Ex-ISI chief confesses endowment for BNP
Ahmed Toslim, Dhaka, Bangladesh,N24: Inter Services Intelligence (ISI)- the spy agency of Pakistan has confessed that it had funded the BNP during the 1991 general elections which the party won and formed government. The confession came from a man no less than former ISI chief Asad Durrani during a Pakistan Supreme Court hearing on the spy agency’s mandate on Wednesday, according to London-based Daily Mail. He also confessed to supporting insurgency in India’s northeast.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Mar 10 accused BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia of taking money from ISI before the June 1996 and Oct 2001 parliamentary elections. “It is beyond doubt that she (Khaleda) took money before 1996 national polls. The future will reveal more on… I think the amount was higher in 2001,” the Awami League chief had said. But the BNP denied the allegation.
On Thursday, its acting secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir slammed Hasina for her remarks that Khaleda had taken money from ISI before 1991, 1996 and 2001 elections.
He dared the prime minister to prove it and said her statement was ‘devoid of decency’. “Our leader [Khaleda] does not take money from foreigners for using in politics,” Fakhrul had said.
A three-member bench of the top court headed by chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhary grilled the former spy agency chief on ISI’s funding for politicians both within and outside Pakistan, the British newspaper added.
Recently, a UAE-based daily had alleged that ISI paid 50 crore rupees to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia ahead of the 1991 elections. There are allegations that the ISI has been active in Bangladesh whenever the BNP has been in power in 1991-96 and later during 2001-06. The spy agency was also alleged to have launched a campaign from Bangladesh to destabilise the India’s northeast region by patronising and providing logistic support, including funds, to the insurgent groups operating from Bangladesh.
The ISI is also alleged to have supported a network in Bangladesh, which includes the Jamaat-e-Islami, the BNP and northeast insurgents groups during the BNP’s rule. Pakistan’s defense ministry had admitted in the Supreme Court in the December of last year, the military and the ISI were out of operational control of this.