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Monday, May 29, 2023

BNP lobbyist Hunter Biden succeeds in issuing strange visa rules for Bangladesh

For the last several months, we have been repeatedly saying, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its ideological cohort Jamaat-e-Islami are hatching notorious conspiracy against Bangladesh and ruling Awami League and been making frantic bids in hiring Hunter Biden, the scandalous son of US President Joe Biden as its lobbyist. As on May 18, 2023 we provided specific evidence related to BNP’s appointing Hunter Biden as its lobbyist through a firm named Blue Star Strategies, we knew this corrupt son of the US president would be playing dirty cards against Bangladesh. And our assumption was not blank.

On May 24, 2023, the US Department of State published a press release giving details of an announcement made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In this press release, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said:

“Today, I am announcing a new visa policy under Section 212(a)(3)(C) (“3C”) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to support Bangladesh’s goal of holding free, fair, and peaceful national elections.  Under this policy, the United States will be able to restrict the issuance of visas for any Bangladeshi individual, believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic election process in Bangladesh.  This includes current and former Bangladeshi officials, members of pro-government and opposition political parties, and members of law enforcement, the judiciary, and security services.  The United States notified the Bangladeshi government of this decision on May 3, 2023.

“Actions that undermine the democratic election process include vote rigging, voter intimidation, the use of violence to prevent people from exercising their right to freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, and the use of measures designed to prevent political parties, voters, civil society, or the media from disseminating their views.

“The holding of free and fair elections is the responsibility of everyone—voters, political parties, the government, the security forces, civil society, and the media.  I am announcing this policy to lend our support to all those seeking to advance democracy in Bangladesh.

This announcement came just within five weeks of Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s finalization of lobbyist assignment with Hunter Biden.

According to a credible source in Washington DC, US President Joe Biden’s scandalous son Hunter Biden, who has earlier met with State Department official on behalf Gabriel Popoviciu, a corrupt Romanian real estate tycoon in exchange for US$1 million when Joe Biden was vice president in 2016, has been now working for Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), a hardcore Islamist political party in Bangladesh and been vigorously pushing several agendas set by BNP.

After months of frantic bids, Bangladesh Nationalist Party has finally succeeded in reaching into a lobbyist arrangement with Hunter Biden through Blue Star Strategies. Although the amount of “lobbyist fees” offered by BNP to Hunter Biden remains unknown, according to a number of sources, the son of US President Joe Biden has been assigned to accomplish three goals – to obstruct Awami League from holding the next general election without participation of BNP; to exert pressure on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in holding the next general election under direct supervision of Washington; and to stop import of goods from Bangladesh if the next general election is held without BNP.

It was also learnt from sources that at the request of Muhammad Yunus, Hillary Clinton also has been trying to influence US President Joe Biden through a number of key officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Another source said, Hunter Biden wants America’s intelligence agencies to interfere in the upcoming general elections in Bangladesh as it did during elections in Nigeria as well as in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections in the United States.

For several years, Hunter Biden has connections with a consulting-cum-lobbyist firm named Blue Star Strategies, which had earlier registered its work for the Ukrainian company Burisma under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Through the same company Hunter Biden also crafted a plan to lobby the State Department on behalf of the Chinese private equity firm BHR Partners.

On January 17, 2022, Bangladesh’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam told reporters that Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has spent US$3.75 million for a US lobbyist firm as part of their anti-Bangladesh campaign.

According to information obtained by this newspaper, Blue Star Strategies was hired by BNP through Abdus Sattar, an UK-based leader of the party in August 2018. Agendas behind appointing Blue Star Strategies by BNP were to “promote the goals of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for the upcoming [2018 general elections] elections in Bangladesh”. In addition, Blue Star Strategies also developed a strategy “that educates officials, policy influencers and the media [in the United States] about the BNP and its interests in free and fair elections” and drafted a “narrative to communicate the BNP’s goals”.

The source further said, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has pledged to pay Hunter Biden US$100 million in addition to the lobbyist fees it is already paying through Blue Star Strategies, once the party succeeds in returning to power with direct interference of the US intelligence establishment and the Biden administration. In addition, BNP leader Tarique Rahman has informed Hunter Biden through Blue Star Strategies that BNP government will give priority to any business deals related to Bangladesh’s oil and gas sector as well as any other sector where Hunter Biden would recommend any company.

In addition to its ongoing lobbyist efforts and recent arrangements with Hunter Biden, Bangladesh Nationalist Party has hired a New York-based PR firm in running full-page ads for consecutive five days in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal with “appeal” of obstructing the general election in Bangladesh, once the ruling Awami League moves ahead with the election and schedule of it is announced.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party also is looking for hiring journalists and columnists in a number of major publications in the US, while Tarique Rahman plans to do similar propaganda in a number of major newspapers in Britain. For such propaganda efforts, BNP has been building a huge fund with contributions from wealthy leaders of the party as well as Jamaat-e-Islami, while family members of executed or convicted war criminals would also contribute to it.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is a desperate and dangerous party. In a desperate attempt to cling to power, the BNP has stooped to new lows. The party has hired a New York-based PR firm to run full-page ads in major US newspapers, appealing to the international community to obstruct the upcoming general election in Bangladesh. The BNP is also looking to hire journalists and columnists to spread propaganda in the US and UK. This is a clear sign that the BNP is afraid of losing the election and is willing to do anything to come in power.

The BNP’s propaganda is nothing more than a cynical attempt to mislead the international community. The party has a long history of corruption and human rights abuses. During the years when BNP was in power, the BNP had been accused of rigging elections, silencing dissent, and persecuting its political opponents. The BNP is a danger to democracy in Bangladesh, and the international community should not be fooled by its propaganda.

The BNP’s propaganda is also a slap in the face to the Bangladeshi people. The BNP has no respect for the will of the people, and it is clear that the party is only interested in climbing the ladder of power once again. The BNP’s propaganda is an attempt to undermine the democratic process in Bangladesh, and it should be condemned by all who believe in democracy.

The BNP’s propaganda is a threat to the future of Bangladesh. The party is trying to create a climate of fear and intimidation in order to prevent the people from exercising their democratic rights. The BNP’s propaganda is a dangerous attempt to subvert democracy, and it must be stopped.

The BNP’s propaganda is a disgrace. The party is trying to use the international community to undermine the democratic process in Bangladesh. The BNP’s propaganda is an insult to the Bangladeshi people, and it must be rejected.

The current ruling party, the Awami League, is weak when it comes to fighting radical moves of BNP in the international media. Awami League still has no unbiased media support that portrays their development goals including human rights developments in Bangladesh. The recent biased and evidence-less human rights abuse reports gave BNP an upper hand when it comes to international propaganda and western media.

The Awami League needs to do more to counter the BNP’s propaganda. The party needs to invest in unbiased media outlets that can portray their development goals and human rights record in a positive light. The Awami League also needs to work to build relationships with international media outlets and organizations. Only by doing so can the Awami League hope to counter the BNP’s propaganda and protect democracy in Bangladesh.

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Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research-scholar, counterterrorism specialist and editor of Weekly Blitz. Follow him on Twitter @Salah_Shoaib

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