Global Economy

Pakistan High Commission meddling with poll process: Bangladesh

New Delhi: The Sheikh Hasina-led Bangladesh government, which is seeking re-election in December 30 polls, has accused the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka of meddling with the country’s internal affairs and election process.

Pakistan High Commission’s role in Bangladesh’s internal politics ahead of polls came to light when charge d`affaires of the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka, Shah Faisal Kakar and defense adviser Brigadier Kamran Nazir Malik, met three leaders of the opposition BNP on several occasions this week, persons familiar with the matter told ET from Dhaka.

The diplomats met senior BNP leaders on number of occasions at separate restaurants in Dhaka’s posh locality Gulshan between last Monday and Thursday. Leaders under scanner are BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and former minister Barrister Aminul Haque. Meanwhile, top BNP leader Abdul Awal Mintoo, has claimed that these meetings were held without the party’s approval. This year Dhaka has refused to accept Islamabad’s new envoy following allegations of Pakistan’s diplomatic mission being misused to further ISI activities against Dhaka and Delhi. While Islamabad has nominated the new envoy Saqlain Syedah to Dhaka, the Hasina government has refused to accept her.

Pakistan has been supporting BNP and it ally radical Jamaat-e-Islami since the 1970s and ex-PM Khaleda Zia of BNP was once accused of accepting cash from the ISI for funding elections.

“BNP has always been known for India and Awami League bashing ever since its inception,”,” an expert on Bangladesh politics speaking on the condition of anonymity told ET.

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