Bangladesh Social Activist Forum hit out at Pakistan-Taliban nexus

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BSAF at Dhaka Press Club discussing the emerging security situation after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. (ANI)
BSAF at Dhaka Press Club discussing the emerging security situation after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. (ANI)

Dhaka, [Bangladesh], August 29 (ANI): The Bangladesh Social Activist Forum (BSAF) has hit out at the nexus between Pakistan and Taliban by calling it a threat to regional peace and development at an event in Dhaka on Saturday.

Political, social and religious leaders along with former diplomats and academics gathered together at Dhaka Press Club to discuss the emerging security situation after the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

Those who participated in the discussion included Sheikh Shahidul Islam, Secretary-General, Jatiya Party (JP), Professor Syed Anwar Hossain, Former Director-General Bangla Academy. Allama Sheikh Khandaker Golam Maula Nakshebandi, one of the members of the advisory council Bangladesh Awami League and Mushtaq Ahmed, Former UN Political Officer Afghanistan.

For Bangladesh, August is a month of mourning and a grim reminder of the looming threat of Pakistan sponsored radical Islamist terror.

On August 15, 1975, a military coup led to the assassination of Bangladesh's founding father, "Bangabandhu" Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, along with much of his family. The military rulers who took over and ruled Bangladesh for the next 15 years legitimized the pro-Pakistan introduced elements.

On August 21, 2004, Mujibur's daughter, Sheikh Hasina, then opposition leader and now prime minister, barely survived a grenade attack on her rally. The attack left 24 Awami Leaguers dead and more than 500 injured. One of Hasina's bodyguards, Mahbubur Rashid, was killed.

The 1975 coup was led by disgruntled junior army officers, but the 2004 grenade attack was carried out by Islamist Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami (HUJI) militants.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in power since 2009, has ruled Bangladesh with a "zero tolerance to terror" policy, particularly following the 2016 terror strike on an upscale Dhaka restaurant that left 23, including 18 foreigners, dead.

"It is a Pakistan sponsored radical Islamist ecosystem we are up against. They are out to destroy the spirit of our great liberation war. It is the fight that never ends and demands eternal vigilance," read the BSAF statement.

Pakistan has still not owned its past. Textbooks, museum exhibits and mainstream narratives continue to distort and erase history and selective remembering and forgetting of the past have been institutionalized by the state.

Referring to the barbarism of the Pakistani forces in 1971, Bangabandhu had said, "You killed hundreds of thousands of people, stripped our mothers and sisters of their dignity, and compelled one crore people to take refuge in India."

The Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan has thus sparked fears of history repeating itself in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh believes that a democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan as chosen by its people is the only guarantee of stability and development in the country," the statement added.

We would not allow a "Taliban-type struggle to oust the Murtad (apostate) government of Sheikh Hasina. It is a well-known fact that there's a Pakistan-Taliban nexus, which is not in the best interest of Bangladesh," added the statement.

"Pakistan has intentions that -Taliban takeover will boost the morale of some radicals. But through this protest, we want to convey that they don't have much support in Bangladesh," read the statement. (ANI)

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