POST TIME: 14 December, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Phone conversation leak
BNP leader Mosharraf ‘talks with ISI agent’
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

BNP leader 
Mosharraf ‘talks 
with ISI agent’

A unverified intercepted telephonic conversation, allegedly between a top BNP leader and a senior official of the Pakistani spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has gone viral on social media and a complaint has been lodged with the police. It is supposed to be BNP leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, who was engaging in a seven minute conversation, as heard in the audio tape, and talking with him from the other side was allegedly an ISI agent named Mehmood. The conversation is available on YouTube.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Ali Sumon, a retired army major and chairman of Daudkandi Upazila Parishad in Cumilla, filed a case against the BNP leader with the police over the alleged conversation. Alamgir Hossain, officer in charge (OC), Daudkandi police station, told The Independent that they accepted the allegation from Mohammad Ali but the filing of any sedition case required home ministry clearance.

“We have already sent his complaint to our high officials for further action,” said the OC.

With the audio leaks, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain could face a sedition charge, accusing him of plotting to “sabotage” the national election set for December 30.

In the case, Ali complained that Mosharraf Hossain was ‘plotting to sabotage’ the 11th national general election in that conversation with Mehmood, a Dubai-based operative of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence. Ali also urged the police to take necessary steps in line with the law.

The Independent has a copy of the audio recording.

Already, some TV channels have broadcast reports on the audio tape. Somoy TV also uploaded a copy of the audio in their YouTube channel.

Mosharraf Hossain was speaking in English with Mehemood and sought his help.

It is learnt from the conversation that Mehemood is an ISI agent based in Dubai. Mosharraf Hossain and he had met earlier in Islamabad. Now, they want to meet again but Mosharraf Hossain said he could not do so because of legal complications.

It is also learnt from the conversation that Mosharraf Hossain told the agent that they (BNP) were now in trouble. There were too many cases against him. His passport had been seized in connection with one of the cases. So, he was unable to go aboard.

At one point in the conversation, when Mehemood says he want to meet him, Mosharraf Hossain says he would love to meet their agent. But as that would not be possible, Mosharraf Hossain sought their help and mentioned that they (BNP) were in a crisis.

In reply, the ISI agent said Mosharraf Hossain was their only friend in Bangladesh. Later, Mosharraf Hossain also said he wanted to be their friend.

It is also learnt that Mosharraf Hossain urged the agent to “manage” China for a good result in the upcoming general election. But Mosharraf Hossain has debunked the allegation as ‘fake’, saying he never spoke to anyone from the ISI.

Mosharraf Hossain, a BNP standing committee member, is contesting as a candidate from the BNP and the Jatiya Oikya Front for the Comilla-1 and 2 seats in the upcoming election. Ali, the complainant, is the son of Awami League candidate for the Comilla-1 constituency Subid Ali Bhuiyan.