Bring to view the masterminds behind the thwarted coup attempt in Bangladesh.

Published on Sunday, January 22, 2012

An attempt for a coup to overthrow the current government of Bangladesh was foiled by the Bangladesh Army. As it appears, the well-trained army dealt with the conspiracies and provocation in a highly professional manner. The conspiracy of a few disgruntled members of the army aligned with the Islamic extremists could have caused instability in the armed forces in particular and in the whole country in general. The conspiracies and provocations caused the loss of lives of so many army officers and soldiers in the past. So much of blood spilled from the bodies of many young army officers and soldiers that only helped satisfy the ill motives and greed of a few power-hungry conspirators. For example, the killings in 1970s helped the conspirator and dictator Gen. Zia to grab power. Similarly, the loss of lives through killings in 1980s helped another conspirator and dictator Gen. Ershad to capture power. These dictators enjoyed the power by suppressing the democratic processes and subjugating the rights of the people of all walks of life. By continuing their illegal power, the dictators destroyed the democratic institutions of the country and most importantly, they destroyed the professionalism in the armed forces. As a result, the rumors of coup and counter coup were always there in Bangladesh at that time. In those days, there were instabilities created by the power hungry individuals and the defeated forces of 1971. At the present, the armed forces appear to be more professional because they have been able to foil the evil designs of the perpetrators and have openly revealed the facts to the nation. It is time for us to congratulate them for their professionalism, competency, and transparency in disseminating the information.

Many political opportunists in the catbird seat are looking forward to bringing chaos in the disciplined armed forces in Bangladesh. No less than a former Prime Minister, Mrs. Khaleda Zia, tried with her ill motives to incite discontent in the army. On January 9, 2012, Mrs. Zia referred to the torture and missing of army officers under the present government while the authorities concerned (in the army) were trying to prevent a possible coup orchestrated by a tiny few of the active duty and retired army officers. It is now known that the army intelligence and the concerned authorities were investigating and arresting the individuals involved in the conspiracy secretly. All these operations were done outside the knowledge of the public and the media. No one outside the involved authorities knew about the secret operations against the anti-state elements. The army arrested two retired army officers named Lt Col Ehsan Yousuf and Major Zakir to thwart the attempted coup. How did Mrs. Zia come to know about what was going on involving the attempted coup? How did she label the arrest of the conspirators as torture unleashed by the government in her speech in Chittagong? How could she make comment in her speech that the perpetrators were made untraced by the government? The plot does not lack in importance because a high profile politician made comments inspired by the rumors spread by one of the coup plotters named Major Ziaul Haq and as revealed in the news, a high ranking officer as high as a major general was involved in the coup attempt.

Absconding Major Ziaul Haq spread rumor in the Internet and sent an e-mail to a group of serving officers urging them to stage a coup on January 9th and 10th. On January 9th, Mrs. Zia tried to provoke the army in her speech in Chittagong. Was it just a mere coincidence with the plan of the conspirators? Mrs. Zia delivered her inflammatory speech against the government while the peace-loving people of Bangladesh got a bit of relief after the arrest of Golam Azam, one of the masterminds in the killings of the Bengalis including the intellectuals in 1971. She and her associates did not make it a secret for their support to the war criminals now under trial. As a natural ally of her party, the fundamentalist Jamaat-I-Islami and their likes are eager to use her influence as a former Prime Minister to spoil the trial of the war criminals. Obviously, the fundamentalist elements sympathetic to the war criminals will try to create chaos, confusion, and conflict in the country. Unfortunately, Mrs. Zia is trying in vain to please them by using her status and influence. She is providing support to the war criminals by criticizing the war crime tribunal and helping them implement their agenda by creating chaos and conflict in the country including the armed forces. It is a good sign that the army spokesman came out and revealed the truth to the media in a free and open environment. This will help bring the culprits to view.

Brigadier General Muhammad Masud Razzaq revealed that a band of retired and serving fanatic officers confessed their involvement in the anti-state activities. He informed that a small group of people of Bangladesh residing in foreign countries were involved in the plot against the government. Given the current pressure created by the government upon the Islamic fundamentalist parties such as Jamaat-I-Islami and Hizbut Tahrir, it is most likely that they will try to use the small group residing outside Bangladesh as their workers or supporters. The dissemination of all these information by an army general through an open press conference on the anti-state conspiracy is laudable. It will now become difficult for the anti-government tale-bearers to establish the authenticity of their rumors. In the past, the rumor-mongers circulated rumors and the masterminds brought catastrophic changes through killings in the disciplined forces in Bangladesh. Many lost their lives in an untimely manner only for the people of the country to see the mastermind grabbing power illegally. In 1975, the mastermind was none but Gen. Zia, the husband of the former Prime Minister Mrs. Khaleda Zia. This mastermind brought Golam Azam to Bangladesh from Pakistan, released all the war criminals from jail, and amended the constitution through martial law proclamation for allowing the Islamic fundamentalists to do politics. Eventually, the political Islamists gave rise to Islamic terrorism in a very peace-loving Bangladesh.

The able followers of Gen. Zia, including his wife and son are out to protect and rehabilitate the anti-Bangladesh fundamentalists. At this time, if anyone provoked the serving and retired army officers to stage a coup, then they must be brought to justice. No blood should be spilled from a single member of the armed forces for the benefit of a few ambitious conspirators. The masterminds and their patrons have failed to understand that the present time is not the same as it was in 1970s. Bangladesh armed forces are now more organized and professional than they were in the past. I believe that they will go deep down to unearth the conspiracy behind the current coup attempt.

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