According to intelligence sources, the Pakistani spy agency has even handed BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman a list of prospective candidates for 300 seats to contest the December 30 election
As the nation prepares for the 11th Parliament Election, active involvement of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in Bangladesh’s politics has come to light once again.
According to intelligence sources, the Pakistani spy agency has even handed BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman a list of prospective candidates for 300 seats to contest the December 30 election.
The list also contained names from BNP’s major ally Jamaat-e-Islami, whose leaders have been convicted and hanged for crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.
Intelligence sources, however, say it has been confirmed that the list reached Tarique in London by the first week of December.
BNP’s UAE unit chief Jakir Hossain received two separate lists of BNP’s prospective candidates from his handler at their last meeting in Dubai on December 7. He then dispatched the lists to Tarique in London.
Jakir’s ISI connection is Dubai-based operative Shahid Mehmood Md Sharif. Mehmood acts as the liaison between ISI top officials and a section of political leaders in Bangladesh, according to intelligence sources.
In the December 7 meeting, Jakir and Mehmood bargained over the list for the changes that Tarique wanted in it.
Mehmood, on the other hand, told Jakir the list has been prepared based on surveys carried out on behalf of Pakistan and they had picked people considered ‘good’ and ‘likely to win’ the polls.
The ISI dispatched its first list to Tarique sometime in November this year. It contained the prospective candidates of BNP and its ally Jamaat for 300 constituencies.
On December 7, Tarique received another short list of ‘10 very important persons.’ During their conversation, Mehmood also hinted they also dispatched another list to Tarique via another media.
According to intelligence agencies, the Pakistan spy agency was also particularly keen on Bangladesh’s move to use the electronic voting machines (EVM) in the national election.
Mehmood sought updates on EVMs from Jakir several times during their meetings between August 14 and September 4.