BNP, now the main opposition party in Bangladesh, was founded in 1978 by the then military dictator Ziaur Rahman with the help of Pakistani ISI and Saudi fund. The party was originated to build a platform for Jammat-e-Islami, Muslim League and other anti-independence of Bangladeshi organizations which were banned after the liberation by Bangladesh`s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The dictator Ziaur Rahman had ruled the country by proclaiming martial law after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his 22 family members on August 15, 1975. Zia who was brought up, nurtured, motivated and trained by Pakistani ISI during his tenure in the Pakistan army had applied all his excellence, skills and knowledge after the birth of Bangladesh and assumed power by playing the secret lead role to overthrow and assassin the founder of Bangladesh. The military dictator had also joined in the Liberation War though it was a controversial one. It was just revenge and happiness of Pakistan against Bangabandhu and his followers.
Ziaur Rahman had run the country in single-handedly from 1975 to 1981. He himself declared as Chief of Army, martial law administrator and president of Bangladesh. The very shrewd and greedy general has floated his party hiring all anti-liberation forces, Islamists and anti-Indian attitude persons. He did not stop with this notion only, he had gone a little far with the introduction to bribe, coerced and putting pressure on some opportunist political leaders to join with his BNP from the left parties and also from Awami league. The then intelligence organizations DGFI and NSI and others intelligences had to work for the newly formed political party BNP. Zia who had killed several thousands of officers from army, navy and air forces just to cling in to power during that time and even he did not spare his close friend colonel Taher who had saved him from a confinement area. The general has allowed rampant corruption and bribes in all sectors of the government but he himself stayed away from any monetary corruption. He was just greedy for power and to serve the Pakistani ISI. The Pakistani server dictator Zia had held a number of fake elections including yes-no, presidential and parliamentarians. So the dictator`s forceful and coerced popularity had gone in to hibernation except radical groups and some corrupt businessmen and politicians.
In the year 1981 after the death of Zia, the party has gone out of power. Khaleda Zia, the widow of late general Ziaur Rahman, has taken over the party as its chief and had struggled against the another military dictator Hussain Muhammad Ershad with Awami League chief Shiekh Hasina. Khaleda Zia with the support of Pakistani ISI and Bangladesh’s local agents assumed the power in 1991 in a general election and had served the country better than the all previous dictators. Khaleda Zia had become popular among the youth because of her good appearance, and for selling religion Islam to the innocent people. The most important slogan was if Awami League assumes the power, there will be no Islam and India will turn the mosque in to temple. She was attracted by a good number of young Turks too.
The darkness of the party has started while her son Tarique Rahman got involved in the politics. In 2001 when her party came in to power, Tarique had appointed 35 ministers on the first day. Most of them are congenital corrupt, criminals and militants or member of radical groups. Tarique had gone in the hands of criminals and radical groups including local Jammat Shibir. He has become a close ally of most wanted Doud Ibrahim and followers of Osama Bin Laden with the help of Pakistani ISI.
The party’s senior or standing committee members have become basically a rubber stamp or slaves-type employees to Tarique Rahman. All the key decisions of the party are being taken by Tarique Rahman. Khaleda Zia who was two-time prime minister of Bangladesh was in fact acting like a titular head like it is today.
So an uncertainty looms large over BNP. The party has already been grabbed by the radical groups. A small segments of the leaders and big number of supporters who are not involved in the radical groups are in dilemma. They have lost their path. They cannot dessert the party and cannot march forward with the party.
By Robi Hashem