Current Bangladesh Time:

Bangladesh engulfed by lawlessness

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

Entire world possibly are aware at least by now, why and how Bangladesh went under a unique type of government since January 12 last year, but, definitely it is time to tell the international community, although the present government’s prime commitment was to esnure rule of law, unfortunately, by now, it is evidently proved that, mission of Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed [Chief Executive in the military backed interim government in Bangladesh] and his team is to ultimately turn Bangladesh into land of lawlessness.

And, very unfortunately, things are already reaching extremely alarming level, where none in the society can even breath in safety or security.

Many of the political critics may raise a straight forward question – is Bangladesh becoming a failed state? The response, very unfortunately is affirmative. The state machinery is virtually non-functional, there is severe lack of coordination within the government, there is no chain of command and above all, state patronized terrorism is increasing almost every hour.

I know, Dr. Fakhruddin and his team might feel specific delight in seeing Bangladesh becoming a failed state, but possibly they are quite naïve to assertain the ultimate consequences the nation and the rulers will face in days to come, once the country really gets struct to the status of failed state. They possibly are even unware to the fact that, any failed state is considered as potential threat to the entire global community irrespective of its location or size. Because, taking the advantage of a failed state, various forms militancy can always get virtually ‘free style’ opportunity in gaining strength or even getting organized. And, signals of militancy gaining power in Bangladesh is already prominent. Hizb Ut Tahrir, Khelafat Majlish and a number of extremist religious fanatic or terror groups are reportedly gathering strength with the mission of staging a Tapiban prototype ‘revolution’ in Bangladesh, with the ambition of establishing Shariah state. Bangladeshi intelligence are not unaware of such fact. They too know quite specifically, where and how these groups are becoming stronger every day. But, they [the intelligence] are maintaining a kind of silence for reason unknown.

Taking the advantage of such unique situation, some of the law enforcing agencies in Bangladesh, especially Rapid Action Battalion [RAB] are increasingly turning adament as well as careless in committing series of misdeeds and crime. The very latest episode of such tendency was exhibited right inside the office of my newspaper, more than a month back. On March 18 [2008], armed goons of RAB-3 stormed into my office, looted cash and valuables and abducted my colleague Mahboob Ar Rahman and me at gun point. We lodged numerous written complaints with the Chief Adviosr, Chief of Army, Home Advisor, Home Secretary and many other senior officials in the government and agencies. But, till date, there is no signal of any action either against the culprit RAB men nor is there any indication of returning the looted goods. Moreover, it is learnt from reliable sources that, main culprit and master-planner of the thuggery, Shafiqul Huq Bhiyan of RAB-3 is telling his fellowmen and journalists that the ‘operation’ of RAB took place under specific suggestions from the ‘high ups’ in the government. Shafiqul Huq Bhuiyan believes with certainty that, no action is awaiting for such actions, rather, some of the senior officials in the government called him to thanks for giving a proper lesson to a journalist, who, according to them, is a Zionist spy.
Present government’s policies are greatly becoming biased towards questioned nations like Iran or Palestine, which are known as patrons of global terrorism. Foreign Advisor in the military backed interim government in Bangladesh, Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury is already known to be an extreme opponent of United States and the West. Many political analysts are seeing such tendencies as, Bangladesh’s gradual slipping towards anti-US and anti-West block.

Dr. Iftekhar is no Ayman Jawahiri or Jarkawi, nor he has any visible relations with notorious groups like Al Qaeda, Hezbollah or Hamas. But, for some reason, Dr. Ahmed is set to continue his attitude in flexing muscles to give a kind of specific signals to the West and the United States that Dhaka may no longer remain a party in War on terror. He is rather searching new allies in China, Iran and many of the nations, which are basically upholding serious hatred towards Western nations.

It may be mentioned here that, Dr. Iftekhar Ahmed was sent to United Nations as permanent representative of Bangladesh by the former BNP-Islamist Coalitions government. Later his ‘fortune’ gliterred and he became the foreign advisor as his own sister’s husband, Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed became the chief executive in the military backed interim government in Bangladesh. Here we must need to take a note of the fact that, Dr. Iftekhar was a man in the good book of BNP [one of the corrupt political parties] and its Islamist Coalition partners.

With Dhaka’s growing tendency in becoming anti-US and anti-West, there is also specific apprehension that, much promised election in December 2008 is actually a wild dream. There is no hope of holding of this election at least in 2008 or even in near future. Repeated promises of the government in holding the general election by 2008 and handing over power to an elected government from the first day of the new year, although is welcomed by the international community, there are specific signals of two important plans of the government, which possibly not give a good impression to the global community that, Bangladesh is back to democracy. The first plan is to give opportunity to small political parties [mostly grown during the unique situation after January 12, 2007 as well as some virtual lapdogs of the government like former dictator Hussain Muhammed Ershad’s Jatiyo Party [JP] in running in the next general election [if it is ever held] and getting into power to give en-messe mandate to all the actions and deeds of this government. The other plan is extremely volatile. To push the entire nation towards confrontation and ultimately create a situation, where for many ‘reasons’ unique type of governance may emerge once again in Bangladesh. Possibly, things are moving ahead towards the second option. It was clearly signalled when Jatiyo Party leader [in fact the proprietor] Hussain Muhammed Ershad told a gathering in Dhaka recently that, there is no chance of any military takeover in Bangladesh. Everyone knows, Ershad no longer is a military man in service. In this case, curious people may raise question as to why he passed such remarks. Is he trying to feel the pulse of the people? Or, he too is by now, a part of the big conspiracy? There is no room to have any doubt that, the present government although took actions against mainstream BNP, Awami League and lately Jamaat-e-Islami, they [the government] are not interested in investigating state level fraud by Ershad and his men during their tenure. Nor the present government has any intension in investigating corruption of politicians belonging to leftist fronts. Above all, the government is not taking any action against the most controversial and corrupt Mayor of Dhaka City Corporation, despite the fact that, Mayor Sadeq Hussain Khoka ranks top in the list of most corrupts in Bangladesh.