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Call To Topple Hasina Government


Scores of retired military officers and bureaucrats were among those who attended a milad-mahfil, arranged by the Bangladesh Kalyan Party on Saturday that ended with a call to ‘topple the Sheikh Hasina government within 2021’.
Many teachers, lawyers and leaders of opposition political parties also joined the milad-mehfil that reflects a new-found confidence amongst the opponent of the Hasina regime to challenge and call for her early ouster. 
The Kalyan Party is part of the BNP-led 20 party alliance and the programme was chaired by Syed Ibrahim, a retired army general who after service ran an Islamist ‘thinktank’ , Institute of Hazrat Muhammed Studies, in early 2000s.
The milad-mahfil programme was also attended by reformist leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). Leaders of 20-party alliance including Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and Jatiya Oikya Front were present.
BNP vice chairman Hafijuddin Ahmed, Nagorik Oikya convener Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Jamaat-e-Islami secretary general Mia Ghulam Parwar, Gana Shasthya founder Zafrullah Chowdhury, Prof Asif Nazrul of Dhaka University, Air vice-marshal retired Fakhrul Azam and former secretary Asafuddowla were present among others.
All the speakers called for bringing down the ‘undemocratic’ Awami League government , alleging it has come to power in two successive ‘fradulent elections’ in 2014 and 2019. 
These congregation is reported to have the backing of some pro-fundanmentalist elements in the Awami League itself, who are operating from the shadows. 
Bangladesh intelligence officials say they are examining whether this fresh regime change effort has backing of a major power, as was reported in some media outlets last year.
The present effort at toppling the Hasina government through sustained street agitations and social media operations seems to have gathered steam after the Bangladesh PM raised the demand for a public apology from Pakistan over the 1971 genocide with a request to the UN to recognise the massacres during the Liberation War as ‘ an act of genocide’. 
Some of those present at the milad mehfil organised by Kalyan Party have maintained close relations with the Pakistan High Commission.
One of their close associates, an academic with a thinktank whose associates are increasingly advocating regime change , is now on a mysterious visit to Tashkent in Uzbekistan.
Intelligence officials said this academic , close to Syed Ibrahim, is possibly there for a third-country meeting with ‘external conspirators’.
He edits a top military journal linked to an institution of the Bangladesh army and is known to be close to the Pakistani Defence Attache in Dhaka.

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