Friday, December 4, 2009

Will Hasina Succeed?

The arrest of two Indian Mujahideen (IM) members, Nazir Tarian Dabeda and Shamshaudin, from a border village in East Khasi Hills in Meghalaya along the India-Bangladesh border is significant considering that Nazir is also a special Lashkar-eToiba (LeT) operative responsible for the terror outfit’s South India operations and an accused in the Bangalore blast case. It has been learnt that Nazir has already confessed his role in the terror attack on Bangalore. From what has emerged following his arrest, he had been to Bangladesh to specialize in bomb-making and was under the aegis of the LeT. The LeT has a special wing in Bangladesh and works in tandem with the Harkat-ul Jihadi Islami (HuJI), responsible for many a terror attack in India. The avowed objective of the LeT-HuJI combine in their eastern terror theatre is to destabilize the Northeast and establish a solid base in areas in Assam that are flooded by illegal Bangladeshis who would be ready to work for them for financial gains. But who actually presides over the grand Islamic project? Of course the Pakistan Army’s notorious Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), engaged in the jihad enterprise towards a greater Islamic state comprising present-day Bangladesh and Assam.

Now that the new Dhaka dispensation seems to have woken up to the threat posed by Islamic zealots to Bangladesh itself, and that a realization seems to have dawned upon the Shiekh Hasina government that there is nothing really to lose by being friendly with India, can one hope that the terror infrastructure in that country would be dismantled? Much will depend on the will of the Hasina government and how it will work towards the making of a secular regime as promised. The ISI’s penetration in Bangladesh is quite deep, backed by  that country’s own fundamentalist forces that support the ISI’s presence for a collaborative jihadi venture against India. The Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) — Bangladesh’s intelligence front — too has been tacitly, if not openly, supportive of Islamic fundamentalism directed against India, sans whose backing the ISI could not have scripted its Bangladesh chapter. Therefore, the task for Hasina is clearly cut out. She will have to ensure that the ISI is first weeded out from her soil if she means business. As long as the ISI operates in Bangladesh, the terror matrix in that country will sustain in one form or the other. And then comes the next task — of effecting a change in the DGFI mindset. This should not be difficult since the DGFI is not a Bangladesh equivalent of the ISI, nor does the military calls the power shots there. Will Hasina succeed in changing the image of her country? THE SENTINEL

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