Home Opinion Featured Articles Pakistani ISI-sponsored anti-India elements wage propaganda jihad against anti-militancy journalist in Bangladesh

Pakistani ISI-sponsored anti-India elements wage propaganda jihad against anti-militancy journalist in Bangladesh

Article Related Photo For Foreign Newspapers
Article Related Photo For Foreign Newspapers

Anti-India elements including cyberterrorists led by Al Qaeda-connected ultra-Islamist force Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its ideological ally – pro-Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) have started vile propaganda against Blitz for exposing notorious conspiracy of these anti-India and Hindu-hating elements with their recently launched “India Out” campaign aimed at jeopardizing existing cordial relations between Dhaka and New Delhi.
Recently, an anti-India YouTube channel named ‘The Blank Page Official’ released a video said “India has activated powerful assets to counter Bangladesh’s India Out campaign” has made a foul attempt of branding Blitz as an “asset” of India and Israel. It also criticized Blitz for condemning October 7 Hamas pogrom in Israel and for terming Hamas as monsters”.

It may be mentioned here that, BNP and its ideological allies including JeI are funding, patronizing and running “India Out” notoriety in Bangladesh, while recently, Dhaka’s leading English newspaper The Daily Star published a lengthy opinion editorial criticizing Blitz and me for branding BNP as an ultra-Islamist and Al Qaeda-connected force.

On February 1, 2024, The Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam gave a huge space in his newspaper to an Islamist propagandist named Qadaruddin Shishir.

The most disconcerting revelation pertains to Shishir’s past. During his formative years at university, he was an active participant in Jamaat-e-Islami, an ultra-Islamist militant group in Bangladesh. This isn’t mere hearsay; it’s corroborated by multiple Facebook posts from Shishir, which were later deleted but have been documented. Such affiliations are not to be taken lightly. They raise a red flag about his current role, given that extremist groups like Jamaat-e-Islami often engage in ideological indoctrination that can have a lasting impact.

In the February 1 propaganda stuff, Jamaat-e-Islami’s activist Qadarudding Shishir made foul attempts of hiding facts about involvement of ultra-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which also has connections with Al Qaeda from its recently launched ‘India Out’ notoriety.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s hosting Al Qaeda group including Ayman al-Zawahiri was first exposed by eminent journalist and counterterrorism expert Alex Perry, who in a TIME magazine article on April 14, 2002 had exposed Al Qaeda kingpin al-Zawahiri and other members of the terrorist group’s arrival and stay in Bangladesh.

But Jamaat propagandist Shishir has no shame in hiding these proven facts. Instead, he challenges BNP – a party that is termed as Tier-III terrorist organization by the US courts and a party with direct link to Al Qaeda or being termed as ultra-Islamist party stating: “The original Blitz report was based on a source referred to as “it has been learnt”—meaning no source at all! The wording used when introducing the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) says a lot about what the article was trying to portray. In no way can BNP be identified as an “Islamist” party, let alone be called an “ultra-Islamist” one. The loaded language of the Blitz article, lack of any sources and evidence to support its main claim, and the website’s record of spreading political disinformation against independent journalists and critics of the government are enough to debunk its new assertion that BNP has launched a so-called India Out movement in Bangladesh”.
Islamists like Qadaruddin Shishir have no shame. They are making frantic bids of denying a plain truth – BNP is an ultra-Islamist force and it is affiliated to Al Qaeda. Moreover, Shishir won’t admit a proven fact that BNP’s acting chairman Tarique Rahman is known by the US administration as a “notorious and feared figure” and “symbol of kleptocratic government and violent politics in Bangladesh”.

Meanwhile, Jamaat-e-Islami has deployed one of its most notorious cyberterrorists named Pinaki Bhattacharya in running “India Out” propaganda through his YouTube channel which has over 1.59 million subscribers. This Pinaki, who has been living in exile in France recently shared a Pakistani YouTube channel’s content and spread venom against me and Blitz.

According to credible source, years ago, after he fled Bangladesh, Pinaki Bhattacharya, a diehard anti-India individual was hired by Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) for running propaganda against India and promoting anti-India sentiment in Bangladesh. In addition to his nefarious propaganda against Bangladesh, Pinaki has been categorically active in running propaganda offensives against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Other targets of Pinaki Bhattacharya are the United States, Israel, Britain, European Union and secularist forces. Pinaki has also been supportive of Pakistan-sponsored terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir as well as other parts of India. He has been one of the defenders of Afghan Taliban, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

According to an Indian website, a self-proclaimed activist Pinaki Bhattacharya is anti-Hindu and anti-India extremist. He has been regularly publishing contents defaming Hindu religion.
Few years ago, Pinaki Bhattacharya became a diehard anti-India and anti-Hindu propagandist following his religious conversion by leaving Hindu dharma and embracing radical Islam.

It said, Pinaki became popular amongst radical Muslims and anti-India and anti-Hindu bloc in Bangladesh for his jihadist and anti-India publications. He persuaded Bangladeshi Muslims to wage jihad against the Hindus and join jihadist forces in Jammu and Kashmir in India.

In Bangladesh, Pinaki was accused of selling counterfeit medicines and sexual drugs. Under the garb of a pharmaceutical company, Pinaki Bhattacharya was also involved in producing Yaba, which is a combination of methamphetamine (a powerful and addictive stimulant) and caffeine.

Recently in an interview to Qatari terror-broadcast network Al Jazeera, endorsing BNP’s involvement in “India Out” notoriety, Rumeen Farhana, international affairs secretary of the party said the people of Bangladesh never liked India’s interference in Bangladesh politics. “It’s now crystal clear that India did everything possible to keep the regime in power since 2014”, she alleged.

She said, “Resentment against India reached a boiling point in Bangladesh after Hasina’s Awami League secured a resounding victory in the January 7 elections, capturing 223 seats out of 300 in parliament. Critics alleged the process lacked legitimacy due to the opposition’s boycott and the presence of numerous Awami League-backed independent candidates, raising questions about the fairness of the vote”.

Rumeen Farhana said, “Anti-India public sentiment in Bangladesh goes beyond politics. The border killing, unresolved water sharing of 53 rivers including Teesta, trade deficit all play roles to that”.

This statement of Al Qaeda-connected BNP’s front-ranking leader evidently proves – this party is definitely behind the ongoing “India Out” movement, and at their instructions, BNP activists and its ultra-Islamist andpro-jihadist elements are continuing anti-India propaganda on social media platforms.

It is even learnt from several sources that members of BNP and its jihadist allies such as Ansar Al Islam (local franchise of AQIS), Hizb ut Tahrir, Hefazat-e-Islam as well as armed cadres of BNP are threatening shop owners and traders in Bangladesh to refrain from selling Indian products. They even are plotting terrorist and arson attacks targeting warehouses of Indian goods.

Taking undue advantage of such evil plots of ultra-Islamist forces, Al Jazeera in its report on February 7, 2024 gave a false description stating – responding to BNP’s “India Out” movement, Bangladeshi consumers have started boycotting Indian products.

Al Jazeera in its report said, “Amid allegations of Indian interference in national elections, there’s a call to boycott Indian goods in Bangladesh. Last week, a supplier for the Indian consumer goods giant Marico faced a chilly reception in Dhaka’s Panthapath area. Grocery shops, usually eager to stock their shelves with its hair oil, cooking oil, body lotion and other products, refused to take new deliveries”.
It further said, “… Simmering anti-India sentiment in Bangladesh has boiled over in the past decade, culminating in public displays such as celebrations in Dhaka last year after India’s loss in the Cricket World Cup final.

“But after last month’s elections in Bangladesh, in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina secured a fourth term while the opposition boycotted the polls, a massive “India Out” campaign was launched, alleging Indian interference in Bangladesh politics.

“The Bangladeshi diaspora and opposition groups have fueled this anti-India movement and advocated boycotts of Indian products. This movement mirrors similar campaigns in the Maldives, where Mohamed Muizzu capitalized on anti-India sentiment to win the presidential election.

“In Dhaka, the campaign was launched against the backdrop of India’s traditionally strong ties with Hasina’s government and its strained relationship with the opposition, leading many to believe India favored the status quo”.

Al Jazeera in its anti-India report termed Jamaat-e-Islami activists Pinaki Bhattacharya as “exiled Bangladeshi physician” stating “Exiled Bangladeshi physician Pinaki Bhattacharya, who fled alleged government harassment in 2018, has emerged as the key figure in this burgeoning social media movement accusing India of interfering in Bangladesh’s recent elections to keep Hasina in power.

“Through his more than two million followers across social media platforms, Bhattacharya launched the #BoycottIndia campaign in mid-January, urging them to join “this monumental endeavor”. His call, emphasizing love of homeland and determination to break free from perceived shackles, resonated with thousands”.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning journalist, writer, research-scholar, counterterrorism specialist and Editor, Blitz, a newspaper publishing from Bangladesh since 2003. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers. Follow him on X @Salah_Shoaib

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