Counter intelligence sources said their investigations have found that the ISI has been maintaining regular communication with the top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami and BNP, including the latter’s acting Chairperson Tarique Rahman who lives in London
The recently leaked seven-minute telephone conversation between senior BNP leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and an agent of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has brought into light the spy agency’s active involvement in Bangladesh’s politics in a bid to influence the upcoming general election.
Counter intelligence sources said their investigations have found that the ISI has been maintaining regular communication with the top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami and BNP, including the latter’s acting Chairperson Tarique Rahman who lives in London.
It has also been found that BNP-Jamaat leaders attempted to use the Pakistani spy agency as a conduit in a bid to communicate with the vested quarters in China.
The investigations found that the man who Mosharraf spoke with is former ISI official Lt Col (retd) Shahid Mehmood Md Sharif.
The former lietenantcolonel, after retiring as an ISI official in 2004, started working as a field agent for the spy agency in Dubai.
Apart from the BNP and Jamaat, he also maintains communication between several other political parties in Bangladesh and top ISI officials in Pakistan.
According to some sources in the Bangladesh intelligence community, Mehmood maintains regular communication with Tarique Rahman and other senior party leaders of the BNP and Jamaat via BNP’s UAE unit chief Jakir Hossain.
Bangladeshi counter intelligence officials believe Mehmood reports to ISI’s policymaker Javed Mehedi and handle the communication between Mehedi and BNP-Jamaat leaders. Mehmood and Jakir have met at least 11 times since July this year, with the last meeting taking place on December 7.
Surveillance on Jakir also revealed that Tarique had a meeting with Mehedi in Saudi Arabia on July 4.
According to the leaked audio clip of Mosharraf and Mehmood’s conversation and the meetings between the ISI agent and Jakir, the BNP and Jamaat have close ties to a number of agents of the Pakistani spy agency who are based in both Dhaka and several major cities abroad.
Ahead of the 11th general polls, the ISI has become more active and planned a string of initiatives to carry out in Bangladesh, according to the findings of the investigations.
Mosharraf Hossain, however, in a statement issued on December 13, has claimed that the leaked audio clip is fabricated.
“The audio clip was fabricated to tarnish my image ahead of the election.”
Mosharraf is contesting from Comilla 1 and 2 constituencies in the December 30 election.
A sedition case has been filed against him in Comilla in this connection.