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Pakistan's hand in failed plot to assassinate Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina

A sensational plot to assassinate Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her family members besides top leaders of the ruling Awami League ahead of the recently concluded December 30 parliamentary polls had been foiled, sources from Dhaka claimed.

Bangladesh government with support from friendly partners had stumbled upon an alleged plan by Pakistan's ISI to smuggle a huge cache arms for the operation that was planned ahead of the elections, said the sources. Hasina returned to power for the third consecutive term with a thumping majority.

Lt. General Navid Moktar from ISI is believed to have played a big role in the plot, where several ISI agents apart from some members of the Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard were involved, sources further claimed. It is not yet known if the pro-Pakistan radical group Jamaat-e-Islami had a role in this operation.

Aship carrying AK-47s, carbines and grenades under a Greek flag was planning to enter a Bangladesh port ahead of December 30 --reminiscent of the 2004 ten truck arms smuggling case when BNP was in power -- but the ship sunk mid-way, one of the above quoted sources said.

"The plan was to assassinate PM Hasina and her family members and create mayhem. There were also plans to cause a blast in Dhaka from the ship through remote control," another source claimed.

BNP leader and son of former Bangladesh PM, Tarique Rahman, currently exiled in London, and Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka were alleged collaborators in this plot. Some local BNP leaders were unaware of the conspiracy, another source from Dhaka claimed. Rahman apart from Dawood Ibrahim and ULFA leader Paresh Baruah (allegedly based in China) were charge sheeted in 2004 in the arms smuggling case. Hasina was targeted the same way -- grenade attack -- which had killed and injured senior party leaders.

ET had earlier reported that ISI tried to facilitate the return of pro-Pakistan BNP and radical Jamaat-e-Islami to power through selection of candidates and channeling of funds through its Dubaibased agents in the parliamentary elections in Bangladesh.

Rahman, it is alleged, was the key conduit in the ISI strategy. Finances were transferred through Rahman’s associates and Dubai-based agents of ISI.

Source:economictimes.indiatimes.com

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