after the Eid ul Azha demanding release of its leaders.
According to information, the fraction of Hefazat-e-Islam under the leadership of Junaid Babunagari are in favor of demonstrations and protests as a “pressure tactic” which they believe would “force the government” in releasing the arrested leaders of the party. On the other hand, some leaders, particularly the followers of Shah Ahmad Shafi are against any such moves as they think it would on further complicate the situation.
Meanwhile, according to credible sources, a section of Hefazat leaders as well as leaders of Hizbut Tahrir, Ansar Al Islam and other militancy groups are maintaining regular contacts with the members of Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and extremist Rohingyas with the secret agenda of using Rohingyas in creating lawlessness inside Bangladesh and India. Tablighi Jamaat has also been working as one of the key vessels in motivating Rohingyas towards terrorism.
Propaganda and lobbying activities of BNP-Jamaat
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami reportedly has created a special budget to cover expenses of massive propaganda against Awami League government in a number of western countries, while BNP and Jamaat also are looking for hiring few more lobbyists in the US. According to sources, sitting in London, BNP’s leader Tarique Rahman is trying to establish contacts with at least two lobbyist firms in Washington, which has direct access to Hunter Biden and Kamala Harris. The source said, Tarique Rahman has also instructed one of his confidantes in New York City to participate in the auction of Hunter Biden’s artworks and buy at least one showing Tarique Rahman’s daughter Zaima Rahman as the buyer. BNP leadership is also going to sign a contract with a number of PR firms in the United States and Britain, which would help in getting anti-Awami League contents published and aired on several leading newspapers and TV channels. Meanwhile, a representative from Qatari broadcast network Al Jazeera’s i-team is scheduled to meet several Bangladeshis in Stockholm on August 5, 2021, where the i-team representative would be provided “evidences” on irregularities in the health sector in Bangladesh during the pandemic. A source said, Al Jazeera currently is working on a number of documentaries on Bangladesh, which would be aired from December this year.
The source further said, at the instruction of Tarique Rahman, BNP men are also trying to get at least one broadcast network from Britain on-board in their propaganda project against the Awami League government. Additionally, they also are going to begin massive campaign targeting holding of the 2023 general elections either under international supervision or under a “caretake government”. A former military officer has reportedly pledged to donate US$1 million in the campaign budget, while several leaders of BNP and Jamaat are also going to contribute heavily to cover expenses of hiring lobbyists and PR agencies.
While political opponents of the ruling Awami League are taking detailed preparations for starting campaign and lobbying especially from the mid-2022, most of the press wings at the Bangladesh missions abroad, including India have not succeeded in getting positive exposure on the ongoing development projects, economic prosperity and various efforts initiated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the print and electronic media. Majority of the mainstream journalists in the western nations as well as India are even not having any interaction with the relevant sections of the Bangladesh missions.
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