It is learnt from reliable sources that the Bangladesh authorities suspect that the Hizbut-Tahrir (HT), Party of Liberation, banned in October 2009 had links with 16 middle-level officers of the Bangladesh Army involved in the plot to stage a coup against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which was discovered in December last.
2. The discovery of the plot was announced at a press conference at Dhaka on January 19,2012, by the Bangladeshi army spokesman Brigadier General Muhammad Masud Razzaq. He said that the Army had specific evidence that up to 16 current and former Bangladeshi military officers "with extreme religious views" were involved in a "heinous conspiracy". The plot was instigated by Bangladeshi conspirators living abroad, he said.
3. He further said that two retired officers, Lieutenant Colonel Ehsan Yusuf and Major Zakir, have been arrested, but did not say when. He added that the authorities were looking for a serving officer, Major Ziaul Haq, who had fled his post after the arrests of Yusuf and Zakir.
4.Giving details about the alleged plot, Razzaq said that Ziaul Haq had circulated emails to different serving officers detailing a plan to overthrow the Government on January 9-10. The Army authorities have accused the HT of helping to circulate the messages. It has been reported that a major general (name not known), who headed one of the country's largest cantonments, was recalled to Dhaka, following the discovery of the plot. Details of his exact role in the plot are not known.
5.In a leaflet disseminated on January 20,2012, the banned HT said: “Hizb ut-Tahrir organized public speeches outside mosques across the country after Jummah prayers today where speakers called upon the people to protest against the Hasina government’s plot to subjugate the Muslim Army of Bangladesh to US-India. The speakers said Hasina was brought to power by the Americans, in partnership with India. The Americans have a design to prevent the return of the Islamic Khilafah in this region and contain the rise of China. For this purpose she prefers a strategic partnership with India in order to secure her strong presence in this region and tighten her grip over the Muslim countries within the region. These two enemy countries are using the government, the opposition, and some in the military leadership in Bangladesh as agents to solve the long standing issues with India which will free India’s hands. This will facilitate India to join hands with America in implementing her design to prevent the return of Islam and contain China. And they are working to remove all obstacles to this plan and anyone who exposes or speaks against this evil plan. It was for this reason that bright officers of our army were massacred in Pilkhana in which Hasina collaborated. It was for this reason that Hasina banned Hizb ut-Tahrir and is pursuing a policy of brutal repression against the party. And now she is executing a policy of whole sale purge of the army through abductions, arrests and dismissals of officers who stand on the side of Islam, and the country’s sovereignty and security. The speakers called upon the sincere officers in the army to remove Hasina and the current ruling regime from authority at once; and to transfer the authority to Hizb ut-Tahrir which is a sincere and aware political party. Hizb ut-Tahrir will establish the Khilafah state which will eject USA, Britain, India and their allies from Bangladesh. The Khilafah will build this country as the starting point for becoming a global super power. This is by securing the basic needs of the people and solving the long running problems faced by the people such as poverty and unemployment, industrializing the country’s economy, building the army as a strong and advanced fighting force, and unifying with the Muslim Ummah. “
6.In another leaflet addressed to the people of Bangladesh, the HT has said: “O Muslims! You have been victims of Indian aggression for decades. This enemy state killed your officers in Pilkhana, she built the Farakkah dam, she deprives you of your rightful share of water from the common rivers, and she kills your brothers and sisters in the border. And your current rulers have failed to stand up to the Indian aggression against you. There exists only one way of resisting the enemy – establishing the Khilafah state. So stop wasting your time and effort in looking for solutions from the current democratic system and the agent political parties – Awami League, BNP and others. You have to take one action and only one action – call upon the people of power to remove the Hasina overnment and hand over power to Hizb ut-Tahrir, which is the only party offering you the vision of becoming a leading state in the region and the world. We will establish the Khilafah state, and implement the Qur’an and the Sunnah. We will bring an end to your economic plight, and industrialize the economy. We will build a strong advanced military. And we have the action plan ready to regain India as a Muslim land, under the Islamic rule, which is the only true assured way of stopping Indian aggression permanently.”
7. The HT has been active among lower and middle level officers of the Armies of Pakistan and Bangladesh and has been trying to instigate a coup by them in order to introduce Islamic rule in the two countries and eradicate US and Indian influence. After establishing Islamic rule in Pakistan and Bangladesh, it wants to extend its activities to India to help the Indian Muslims. ( 21-1-12)
( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: email@example.com Twitter : @SORBONNE75 )