With an aim to keep up the pressure on Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s already beleaguered regime in Dhaka, the western world, led by the United States, is now in the process of preparing set of measures, including economic and financial sanctions, against four powerful and influential Bangladeshi businessmen, the Northeast News has reliably learnt.
Well-placed reliable sources in the Bangladesh government revealed that 14 other “influential persons”, including three individuals who are closely linked to a powerful Awami League leader’s family, will be made the target of “some stringent measures” that will likely considerably “disable them politically and financially”, the sources, insisting anonymity, said.
These measures will, in all probability, be imposed on or around October 20, the sources said, refusing to elaborate on the nature and character of the measures that will be imposed on the “high value” individuals.
The four powerful businessmen, who are in the cross-hairs of the punitive measures, are said to enjoy privileged position within the ruling Awami League’s government’s power structure, even as there are several critical allegations of money laundering, embezzlement of funds from a number of banks, and their “questionable” transferring out of Bangladesh.
Indeed, the sources revealed that a former army chief, whose name is being withheld for legal reasons, has been advised to provide satisfactory answers to questions surrounding a power plant that he is closely linked to. These responses have been sought in order for the foreign authorities to take a decision on the fate of the visa which is left with a validity of one-and-a-half years.
Meanwhile, reliable media reports from Dhaka, while confirming a meeting on September 27 between US National Security Advisor (NSA) Jake Sullivan and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in Washington, DC, suggest that four important issues came up for discussion during this meeting. The meeting reportedly took place at the Bangladesh embassy in Washington, DC.
While Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader had sought to give a “spin” to the Sullivan-Hasina meeting as an indication that all differences between the US, India and Bangladesh had been sorted out, the media reports indicated that confabulation “abruptly ended midway” after the Bangladesh prime minister was peeved by the American NSA’s suggestions that the law will take its due course in case related to a “high value” individual who is a resident of the US.
While the issue of forthcoming elections in Bangladesh was raised by Sullivan, Sheikh Hasina is said to have responded that the polls could be held only within the framework of the country’s constitutional provisions. The second and third issues were around the health conditions of ailing BNP supremo Begum Khaleda Zia and the unusual number of cases that have been lodged against Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Mohammad Yunus.
But it was when Sullivan responded to a delicate issue surrounding some cases involving a “high value” individual close to Bangladesh’s ruling elite – and who reportedly lives in the US – that the meeting came to an abrupt ending. The sources refused to name this “high value” individual for reasons of confidentiality.