Major political parties in the country have expressed mixed reactions over a newly-released video that claims to announce al-Qaeda chief Ayman al Zawahiri’s plan to establish the flag of jihad in Bangladesh, India and Myanmar.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, ruling party Awami League’s Joint General Secretary Mahbub-Ul-Alam Hanif said: “al-Qaeda might try to establish their presence in these counties through its Islamist parties, specially with anti-liberation forces.
“We remain alert and prepared to fend off any threat and criminal activity from al-Qeada.”
Meanwhile, main opposition in the parliament Jatiya Party’s Secretary General Ziauddin Ahmed Bablu said: “Jatiya Party has always believed in democracy and democratic processes. We think that this video might be linked with BNP’s ongoing movement.”
BNP Standing Committee Member Lt Gen (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman said: “The situation is very much alarming and the government should take immediate action in his regard. Militancy can flourish taking advantage of the weakness of democracy.
“The government should immediately restore democracy in the country and bring people from defence, civil society and political parties under its confidence to eradicate militancy from the country.”
Meanwhile, a leader of Jamaat-e-Islami told the Dhaka Tribune that Islam has no place for violence, militancy or terrorism.
“Enemies of Islam in this country are now trying to hatch such conspiracies to defame Islam and divert its followers using such issues,” said Jamaat’s Working Committee Member and International Affairs Secretary Syed Abdullah Mohammad Taher.
Similarly, Abdul Latif Nezami, chairman of a faction of Islami Okko Jote and a Hefazat adviser, said: “The video is only a speculation and such conspiracies will never sustain in Bangladesh. Islam can be establish in a peaceful way, not through violence.”
Replying to a query, he claimed: “We have no relation or link with al-Qaeda or other like-minded groups.”
Terming the new video as a deep conspiracy against Bangladesh, Islam and its establishments, Hefazat Secretary General Junaid Babunagari confirmed: “We have no relation with al-Qaeda.”
Bangladesh Khelafat Andolon Secretary General Muhammad Zafrulla Khan told the Dhaka Tribune: “We do not believe that al-Qaeda has a chapter in Bangladesh. This is an international conspiracy against Bangladesh and Islam.”
He also said his party had always stood against militants and Islamic law cannot be established using militancy or acts of terror.