310Published on December 5, 2022
Immediately after winning the elections on October 1, 2001, the BNP-Jamaat alliance spread extremism and militancy across the country. During Khaleda Zia's regime, leaders of the international militant groups Taliban and al-Qaeda travelled to Bangladesh with her consent and under the patronage of Tarique Rahman. Following their footsteps, several militant groups were formed in the country according to the blueprint of the then government. International media published these reports.
On October 20, 2002, Times magazine reported that 150 Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda militants entered Bangladesh on the evening of December 21, 2001. Top Taliban leader Fazle Karim admitted it after his arrest by Indian police.
At that time, Bangladesh media also quoted foreign diplomatic officials as saying that Bin Laden's second man, Egyptian citizen Zawahiri, entered Bangladesh in March 2002 and stayed at the house of a radical leader. They came and stayed in the country to recruit militants from Bangladesh and train them.
Times' report also said that the government reacted heavily when asked about their presence in Bangladesh. Khaleda Zia came to power in October 2001 and two parties in her coalition and Chhatra Shibir had ties with the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Although Khaleda Zia denied it, her administration expressed concern over the matter. Khaleda Zia's Foreign Minister Morshed Khan said, “Even if they (Taliban) are in the party, they are harmful because they will be within the discipline of the party.”
According to foreign think tanks, Chhatra Shibir is the third terrorist organization in the world. In 2004, Tarique Rahman said that Chhatra Shibir and Chhatra Dal are two brothers from the same mother. Khaleda Zia also had full support for Bangla Bhai and Shaykh Abdur Rahman. Khaleda Zia's chief secretary Kamal Siddiqui told the US ambassador at that time that Tarique Rahman was sponsoring Bangla Bhai.
In 2014, the then Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury presented this information, citing the international and national media reports in the session of the National Parliament. The Samakal published the information on February 26