Militancy has 'risen' during AL rule
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday once again alleged that militancy had risen in the country during the Awami League government's tenure.
"After the recent video message of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri, it is now clear that militancy has risen in the country during Awami League rule. The government paved the way for the rise of militancy as they do not believe in democracy," said the BNP spokesperson.
He was talking to reporters after visiting the party's ailing standing committee member RA Ghani at the Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital. Ghani was admitted to the hospital after he felt pain in his chest on Friday night.
However, the country did witness an unprecedented rise in extremism during the incumbency of the BNP-led government. Media reports of the time bear testimony to this.
Under the patronage of the past BNP-led government between 2001 and 2006, Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), two militant outfits, had spread their tentacles in many parts of the country. But the then prime minister Khaleda Zia and some of her government ministers kept denying the existence of the dreaded killer Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, who was the operations commander of JMB. The JMB even unleashed simultaneous bomb attacks across the country on August 17, 2005. The unprecedented blasts compelled the BNP-Jamaat government to take some measures, including banning JMB, JMJB and Huji, and arresting some leaders of those militant outfits.
In the 56-minute video posted online on September 3, Zawahiri announced the formation of "al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent" to "raise the flag of jihad" across South Asia.
Pointing to the al-Qaeda video, Fakhrul said, militancy rises when democratic environment does not exist in a country. He also claimed that the rise in militancy in the country is due to the Awami League as there is no democracy in the country.
Replying to a query over the BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman's recent statement against religion-based politics, Fakhrul said his statement was misquoted in the media.
“Tarique Rahman believes in democracy, and there should be difference of opinions in democracy," he said, adding that those who believe in religion-based politics can also participate in democracy.