Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ex military men back Khaleda

A group of high ranking former military men, consisting mostly of BNP supporters, have dismissed the 'defamatory' allegations of the military public relations department against Khaleda Zia.
They said the statements of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) claiming that the BNP chief had been abusive towards defence personnel during the evacuation of her cantonment house were aimed towards 'character assassination' and a bunch of 'political lies'.
The former officers were speaking to reporters at a press briefing on Monday at the BNP chief's Gulshan office to counter the ISPR briefing of Sunday morning.
Former army chief and BNP standing committee member Lt Gen Mahbubur Rahman said, "The responsibility of this unprecedented propaganda against the opposition leader using the military will automatically come round to the prime minister as she is the defence minister as well."
"The ISPR had planted different articles beforehand at the [cantonment] house and then called in reporters. This is incredible." The former army chief also slammed the government for abusing the name of armed forces in such a 'lowly act'.
"The patriotic armed forces were certainly not involved in the eviction process." Rahman speculated that the government was spreading propaganda to taint the defence forces by using the military public relations department.
The former defence chief said Khaleda had herself asserted that there were no army officers during her eviction. "In fact she had pointedly asked whether there were any army officers present."
There is no question of her hurling abuses at army personnel since only RAB and police personnel were present there, Mahbub said. "There were no ISPR officials present at the house either."
The former three star general also criticised the military public relations for stating a 'false number' of Khaleda's domestic aids. "Only 12 hands used to work their. Many of them used to live at the servants' quarter with their families."
Strongly criticising the government initiatives to evict Khaleda, Rahman said, "The government now wants to shift the blame and responsibility on to the armed forces."
The briefing was attended by a 26 high-ranking military officers including former air force chief Air Vice Marshal Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, Air Vice Marshal Fakhrul Azam, Brig Gen A S M Hannan Shah, Wing Commander M Hamidullah, Maj Gen Fatemi Rumi, Brig Gen Anwar Chowdhury, Major Sayeed Eskandar, Major Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, Commodore Shafique Rahman.

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