Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tipaimukh Dam: Trans-boundary impact assessment and state of customary int’l law

The issue of utilisation of Tran boundary water resources (TWRs) between India and its neighbours China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh is a crucial source of regional conflict. Bangladesh and India share 54 TWRs. None of these water resources are being utilised according to the international rules and practices or multilateral integrated management planning. Riparian states are attempting to solve the water inadequacy problem through national unilateral actions and limited bilateral cooperation.

These approaches do not offer the minimum sustainable benefits to its riparian states. Rather, they are causing the depletion of available water, and socioeconomic and environmental problems. The upstream state, India constructed a series of structures, such as dams, barrages, reservoirs or regulators to block the free natural and regular flow of the waters of TWRs shared by the downstream state Bangladesh. Such water controls are built on the Mahananda at Banglabandh, on the Teesta at Gazaldoba, on the Manu at Nalkata, on the Khowai at Chakmaghal, on the Gumti at Maharani, on the Ganges at Farakka, and on the Dakatia at Kalsi.

So far the information available, none of these constructions project followed the fundamental principles of international law relating to the utilisation of an international water course, such as prior notification, consultation, environmental impact assessment (EIA), not to cause damage to other states, riparian right of access to water and equitable sharing of water. Hence, the dire consequences of these unilateral actions over the TWRs make Bangladesh worry about the socioeconomic impacts of other future projects.

Recently, the upper riparian state India has initiated an ambitious unilateral action plan to implement the Inter-River Linking Project (IRLP) to link 37 rivers excavating 9,000 kilometres of more than 600 long canals by building hundreds of reservoirs to give water access to 150 million hectares of land in India from the waters of the Brahmaputra to the Ganges, from the Ganges to the Mahananda and the Godabari in the next decade. The IRLP is a big concern for downstream Bangladesh and upstream Nepal.

Moreover, India has taken another initiative to build the Tipaimukh Hydroelectric Project Dam (The THPD envisages construction of a 162.8 meter high rockfill dam, which will intercept a catchment area of 12,758 sq km ) on the river Borak to produce 99,000 megawatts of electricity gradually within the next 50 years. The Borak is the main stream of the branch river of Meghna in Bangladesh. These projects also indicate immeasurable future threats for Bangladesh and some north parts in India. These ongoing and future unilateral actions increase regional tensions and mistrust. Bangladesh and downstream north-east States Monipur, Mizoram and Assam (in India) are concerned about the construction of THPD for hydropower generation over the Borak river, which will reduce downstream water flow and cause socio-economic and environmental impacts.

India has conducted an EIA and environmental management plan (EMP) within its territory for the proposed THPD. However, it does not assess its downstream impact in Bangladesh. It has been criticised widely and declared controversial due to lack of public participation and consultations, EIA in all aspects and areas and providing information to the stakeholders in north-eastern State Monipur and Bangladesh. Any environment activists argue that it was prepared based on misinformation and undermining the rich biodiversity, natural and cultural heritage, impacts on the living planets and their rehabilitation and proper management scheme. Hence, all downstream stakeholders demand a holistic impact assessment on the proposed THPD.

Recently, India has agreed to conduct a joint investigation about the EIA of THPD with Bangladesh. As part of the process Delhi has handed over the six parts THPD reports to Bangladesh with a proposal of joint venture investment in the last joint expert meeting held in August 2012. According to the signed memo of joint investigation on 28th August 2012, the term of reference (TOR) for the assessment of THPD issues, each country is envisaged for assessment in their respective sides. However, Bangladesh is still awaiting for some specific project related data and information from India. This paper investigates (a) why EIA and EMP are important over the utilisation of TWR and (b) what fundamental principles are available in the customary international law about these issues.

The Citizens Concern for Dams and Development expresses serious concern about the joint investigation initiative and says that the Dam construction cannot be done only by the negotiation between Central India and Bangladesh alone. It demands the active participation of the indigenous peoples of Manipur (who will be obviously affected) in the decision making process as they and their land, rivers, forests and other resources will be directly affected. They also demand to revoke (i) the Environmental Clearance granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) of the Government of India because the affected peoples opposed all the five public hearings and the construction of THPD and (ii) the MOU signed between the Government of Manipur, the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation, the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited on 28 April 2012 without informing and taking consent of the people of Manipur.

A wide range international legal instruments and forums, including the recommendations of the World Commission on Dams (WCD), the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (UNCERD) and the provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognizes indigenous people’s inherent rights over their land, and that resources should be fully adhered to in its entirely. In 2007 and 2011 the UNCERD have urged Indian Government to respect the right to free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples before THPD construction. The issue of stakeholder participation has widely been discussed in the second World Water Forum (WWF, the Hague 2000) which includes sharing of power, democratic participation of citizens in elaborating or implementing water policies and projects, and in managing water resources.

Paragraph 23 of the fifth WWF ministerial declaration mentions that, good water governance requires multi-stakeholder platforms and legal and institutional frameworks enabling the stakeholders’ participation at the local, national and regional level. Article 18 of the Berlin Rules on Water Resources 2004 also gives importance about stakeholder participation in utilising a shared water resource. Bangladesh needs to express their respect and standing about the stakeholder indigenous peoples’ right and the importance of holistic impact assessment, which will protect its citizen’s right more effectively.

International jurisprudence about issue of prior notification, consultation and negotiation, EIA and EMP on any projects over the TWR are quite clear. International legal instruments and international court and tribunal decisions and awards relating to the utilisation of shared natural resources have developed the principles of ‘states responsibility’, ‘prior notification, consultation and negotiation’, ‘good neighbourliness’, ‘not to cause significant harm to other states’, ‘riparian states right of access to water’, ‘non-recognition of unilateral action’ and ‘equitable and reasonable utilisation’. These principles of international law require prior EIA on any form of a unilateral project plan over the TWR at both the upstream and downstream point to assess the Tran boundary environmental impact.

The UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm Declaration 1972) and some other international instruments have imposed responsibility on states to ensure that states’ activities within their jurisdictions or control do not cause damage to the natural systems and the environment of other states and regions or in areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. The principle not to cause significant harm to other states is reiterated in the UNGA Resolution on World Charter for Nature 1982. It emphasises that early detection of any degradation threats on a shared natural resource considering the status of natural processes, ecosystems and species are very important. It recommends for timely intervention and facilitation by riparian states to remove such threats valuing relevant conservation policies and methods (Paragraph 19). It asks states to give supreme importance to protecting the resource, maintaining the balance and quality of nature and conserving natural resources, in the interests of present and future generations in using shared natural resources. The Final Act of the Helsinki Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) (1975) has acknowledged the principles of international law relating to ecological protection.

It requires states to cooperate to ensure the progressive development, codification and implementation of international law as one means of preserving and enhancing the human environment, including principles and practices, as accepted by them, relating to pollution and other environmental damage caused by activities within the jurisdiction or control of their states affecting other states and regions. These instruments have recognised the coordinated and integrated management of TWRs planning to minimise socioeconomic and environmental impacts.

The UN Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States (1972) has provided the responsibility of states not to cause damage to the environment in other state’s territory and required states to cooperate in international norms and regulations in the field of protection, preservation and enhancement of the environment (Article 30). It also provides that the environmental policies of all states should enhance and not adversely affect the present and future development potential of developing states. This responsibility was recapitulated in the Convention of Bio-diversity 1992 in relation to TWR, which states that ‘damaging activities upstream frequently degrade the inland or coastal waters of downstream states’ (Article 3).

Article 14 gives extra importance on the necessity of EIA and minimising adverse impacts to maintain a sustainable ecosystem, wherever appropriate. The UNGA Resolution on Cooperation between States in the Field of the Environment (1972) asks states not to use TWRs in ways that create significant harmful effects on zones situated outside their national jurisdiction, rather to use the resource effectively through bilateral and multilateral cooperation or through regional machinery, to preserve and improve the environment.

Most of the South Asian states are parties to a number of global environmental instruments like conventions, treaties and declarations that are potentially applicable to TWRs management and utilisation. Among them, the 1972 Ramsar Convention aims to stop the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands as the components of natural inland water systems (Article 5). This Convention requires an understanding of the implementation of obligations between states in respect of TWRs and coordinated conservation of wetland flora and fauna. Provisions for preventing and mitigating harm related to the utilisation of TWRs are also found in a number of conventions, including the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the 1994 Convention on Desertification.

The Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Tran boundary Context 1991 (Espoo Convention 1991) defines the term ‘impact’ from a very broad aspects, which includes “any effect caused by a proposed activity on the environment including human health and safety, flora, fauna, soil, air, water, climate, the landscape and historical monuments or other physical structures or the interaction among these factors; it also includes effects on cultural heritage or socio-economic conditions resulting from alterations to those factors”. 

This Convention asks states to take all appropriate and effective initiatives, either individually or jointly, so that no adverse trans boundary environmental impact can take place from proposed activities (Article 2). It forcefully asks states to consider all anticipated affected stakeholders as early as possible at the same time when informing its own public about the proposed activity (Article 3). Article 4 obliges states to furnish the environmental impact assessment documentation to the likely affected stakeholders for their comments before taking any final decision about the projects. Article 5 invites states to conduct consultations, without delay, on the basis of the environmental impact assessment documentation.

Sustainable approach for the integrated governance of TWRs through multilateralism by which artificial structures like dams, storage (reservoirs) can be built wherever necessary, and operated for safeguarding the resource, the environment and the downstream impact.
To be continued.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

ISI running sex racket to trap politicians

Pakistani spy agency, Inter Service Intelligence [ISI] is running sex racket, which comprises cine stars, models, college and university students as well as some housewives from lesser affluent families, which is regularly used in trapping politicians, members of the civil society as well as journalists, sexual acts with the ISI planted hookers are videoed secretly, which are later used as tools of blackmailing. In addition to hookers from domestic sources, ISI also employs beautiful females from various nations including Tunisia, Uzbekistan and few of the east European nations, who are brought into Pakistan under the disguise of employees with few local enterprises, which also are secretly owned by the Pakistani espionage organization. Similarly, ISI traps female and male politicians, who get engaged into illicit romantic or extra-marital relations and regularly bug their telephone calls as well as secretly follow their movements within and outside the country. In most cases, whenever political VIPs in Pakistan get involved into romantic or extra-marital relations and plan their secret sexual rendezvous, ISI will mostly install secret video cameras within the posh hotels, guest houses or recreation clubs in that country or would even follow them to foreign countries and try to grab as much as evidence they could get on such romantic or extra-marital relations of the VIP politicians.

The ISI recruited hookers from Tunisia and the east European nations as well as some of the Asian nations are also sent to a number of ‘enemy nations’ of Pakistan, including India with the assignment of sexually alluring high officials and politicians of those countries, thus finally ending up with secret videos, which are mostly used for extracting sensitive information from those targeted high officials and politicians. If any of those high officials or politicians denies meeting the requirement of ISI by providing sensitive information and evidences, the videos of their sexual rendezvous are leaked by ISI to public or in some cases, such videos are sent to the members of their families with the ulterior motive of creating family jeopardy.

The sex racket traps of ISI, which is codenamed ‘Dilruba’ gets funding from illegal drug trafficking as well as dealing in counterfeit Indian currencies, which are regular source of hidden earning of the Pakistani espionage agency. According to information, each year ISI protected drug paddler traffic 50-55 tons of narcotics from the Pakistani frontier and Afghanistan to various nations in Asia as well as some of the Western destinations. On the other hand, counterfeit Indian currencies are printed at least in two security printing presses in Pakistan, which are owned and run by the Inter Service Intelligence. Annually, these printing presses produce billions of counterfeit Indian Rupees. In recent years, the same printing presses of ISI are also producing counterfeit currencies of Bangladesh.

Source :

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pakistan and the threat of extremism : Turning point?

            Despite outrage over Malala’s shooting, the dark forces are gathering again.

MANY say they now realise it has taken a 14-year-old schoolgirl to teach Pakistan the meaning of courage. Back in 2009 Malala Yousafzai began chronicling the dark grip of the Pakistani Taliban on her homeland, the pretty Swat valley in the country’s north. She had a clear-eyed conviction that girls had a right to an education, something the Taliban did their best to prevent, even after their local rule was broken in an army offensive. She called the Taliban “barbarians”. On October 9th the barbarians took their revenge, shooting her in the head. She is now in a British hospital, in Birmingham, with a specialist unit for war injuries. Doctors are impressed by her resilience.

Back home, says Nusrat Javed, host of a popular political show, “Malala has liberated Pakistan.” Pakistanis have voiced unprecedented anger against the Pakistani Taliban, calling for the peaceful majority to reclaim the country’s destiny from gun-toting, head-chopping extremists.

The question is whether political, military and religious leaders have Malala’s gumption. Most condemned the attack without condemning the Pakistani Taliban. A few went further. The army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, who had already taken a more aggressive stance against extremists in recent months, sounded ready for action. After visiting Malala in hospital in Pakistan, he said: “We refuse to bow before terror. We will fight, regardless of the cost. We will prevail.”

The obvious military response would be to go after the Pakistani Taliban in their stronghold of North Waziristan, part of the lawless tribal areas that border Afghanistan. The United States has long urged the army to go after extremists there. The government coalition, led by President Asif Ali Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), also proposed a resolution calling for (presumably military) “practical measures” in response to the attack on Malala.

It is all starting to look like the high-water mark of courage. No national consensus exists about whether to fight the home-grown Taliban or, in some unexplained way, to make peace with them. On October 16th the main opposition party, led by a former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, opposed the government’s resolution, demanding proof that earlier military operations had not weakened the country rather than strengthened it. The PPP balked, and dropped its proposal. With an election due in the next few months, politicians of all stripes are cautious about advocating operations against extremists that could result in a violent blowback across Pakistan.

Besides, the army appears not to have a plan and rationale for going into North Waziristan. Past military operations in the tribal areas, including in Swat, have not cleared them of extremists. The operations were often half-hearted, leaving the tribal people deeply cynical of the army’s intentions. After all, the army has long used jihadists as its proxy warriors. Awkwardly, the leadership of the Swat branch of the Pakistani Taliban is based not in North Waziristan but in Afghanistan.

And now, stung by the opprobrium, the Taliban is lashing out. Pakistani journalists are under serious threat, while international news organisations are lying low or scaling back their operations in Islamabad, the capital. A smear campaign by religious conservatives has begun against Malala, painting her as some kind of “American agent”. And on October 15th over 100 Taliban attacked a police station near the north-western city of Peshawar. After killing the local police chief and five of his men, they sliced off his head and took it away as a trophy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

RAW re-predicts doom of ruling party during next election in Bangladesh

Indian intelligence agency – RAW, in its recent report has once again forecasted massive defeat of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League, during the 2014 general election in the country. It said, although Bangladesh Awami League, under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina has been exhibiting sincerity in strengthening relations with India, its popularity at home has been miserably dropping down due to series of high-profile corruptions, financial scams, campus violence, deteriorating law and order situation, suffocation of media and freedom of expression. It said, the ruling party, which even in the recent past enjoyed reasonably good relations with the Islamic political parties and fronts despite its secularist policy, some of the recent actions of Bangladesh Awami League has not only created huge gap between them and the Islamic leaders, but also giving wrong impression amongst the people, interpreting the ruling party as "anti-Islam". On the other hand, continuous repression on religious minorities, including Hindus and very recent incident at the Buddhist temples at Chittagong Hill Tract areas, the religious minorities are no more feeling comfortable under the rule of Bangladesh Awami League. The vandalism on the Buddhist temples and population in the eastern part of Bangladesh has already tarnished the image of the ruling party at home and abroad.

The report said, the decline in popularity of the ruling Bangladesh Awami League is even beyond speculations, while Bangladeshi masses are openly expressing anger at the poor governance of the ruling party. Taking advantage of such situation, main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has suddenly boosted its diplomatic efforts within and outside the country, which is clearly aimed at winning a diplomatic battle with the ruling party. While Bangladesh Nationalist Party is intensifying its diplomatic efforts, including visit of former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia to China and her upcoming visit to India, the ruling party as well as its foreign minister is rather sitting reluctantly, as if they are prepared to accept the diplomatic defeat. Dhaka's relations with Washington is already freezing down, which became clear when the Prime Minister's office ignored repeated requests from the US ambassador in Bangladesh, Dan W Mozena, who had been seeking appointment to meet the Bangladeshi Prime Minister. Top brasses in the foreign ministry had reportedly suggested its staffs to refrain from showing "extra importance" to any of the members of the Western missions in Dhaka.

Indian intelligentsia and political pundits had been expressing concern over potential security threats to Indian soil, if Bangladesh Awami League gets defeated in the next general election, as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been taking numerous measures in uprooting anti-Indian activities within Bangladesh as well as activities of the separatist groups in India, who had been earlier using Bangladeshi soil as safe haven. During Sheikh Hasina's current tenure, a large number of members of the United Liberation Front of Assam [ULFA], including its bigwig Aravind Rajkhowa, had been handed over to the Indian authorities, while the Bangladeshi government is set in handing over ULFA leader Anup Chetia and two of his accomplices to India in next few weeks. It may be mentioned here that, Anup Chetia along with his accomplice Babul Sharma and Laxmi Prasad had been serving in Bangladeshi prison since 1993. Anup Chetia and two others were arrested from Dhaka by the local intelligence agency in 1993, when Bangladesh Nationalist Party [BNP] was in power. Although Anup Chetia was arrested during BNP's rule, it is rumored that the party had been extending support towards ULFA and other Indian separatist groups while there is also allegation of providing logistic supports by the BNP led government to these anti-Indian elements. Currently, trial into the case of recovery of a huge arms haul is continuing in Bangladeshi court, where leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami are accused of having hands behind this arms trafficking, which reached Bangladeshi soil en-route to separatist groups in the North-Eastern provinces in India. Few of the top figures of country's intelligence and law enforcement agencies are also accused in this huge arms haul.

Earlier on December 17, 1995, western nationals were arrested when arms were being dropped from Latvian Antonov AN-26 aircraft at Indian district of Purulia in the state of West Bengal. The chief accused "Kim Davy" [real name Niels Holck, alias Niels Christian Nielsen] claims that it was a conspiracy of the Indian government together with RAW and MI5 to overthrow the communist government in West Bengal and he was given assurances from the central government about his safety and return to Denmark. He further alleges that MP Pappu Yadav, who is in touch with the Prime Minister of India, facilitated his safe exit from India. The crew of the aircraft consisted of five Latvian citizens and Peter Bleach, a British citizen and an ex Special Air Service operative turned mercenary who was based in Yorkshire and involved in arms dealing. 

However, Annie Machon, the former MI5 officer, accuses Bleach of being an MI6 agent in her book "Spies, Lies and Whistleblowers". In numerous interviews, Bleach has always evaded questions on this subject and has declined to answer questions on his military background. They were arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment while alleged kingpin Niels Christian Nielsen [aka Kim Peter Davy], a Danish citizen and member of the Ananda Marga group, escaped. Later, an Interpol red notice was issued against him. Following the intervention of Russian authorities, the Latvian crew [who gained Russian citizenship while in Indian custody] were later pardoned and released in 2000. An appeal has been submitted by the pilot lawyer before the Calcutta High Court in March 2000 challenging the trial results and the judgment but it is still pending. Peter Bleach, too, was released on 4 February 2004, via a presidential pardon, allegedly due to persistent British Government pressure. In 2007 Kim Davy was traced by Denmark authorities and on April 9, 2010 Danish government decided to extradite Kim Davy to India but Danish authorities failed to successfully defend their decision in the Danish high court. The court, therefore, refused extradition of Kim Davy to India. Further, Danish authorities decided not to appeal the high court judgment to the Supreme Court.

The government in Bangladesh led by Sheikh Hasina also nabbed a number of anti-India terror outfit, including Lashkar-e-Toiba, Sipah Sahaba, Joish-e-Mohammed etc, which had been reportedly operating from within Bangladesh. Some of these terror outfits reportedly had direct links with Al Qaeda. When Bangladesh Nationalist Party led government was in power, a team of Al Qaeda clandestinely visited Bangladesh and held secret meeting with the local counterparts inside a warehouse in Ashuganj area, which is 25-30 kilometers from Indian district of Agartala. The international terror outfit Al Qaeda reportedly established connections with a number of Bangladeshi Islamist and jihadist groups. But, since Sheikh Hasina's government came in power, jihadist operatives within Bangladesh have been significantly eliminated with the help of Indian intelligence. The Indian intelligence strongly believes that, during the rule of Bangladesh Awami League, threats to India's domestic security from the cross-border terrorists is greatly checked. For this particular reason, Indian intelligentsia is recommending New Delhi's direct hands in ensuring Bangladesh Awami League in continuing in the office, at least for another term, while it categorically predicts a huge political doom to the ruling party, if the election is participated by Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which may bag brute majority in the election, mostly because of anger of the voters over gross misrule of the grand alliance government led by Bangladesh Awami League.

While the possible outcome of the electoral result of 2014 polls in Bangladesh is clearly going to be unfavorable to the ruling grand alliance government, Pakistani Inter Service Intelligence [ISI] has recently intensified its activities inside Bangladesh with the ulterior motive of putting the ruling grand alliance government into further political complicities. According to sources, ISI operatives have suddenly become over-active in Bangladesh, while some of its jihadist contacts are regularly holding secret meetings possibly to finalize blueprint of anti-government sabotages in the country. Some of the ISI operatives are regularly holding meetings at Dhaka's Banani and Dhanmondi areas, while an ISI agent with extensive connection with local Jihadist groups and fanatic clergies, is giving anti-government provocations with the instigation of unseating the current government much ahead of the next general election. The same ISI agent is also reportedly holding secret meetings with some of the retired officers of Bangladesh Army, which still is skipping attention of the Bangladeshi intelligence.

BY :   Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

ISI behind attack on Buddhist temples in Bangladesh

Pakistani spy agency Inter-Service Intelligence [ISI] is believed to be mastermind behind pre-planned attack on the Buddhist monasteries in Bangladesh. Extremist Muslims and some unidentified people, who are believed to be Rohingyas from the neighboring Myanmar vandalised and set on fire Buddhist monasteries on September 30, 2012 on hearing of a Facebook post desecrating the Qur'an, which was tagged on the wall of a Buddhist youth by someone else. Within 24 hours of this notoriety, a fresh spate of sectarian violence, two more Buddhist monasteries were burnt down in the same locality. In Patiya of Chittagong, more than 500 workers of Western Marine set on fire two Buddhist temples, Kalagaon Ratnankur Bouddha Bihar and Lakhera Abhoy Bouddha Bihar, and a Hindu temple, Kalagaon Nabarun Sangha Durgabari after midnight past September 30. The total number of damaged temples in Cox's Bazar and Chittagong now stands at 22.

According to information, agents and operatives of ISI became extremely active for past few months within the Chittagong Hill Tract areas under the garb of non governmental organizations. They have been giving provocations to the Muslim population in that area of "conspiracy of vested quarters" of evicting them [Bangla speaking people] from Chittagong Hill Tract areas with the help of the ruling party. They were even instigated of waging secret war against the religious minority groups in the locality, compelling them to migrate to India or Myanmar.

Pakistani intelligence agency has been working under various disguise inside Bangladesh. Since March this year, ISI operatives in the country are ex-armed cadres of now defunct Freedom Party. It may be mentioned here that, Freedom Party was formed by the self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman following his brutal assassination in 1975. Founders of this so-called political party received millions of dollars from Libya's former dictator Muammar Al Gaddafi. Freedom Party was recruiting armed cadres from across Bangladesh with the ulterior motive of staging another bloody coup in the country. The armed gangs of Freedom Party made several assassination attempts on Sheikh Hasina and members of her family. But, since few of the kingpins of Freedom Party were hanged to death in 2011, most of its armed cadres went either into hiding or joined local crime rackets. The armed cadres of the party had been given guerrilla warfare training in Libya and Palestine which was financed by Gaddafi and the Pakistani spy agency.

During the tenure of Bangladesh Nationalist Party [BNP] led coalition government [2001-2006], ISI were actively funding anti Ahmadiya activities in Bangladesh, which were also silently witnessed by the ruling party. The anti-Ahmadiya groups continued to attack and demolish mosques of the Ahmadiya Muslim Jamaat as well continue numerous forms of atrocities on this religious minority group in Bangladesh. It may be mentioned here that, under Pakistani law, Ahmadiyas are not considered as Muslims, while Bangladesh has never ceased the rights of Ahmadiyas to be considered as Muslims.

It is even rumored that the August 21, 2004 grenade attack of Bangladesh Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina was originally plotted by the Pakistani spy agency, which later was implemented by some of the influential figures in the BNP led coalitions government. In some of secret meetings to finalize the August 21 attack, station chief of ISI in Bangladesh or some deep-covered officials were present.

When Bangladesh Awami League led coalition government came in power in 2009, activities of Inter-Service Intelligence got significantly tamed as the government was committed working in combating Islamist militancy and religious extremism.

ISI activities inside Bangladesh were significantly increased in the recent months with the ulterior motive of putting the ruling party into huge crisis both domestically and internationally. Its operations in Bangladesh are divided into several segments namely propaganda, information gathering, recruitment, guerrilla training and offensives. Its propaganda plans are implemented by some of the big fishes in a vernacular daily while a self-proclaimed ex operative of Bangladesh's intelligence, who now works for the Pakistani spy agency is coordinating media war against the ruling government in Bangladesh.

It may be mentioned here that, since independence of Bangladesh, this is for the first time; the peace-loving Buddhist population in the country has become victim of such nefarious brutality and barbaric acts.

Pakistani ISI has been actively involved in illegal trafficking of drugs, arms and counterfeit Indian currency into various destinations in India by using Bangladeshi territory as transit. It is confirmed by dependable sources that, currently ISI is operating at least 50 business establishments inside Bangladesh.

Giving strong reaction at the recent atrocities on the Buddhist and Hindu populations in Chittagong Hill Tract, advocate Gobinda Chandra Pramanik, secretary general of Bangladesh Jatio Hindu Mohajote [Bangladesh National Hindu Grand Alliance] said, "the government needs to give exemplary punishment to the perpetrators and their masterminds. This is the most unfortunate situation for the religious minorities in the country."

He said, "We strongly condemn such barbaric actions and equally demand stern action against the members of the law enforcing agencies, who silently witnesses such massacre on the monasteries and temples."

Gobinda Chandra Pramanik said, "We believe there is some hands of foreign elements behind such notoriety and the government should properly investigate and identify the culprits for the sake of image of the country."

Commenting on such heinous crime, leading English language newspaper The Daily Star in editorial comment said, "What happened in Ramu and some other areas in Chittagong must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. The outrage that was created by people burning down Buddhist temples and houses belies the long tradition of harmonious and peaceful coexistence between people of various creeds in Bangladesh. Religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence are not only an article of our people it is also enshrined in the Constitution of Bangladesh.

"The regrettable incident has struck at the very ethos and the underlying essence of our long religio-cultural tradition. Whatever may have been the causative factor, the violent reaction seems to have been very well orchestrated. We believe that those who believe in the fundamental message of Islam would have exercised more temperance in addressing an issue centering on an anti-Islam picture on Facebook."

Some of the eminent columnists in Bangladesh are already predicting 'monster' behind such notoriety on the Buddhist and Hindu temples in the Chittagong Hill Tract areas.

Columnist Syed Mansur Hashim wrote: "The outrage that some unidentified trouble-mongers committed against Buddhist communities at Teknaf, Ramu and Ukhia upazilas on the nights of Saturday and Sunday has shocked the entire nation. Clearly, the perpetrators have tried to besmear Bangladesh's image as a nation of religious tolerance and harmony. The way Buddhist temples have been damaged and desecrated and houses of Budhist villagers have been ransacked and set ablaze speaks volumes for the monsters behind the mayhem."

He wrote, "The mob violence that engulfed Buddhist villages saw widespread looting and the gutting of religious relics and monasteries. With some of the most revered Buddhist temples in ashes, including the 250-year-old Shima Bihar in Ramu, communal harmony between Buddhists and Muslims is effectively in tatters. The attacks were an attack on harmony and on peaceful coexistence. But given recent events, particularly the worldwide backlash of Muslims against a film made in California mocking the Prophet Mohammad, religious sentiments had already been heightened and subversive elements have taken advantage of the situation to incite communal violence."

English language daily The New Age in its editorial comment wrote, "While it is absolutely unacceptable in a democratic political and cultural dispensation to have the minority communities, religious or ethnic or otherwise, assailed by the majority ones, a section of the majority Muslim community resorted to rampant attacks on Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples and households in Ramu of Cox's Bazar on Saturday midnight and Sunday."