Dhaka could be next stop for foreign troops: Islamist leader

May 10th, 2009 - 1:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, May 10 (IANS) After Afghanistan and Iraq, Bangladesh could be the next destination of “foreign troops” engaged in battling Muslim militants, an Islamist leader has warned here.
The charge by Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI)’s Ameer (chief) Motiur Rahman Nizami Saturday comes close to a similar statement by former prime minister Khaleda Zia.

The two shared power during 2001-06, but badly lost in last December’s election.

Nizami said that “a certain quarter” was inviting “foreign forces to Bangladesh in search of militants mentioning the country’s inability to fight against militancy”.

The Jamaat chief was addressing a council of Bangladesh Islamic Lawyers Association, The Daily Star said.

The remark was a reference to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government that has mooted a South Asian task force to counter terrorism, political observers said. The government has discussed the issue with India and the US.

Nizami alleged that “a number of Indian intellectuals have been trying to label Bangladesh as the ‘next Afghanistan’”.

“After 9/11, foreign forces cracked down on Afghanistan and then Iraq. Now it is heard that they are in search of another Muslim state,” the Jamaat chief said.

Besides JeI, which is the largest Islamist party in the country, “the entire nation would be harmed by the activities of any foreign force if they come here in search of militants like (in) Iraq and Afghanistan”, Nizami warned.

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