Sunday, February 06, 2005

BANGLADESH: Kibria Killing: A Beneficiary Analysis

+ Some people hints involvement of RAW in the incident. The judiciary commission formed to investigate 21 August grenade attack on Awami League rally also blamed it indirectly. RAW is a direct beneficiary of the incident. Peace and prosperity in Bangladesh goes against Indian interest. Bangladesh is one of the biggest markets of Indian goods. Moreover, India sees a successful Bangladesh as a threat to its integrity because it is afraid that it may add to the struggle for freedom of many of its provinces. Bangladesh has been steadily building an image of 'Moderate Muslim Democracy' which gives a respectful position to Bangladesh in the West and also in the Muslim world. Having a good position in the Muslim world has economic consequences for Bangladesh. It may start to get a greater share of the job market of the Middle East which is occupied by the Indians currently. +

Kibria Killing: A Beneficiary Analysis
Imtiaz Ahmed

05/02/2005

Beneficiary analysis is a strong tool for the detectives for unearthing the clues of well-planned political assassinations. Colleagues of the slain leaders also opined in the press conference that a proper beneficiary analysis would help find out the culprit. Everyone agrees the killing of late Kibria was not a result of any personal animosity. These types of assassinations are usually well-planned and have a long-term objective.

In the immediate reaction, Sheikh Hasina blamed the four party alliance, especially Khaleda and Nizami for the killing. BNP-Jamaat is the main contestor of Awami League. In the next election Awami League will context them. It is not illogical to think that the two parties are involved in the killing. Moreover, failure of the government in carrying out complete probe of earlier incidents may indicate involvement of the ruling coalition. To verify Hasina's allegation different sides of the incident, including the background socio-economic condition of the country of the time of killing, need closer examination.

Last few months were probably the best time of Bangladesh history. The nation did not experience such improvement of law and order before. The recently observed Eid was the most peaceful and secured Eids in many years. Improvement of law and order was attracting foreign investments from India, France, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia etc. To add to the good days, Bangladesh cricket team started to bring one after another victory. In such a situation, the time for SAARC summit was approaching with increasing beauty of Dhaka city. The streets of Dhaka have been decorated with live flowers and decorative plants. I do not remember whether Dhaka looked so beautiful before. The country was prepared to welcome the foreign dignitaries and media and demonstrate its recent economic growth.

The ruling BNP was progressing very well in its organisational activities. Tarek Zia has been meeting leaders and activists from the remote areas to organise the party for the next election. I headed many people commenting that BNP-Jamaat alliance will come to power again with big majority if the government can keep the current law and order situation.

On the other hand frustration was griping Awami League. The party failed again and again to form any effective street movement. Visit of Hasina's son Joy lit a ray of hope for the activists of the party. However, his failure to receive Tarek's greetings frustrated many supporters from the educated elite of the opposition party. Moreover, as he left the country and his mother expressed her plan to go on a long foreign tour, the ray of hope soon turned into darkness of frustration.

In such situation, came the incident of killing Kibria, putting the ruling party at a loss. While it was trying to focus on the improvement of law and order situation as its main area of success, after the incident, it has to digest India's blame of lack of security in the country. The incident gave India and Awami League a golden opportunity to prove that Bangladesh has become a safe haven for terrorists.

Jamaat experienced more loss than BNP as, being Islamist, it remains the main target of widespread blaming by national and international media.

The incident came as a blessing for Awami League. The party was dying with organisational inactivity, internal conflicts and deep frustration among grass root activists. Frustration griped the senior leadership as it became obvious that Joy is coming soon to lead the party. Pro-Awami League intellectuals and media men felt embarrassed to accept Joy in the politics because many of them diatribe Tarek Zia and wrote numerous columns against him because he is working like a crown prince. The incident helped the party leaders to revitalise it and giving something for the street agitators.

As it has become obvious that it will be almost impossible for Awami League to defeat BNP and Jamaat coalition in the election because of simple election mathematics, the part seems looking for alternatives to go to power. It started to question the caretaker system which it struggled for. The incident paves the way for alternatives to democratic system and helps them calling the foreign forces to interfere into Bangladesh politics.

There are some facts that makes the killing mysterious. Kibria's wife told the Manav Jamin that she did not want to let her husband to go to Habigonj. But Kibria informed her that he had to go because it was an order from Hasina. (Daily Manav Jamin, 29 Jan, 2005). Few days ago, Hasina told the newsmen that she came to know about a plot to kill the leaders of her party. Why Hasina ordered Kibria to attend a public meeting in a remote area in night time keeping the police uninformed about it while she knew about a plot to kill the leaders of her party? Doctors in BIRDEM hospital in Dhaka told the media (and his family also confirmed) that he died of excessive bleeding. The government claims that it wanted to sent a helicopter to bring him to Dhaka but Awami League leaders refused to accept it and took him to Dhaka in an ambulance. He was not given an IV saline in the ambulance. If we do not believe the government statement that it offered a lift by helicopter, then the question comes why the opposition leaders did not arrange a private helicopter. There are hospitals in Dhaka that provide ambulance helicopter. Why he was not given any IV saline to help stop bleeding and keep blood circulation okay?

Some people hints involvement of RAW in the incident. The judiciary commission formed to investigate 21 August grenade attack on Awami League rally also blamed it indirectly. RAW is a direct beneficiary of the incident. Peace and prosperity in Bangladesh goes against Indian interest. Bangladesh is one of the biggest markets of Indian goods. Moreover, India sees a successful Bangladesh as a threat to its integrity because it is afraid that it may add to the struggle for freedom of many of its provinces. Bangladesh has been steadily building an image of 'Moderate Muslim Democracy' which gives a respectful position to Bangladesh in the West and also in the Muslim world. Having a good position in the Muslim world has economic consequences for Bangladesh. It may start to get a greater share of the job market of the Middle East which is occupied by the Indians currently.

The selection of the targets is also very important. If the mastermind of the killing wanted to weaken Awami League by killing its leaders then they would select the organisers. Kibria was a bureaucrat, not an organiser or a politician. He has another side that is very important. He had a good position in the international community. The killers probably knew that killing Kibria would generate very sharp reaction from the international community and it would be easy to label Bangladesh is a highly insecure, instable and non-functional state. The Indian media has been trying to do it for long time. The British High Commissioner was targeting previously probably for the same reason.

Selecting Sylhet for these terrorist activities probably has some significance. Sylhet region is highly rich with natural resource like gas and oil. The gas mines there have a special character. It is possible for India to drill in its land and suck gas from our mines. Are these terrorist activities carried out in Sylhet so that we do not find time to explore our natural resources until the neighbour get enough time to suck them?