By- Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury | Date- March 21, 2012
Bangladesh government has been visibly misled by a fabricated report of New Delhi based journalist Dipanjan Roy Chowdhury, who twisted a recent statement of ex-ISI (Inter Service Intelligence) chief Asad Durrani’s testimony before Pakistan’s Supreme Court, where he admitted to funding a number of Pakistani politicians and political parties, while there is no such existence of funding Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), though this was openly accused by Bangladesh Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina stating the main opposition BNP received fifty million Pakistan rupees from ISI prior to general election in 1991.
It was later learnt that Dipanjan Roy Chowdhury was summoned by some top brasses of Research and Analytical Wing (RAW) on March 2, 2012 and was escorted to New Delhi headquarters of the Indian spy agency, wherefrom he wrote the report for Khaleej Times and it was later sent to the Indian-born owners of the Dubai based newspaper with the special instruction of publishing it prominently. Subsequently, when the fabricated and twisted news appeared in Khaleej Times, some influential members of the Indian government phoned editors of two of the leading daily newspapers in Dhaka, suggesting them to give best treatment to the Khaleej Times news. It may also be mentioned here that, vernacular daily Prothom Alo, which was frantically trying to send both Sheikh Hasina (chief of Bangladesh Awami League) and Khaleda Zia (chief of Bangladesh Nationalist Party) into exile following the installation of military backed authoritarian regime in 2007, is accused of playing foul game in destabilizing democratic institutions in the country. The editor of the newspaper, who was earlier a veteran comrade of the Communist Party, is also named of being affiliated with Islamist militancy group in Bangladesh.
Most importantly, vernacular daily in Bangladesh, Prothom Alo in their news on the ISI funding issue false mentioned that the news item has been published in Pakistani newspaper The News as well as leading business daily The Business Recorder. Such twisting of information was done by Dipanjan Roy Chowdhury and the controversial editor of the Bangladeshi newspaper.
Most importantly, the same Dipanjan Roy Chowdhury in his bi-line story published in Indian newspaper the Daily Mail (March 15, 2012) once again played his wrongful and nasty news twisting game and turned the amount from Pakistan Rupees 50 million to 500 million, though in Khaleej Times he falsely quoted the ISI boss giving Pakistan Rupees 50 million to Bangladesh Nationalist Party.
Again on March 16, 2012, the same writer wrote in India Today, “Recently a UAE-based daily had alleged that ISI paid Rs.50 crore to BNP chairperson and former PM Khaleda Zia ahead of the 1991 elections in which the BNP won and formed the government.”
It may be mentioned here that, Dipanjon Roy Chowdhury in his reports in India Today and some other newspapers in India never mentioned that the root of Khaleej Times reports was none but him. Such frequent twisting of the false information by the same man in various places categorically proves that this man had some ulterior motive in his mind. Subsequently, Bangladeshi state owned news agency, Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) simply copied the entire report of India Today, without verifying the authenticity of such report.
Following successful spread of the rumor created by Dipanjon Roy Chowdhury, he was invited by the Bangladeshi high commissioner in New Delhi and was compensated for such excellent report. Both met at a down-town pub in New Delhi secretly, where the Bangladeshi envoy went in a non-diplomatic vehicle. It is also learnt that one of the members of the Bangladeshi special family flew to India to meet Dipanjon Roy Chowdhury for expressing gratitude on the Khaleej Times report.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh foreign minister Dr. Dipu Moni, when asked about the source of the ruling party’s claim of the main opposition receiving ISI money, she openly confessed in a press conference stating “What we know is from a report run by the Khaleej Times.”
She further said, “We can provide more details after getting the transcript in our hands. This is necessary to be clear about what actually happened. We also need to know what is actually written in the transcript.”
It is further learnt that the copy of transcript already reached the Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad on March 19, 2012 and the copy was subsequently sent to the foreign ministry. After seeing the real affidavit, the top brasses in Bangladesh Awami League have reportedly decided to kill the issue before their lies are exposed in public. Some of the top policymakers in the ruling party have expressed anger on Prothom Alo and their correspondent Dipanjon Roy Chowdhury for falsely sensationalizing the report.
It may be mentioned here that, policymakers in New Delhi are becoming increasingly concerned at fastest decline in popularity of Bangladesh Awami League and desperately trying to somehow malign the growing image of Bangladesh Nationalist Party as well as other anti government forces in the country. Twisting and fabrication of ISI boss statement is considered to be one of the flopped tricks of Indian policymakers and intelligence agencies.
While the ruling party’s enthusiasm in proving Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s receiving money from Pakistani ISI has already been bogged into Bay of Bengal following availability of the copy of affidavit of Asad Durrani, a very high-profile corruption and laundering of millions of dollars by the defense advisor of the Prime Minister (also a family member) and his business associated retired Colonel Md. Shahid Uddin Khan has already been proved with specific evidences. One of the lawmakers of the opposition raised this issue at the parliament on March 19, 2012, where she read out my investigative report on this matter, which was re-catered in Times of Assam. Though specific evidences on this crime have already been forwarded to Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh Bank, Anti Corruption Commission, National Security Intelligence and Directorate of Forces Intelligence, there is no sign of any investigation or action on this matter for unknown reason. It is rather learnt from numerous sources that the defense advisor is trying to exert his influence in burying the investigation into the matter and even using country’s intelligence agencies in threatening me and members of our media is stopping publication of such report. It may be mentioned here that, the business associate of the defense advisor, Colonel (Retired) Shahid Uddin Khan smuggled millions of dollars abroad violating the existing law of the land.
Anirban Kalita is Executive Editor of News Section. His role is also involved with reviewing, editing of articles before publishing.
By academic Anirban is MTech of Computer Science & Technology.