After failing in misleading the United States and Britain in imposing sanctions on dozens of officers of Bangladesh Police and Armed Forces, pro-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has intensified its notorious bids in spreading false propaganda against Bangladesh and ruling Awami League. According to sources, BNP’s US representative Mushfiqul Fazal Ansarey with active collaboration of former US diplomat William B Milam and an individual named Tasneem Khalil who runs a website named ‘Netra News’ with funding from the US Congress are spending huge amount of money in getting anti-Bangladesh propaganda published and aired on print and electronic media in the world. It may be mentioned here that, National Endowment for Democracy (NED) provides large amount of fund to ‘Netra News’ every year.
While agents of Islamists and militancy are spending hugely in running vile propaganda against Bangladesh and ruling Awami League, there is no effort from the Bangladesh government in countering such notorious bids.
Recently Tasneem Khalil in a Facebook post has criticized Bangladesh Police and intelligence agencies for their ongoing operations against various militancy outfits, including Ansar Al Islam, a local franchise of Al Qaeda.
It may be mentioned here that, the Editor-in-Chief of Netra News, Tasneem Khalil enjoys patronization from Qatari terror-broadcast network Al Jazeera, although, the main founder of Netra News, David Bergman said “Al Jazeera is not a terror-broadcast network”, despite the fact of the Qatari outlet has been committedly defending radical Islam, jihad, anti-Semitism and hostilities on Jews and Israel.
Main agenda of Netra News is defaming Bangladesh’s democratic institutions and inciting “mass revolt” in the country and unseating the current secularist government of Awami League party. Tasneem Khalil, the Editor-in-Chief of Al Jazeera has been actively defaming Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other key figures in the government, while he has always been observing mysterious silence in exposing notorious actions of pro-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and pro-terror Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI). He also has been silent on other jihadist groups in Bangladesh, such as Hefazat-e-Islam (HeI).
Most important fact is, for years, Netra News has been lying to the US Department of State, US Congress and other important offices in the Capitol Hill stating their website was blocked by the Bangladesh authorities. The main reason behind such lies was to prove importance of this news site. On investigation it was revealed that Netra News is not blocked in Bangladesh. Even Tasneem Khalil, despite the fact of his misleading the US policymakers with false information of Netra News being blocked in Bangladesh, in a Facebook post on May 5, 2022 wrote: “Test: Can you enter Netra News website from Bangladesh without using VPN? If possible, please comment with screenshot”. Meaning, he himself was not sure of his claim to the US authorities whether the website was actually blocked in Bangladesh.
According to information available on the website of NED, “the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is an independent, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 2,000 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 100 countries.
“Since its founding in 1983, the Endowment has remained on the leading edge of democratic struggles everywhere, while evolving into a multifaceted institution that is a hub of activity, resources and intellectual exchange for activists, practitioners and scholars of democracy the world over”.
NED, claiming to be “bipartisan and transparent” says: “From its beginning, NED has remained steadfastly bipartisan. Created jointly by Republicans and Democrats, NED is governed by a board balanced between both parties and enjoys Congressional support across the political spectrum. NED operates with a high degree of transparency and accountability reflecting our founders’ belief that democracy promotion overseas should be conducted openly.
“We post information about all of our grants and activities on this Web site and are subject to multiple layers of oversight by the US Congress, the Department of State, and independent financial audit”.
Every year, the National Endowment for Democracy provides grants worth US$50 million to various newspapers and news sites around the world. Netra News is one of the recipients of NED grants.