Conspiracies against Sheikh Hasina and Bangladesh

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Published on November 2, 2022
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Dr. Rashid Askari:

Conspiracies against Sheikh Hasina both as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and the daughter of the Father of the Nation are not new. She had survived the cruellest 1975 August conspiracy by sheer luck. But after her father’s assassination, everything seemed to have conspired to make her life a misery. She is still haunted by criminal conspiracies at home and abroad. A number of deadly attempts were made on her life in which she narrowly escaped being killed. The most heinous was the 21st August (2004) grenade attack on Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka in which 24 people including her bodyguard were killed. It is the most disgraceful event in the political history of Bangladesh where the party in power conspired to annihilate the political opponent using the government machinery.

Plots are still being hatched up to discredit Sheikh Hasina’s Government and overthrow it. The World Bank’s cancellation of the Padma Bridge loan, the abrupt US sanctions on the elite anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of Bangladesh police called Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and the publication of the US State Department’s report on alleged human rights violations in Bangladesh without any prior discussion with the Government smack of a conspiracy theory. Political analysts are of the opinion that the sequence of events leading to violence during Durga Puja celebrations is part of a larger conspiracy to destabilize the Sheikh Hasina government. Besides, the creation of the 1/11 scenario, Professor Yunus’ desperate bid to form a political party by prescription of his foreign masters, the British Jewish blogger--David Bergman’s nose poking into Bangladesh’s internal affairs, the organized and repeated smear campaign by hired hands and the media are acts of criminal conspiracy.

What the military-backed 1/11 government and the Iazuddin-Fakhruddin-Moeen Uddin trio did under the banner of a so-called caretaker government is now public knowledge. Though they started with missionary zeal, they soon appeared to be a snake in the grass. Professor Yunus’ role after the removal from Grameen bank on the ground of the service age limit in 2011 is no less than political intrigue. The professor perhaps wanted to cling to his office and die with his boots on. So, he felt aggrieved at the decision of his ouster by the Hasina Government. Driven to desperation, the Nobel Laureate harboured a grudge against the government. The professor’s wrath over the Grameen Bank incident and his individual grievances against Sheikh Hasina may have taken a heavy toll on today’s US-Bangladesh relations which leads to the recent sanctions against Bangladesh. And all this is quite unbecoming of a Nobel Laureate.

The dream-come-true Padma Bridge had also fallen victim to national and international conspiracies. The allegations brought against the then Communications Minister, Syed Abul Hossain surrounding the bridge were finally disproved by an ACC (Anti-Corruption Commission) investigation and an international ruling made by a Canadian court in 2017. The accusations against the minister proved completely false and intentional and it was revealed as planned propaganda and a blueprint for stifling the development politics of the Awami League Government. Circumstantial evidence proved that the World Bank did not want the construction of the bridge to be completed during the tenure of the Awami League Government, the Communications ministry disagreed on complying with what they wanted. That’s why they brought false allegations and tried to delay the implementation of the project so that it could be done during the tenure of the following government and their hidden agenda could be easily materialized.

Sheikh Hasina could understand the motives of the conspirators very well. She announced the construction of the bridge on Bangladesh’s own initiative and made it a success. Today, the Padma Bridge has been a tangible reality made possible by the courage, prudence, determination and leadership of Sheikh Hasina. It stands on the mighty Padma defying all the conspiracies and testifying to the political and economic strength of the Sheikh Hasina government.

Conspiracies against Bangladesh are also not a new phenomenon. Myriad plots and intrigues have taken place since its birth. The conspiracies are hatched mostly by the ringleaders who opposed the Liberation War joining hands with the Pakistan Occupation Army or aided and abetted them. They are still not happy with Bangladesh growing in the Mujibian way. Their ulterior motive is to prevent Bangladesh from developing as a non-communal state imbued with the secularist spirit of the Liberation War. And the character of the conspirators is clearly perceptible. The communalist forces that opposed the birth of Bangladesh, have repeatedly tried to change its socio-cultural and political character. The organized clique of communalists with their domestic and international allies has been constantly conspiring against the country. And the level of this conspiracy increased manifold after the trial of the war criminals had started under the premiership of Sheikh Hasina, especially after the execution of their judgments one by one. Despite investing a colossal amount of money in employing international lobbyists when they failed to save notorious war criminals like Quader Molla, Muhammad Kamaruzzaman, Ali Ahsan Mujahid, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Motiur Rahman Nizami, they started weaving a web of intrigue against the judges and trial arrangers in particular and the country in general.

The main objective of the conspirators is to prove Bangladesh was a failed state under Sheikh Hasina’s premiership. If their conspiracy is successful and we are alarmed over the potential loss of national sovereignty, there will be a mad scramble for hegemonic control over the country. The power-hungry countries will look forward to establishing military dominance in the name of curbing militancy, and consequently, Bangladesh will turn into Pakistan or Afghanistan. And Sheikh Hasina's government, being unable to bear so much pressure, may step down.

Then, once again, the unexpected course of events will happen. The trial of war criminals will come to a grinding halt. The defeated forces of 1971 and their allies will seize power once again. This is the possible scenario if the conspiracy comes true. If not properly countered, these conspiracies can pose serious threats to the very existence of our secular Bangladesh. The government should identify the crux of the problem and realize the urgency of the matter.

Writer: Former Vice Chancellor, Islamic University, Kushtia, Bangladesh.