In his interview he accused Sheikh Hasina letting Bangladesh be “turned into a Bantustan” run by India.
Mr. Ishraq Ahmed, who is in hiding abroad, concedes that the arrested men are his friends, but denies religious extremism (indeed, he complains that the authorities have seized his painstakingly collected cellar of wines, Armagnacs and malt whiskies). He says the government “can show no troop movements, no guns, anything” to prove the plot.
Mr Ahmed is a former high-ranking officer from a liberal family. He says he fought “with great responsibility” for Bangladesh’s independence. Now he and other nationalists are merely trying to oppose what they see as a coup-by-stealth by Sheikh Hasina, who is letting Bangladesh be “turned into a Bantustan” run by India.
During the interview, he makes many claims. Among the more plausible and specific is that spies from India’s Research Analysis Wing (RAW) operate in the country. He claims, too, that for two years RAW has had an office within the headquarters of Bangladeshi Intelligence in Dhaka and a “direct submarine cable for communications” back to India. He claims that Indians conduct electronic surveillance in the country and kidnap suspects from Bangladeshi cities. Indian prodding, he adds, encourages the government to crack down on “anyone with beards. Any practising Muslim is vilified and portrayed as Taliban.”
At the end of the interview, Economist said, fractiousness will grow ahead of a general election in 2013. Returned to power three years ago, Sheikh Hasina has seen her popularity slump from 81% to 39%, according to an opinion poll published by the Daily Star on January 8th. More telling, 74% say they oppose her constitutional meddling last year, which changed how elections are organised. That may bode ill for stability. Mughal kings struggled to rule the territory over four centuries ago, lamenting that Bengal was “a house of turbulence”. Little has changed.
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Source: Bdbangla-News From economist.com
Key words: economist.com, Ishraq Ahmed Interview, Ishraq Ahmed With Economist Magazine, Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Army Coup, Major Zia Email, DGFI, Bangladesh Army Press Release, Bangladesh Army Press Conference
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