Rise of radical Islam and militancy in the name of religion

Who killed Benazir Bhutto?

By Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury —— Bio and Archives--December 27, 2007

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The tragic death of Pakistan’s former Prime Minister is undoubtedly a matter of great concern for people, who are especially opposing the rise of radical Islam and militancy in the name of religion. Right after the tragic death of Benazir, media in the world are continuing to term her as a courageous voice against Islamist militancy.

But, the most unfortunate part of the death of Benazir is surely a comment made by Information Advisor of the present interim government in Bangladesh, Barrister Moinul Hussain. Talking to a private television channel [Channel-I], Barrister Moinul criticized Pakistan’s offensives on Al-Qaeda. He said, Pakistan has committed a blunder by participating in offensives against Al Qaeda, which is not any internal problem for Pakistan. He said, listening to foreign friends, has now plunged Pakistan into its present crisis.

Barrister Moinul’s comments send a very clear signal to the international community that, Bangladesh is not going to be an ally of the United States nor it will take part in any kind of offensives on Islamist militancy. His remarks lean very much in favor of his stance of ignoring the United State’s and international communities’ concern on the rise of Al Qaeda and Islamist militancy in the world, as well in Bangladesh.

It may be mentioned here that the previous government started massive offensives on Islamist militancy in Bangladesh and arrested a large number of top kingpins of the notorious Islamist militant group Jamatul Mujahedin Bangladesh [JMB]. The government also ensured the trial of these notorious people and finally a large number of JMB kingpins had already been hanged.  But, the latest statement of Barrister Moinul Hussain gives a very solid signal to the international community that Bangladesh is no more inclined to be a partner in the war on terror.

It is also important to mention here that, Barrister Moinul is considered to be the most powerful figure in the present interim government in Bangladesh.
Now, let us get back to the titled topic. After the death of Benazir, a question is prominent in the minds of all: Who killed her? Pakistani and international media are now claiming that she was killed by Islamist militant groups in Pakistan. If this is fact, then there is no room to have any doubt that there is a remarkable presence of Islamist militant groups in Pakistan. So, President Pervez Musharraf’s participation in anti Al Qaeda and anti Islamist militancy was not any naïve decision. It was very much a timely act taken by the President in order to let his nation be freed from the notoriety of radical forces. How is it that the Bangladeshi advisor sees Musharraf’s actions as mistakes? Why did he make an open statement in the media opposing Bangladesh’s participation in the War on Terror? There should be some question in the minds of the people about the affiliation of this man. By making such a public show of Bangladesh remaining aloof from combating Islamist militancy, was he trying to hid his softness on Islamist Jihadists?

Benazir was not assassinated because of Pakistan’s participation in the War on Terror. Rather, she became the prey of Islamist Jihadists in Pakistan. And by waging war against such elements, President Pervez Musharraf did no wrong. This is exactly what any sensible and peace-loving individual or leader should do. But, by criticizing Pervez Musharraf’s actions and global effort to combat Islamist militancy, Barrister Moinul Hussain at least left a bold signal to the world that, he or his government is not a partner in such an international effort. Let us see what Bangladesh’s interim government’s chief advisor says or does on the notorious statement of the advisor. If the government remains mum on this extremely important issue, then all the anti radical forces in the world may conclude that Moinul’s statement was in fact the ideology of the present government.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is the editor & publisher of The Weekly Blitz. He is a journalist, columnist, author and Peace activist. He is the recipient of PEN USA Freedom to Write Award 2005, Recipient of American Jewish Committee Moral Courage Award 2006.

Salah can be reached at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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