Column



BNP and war crimes trial
BNP and war crimes trial
History bears evidence that crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Pakistani forces in 1971 were orchestrated with the help of local collaborators, mainly Jamaat, who committed horrendous crimes against humanity to crush the liberation war.

BNP’s approach towards liberation war and war crimes has all along been opaque.  A look back in history will illustrate this point further. Since its inception in 1979, the party remained ambivalent on the issue of liberation war and never found it necessary to draw attention to the genocide in 1971 liberation war which left three million people dead and more than 250,000 women raped.

 

Khaleda Zia in a recent interview with the Indian Express remarked that BNP-Jamaat relation was merely an ‘election arrangement or alliance for vote’. But it is abundantly clear that this relation is historical and ideological with strong logical background that started from Gen Ziaur Rahman’s regime and continues till now.
Estimates of those hapless women raped by the occupation forces during the war vary from 200,000 to 450,000. Dr Geoffrey Davis, a physician who worked in Bangladesh following the liberation war on request by World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the commonly cited figures were ‘very conservative’ compared to real numbers.

 

What has shocked the people is that the BNP Chief Khaleda Zia ridiculed these estimates saying there were many controversies about the number of persons ‘martyred’ or ‘raped’. Her statement was a deliberate attempt to belittle the nation’s glorious liberation war. She had been enjoying hospitality of the occupation forces inside Dhaka cantonment during the war and had no or very little idea of the massacre that was unleashed in the country.

 

Independence of Bangladesh was achieved after nine months of war against the occupation forces of Pakistan through supreme sacrifice of millions of freedom fighters. This independence war was opposed tooth and nail by Jamaat that was the largest, most organized and most active among all the militant Islamic parties who collaborated with the Pak occupation forces. Demands for trial of war criminals are the oldest issue of the country, linked to the birth of Bangladesh.

 

The present government is holding trial of the Jamaat leaders who had committed crimes against humanity during the war. Soon after liberation, the new government commenced trial of the war criminals in 1972; some convictions were also secured. But the process was halted after tragic assassination of the country’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975. All convicts and under trials were released by the military ruler Gen Ziaur Rahman who also annulled the Collaborators Act. The subsequent turn of events saw pro-Pak Islamist forces in power for about two decades in the post independence period. These elements had obvious interests in not trying the war criminals.

Khaleda Zia in a recent interview with the Indian Express remarked that BNP-Jamaat relation was merely an ‘election arrangement or alliance for vote’. But it is abundantly clear that this relation is historical and ideological with strong logical background that started from Gen Ziaur Rahman’s regime and continues till now.

 

The present government formed the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in 2010. The tribunal has already announced a number of verdicts. Under these verdicts five Jamaat leaders and one BNP leader have been hanged so far following their conviction on war crimes charges.

 

BNP was skeptical about trial of war criminals from the very beginning. Immediate after formation of ICT the BNP leaders criticized the tribunal about its standard, acceptability and quality. BNP also tried to misguide the people about the trial saying that the government wanted to try the Jamaat leaders politically.

 

Khaleda Zia echoed this sentiment in many public meetings arguing that the tribunal was meant to disband the BNP-led alliance. In one such meetings at Bogra, she demanded the Jamaat leaders facing trial on war crimes charges be freed from the jail immediately. She also termed the war crimes charges against them ‘fake and false’.

 

Whenever the ICT gave its verdicts against the Jamaat leaders, Jamaat enforced shut-downs in the country and indulged in acts of vandalism and violence. BNP also supported the strikes and took part in the violence with the Jamaat workers. Similarly, BNP also declared country- wide strike when its leader and a well-known war criminal Salauddin Quader Chwdhury was awarded death sentence. Jamaat supported the strike and joined hands with BNP supporters in orchestrating violence in the country.

 

Khaleda Zia in a recent interview with the Indian Express remarked that BNP-Jamaat relation was merely an ‘election arrangement or alliance for vote’. But it is abundantly clear that this relation is historical and ideological with strong logical background that started from Gen Ziaur Rahman’s regime and continues till now.

 

BNP and Jamaat together constitute a platform for the anti-liberation forces and patronize all pro-Pak organizations. After being in hibernation for about five years, Jamaat restarted its activities in Bangladesh in 1976 with blessings from Gen Ziaur Rahman who was then ruling the country. This relationship further consolidated when Khaleda Zia shared power with Jamaat leaders. Two killer and rapist Jamaat leaders who were made cabinet ministers when Khaleda Zia was Prime Minister have now been hanged.

 

BNP and its leadership, by clearly taking the side of anti-liberation forces in the ongoing movement for the war criminals to be brought to justice, have chosen to pit themselves against history. That the crimes against humanity occurred in 1971 during the liberation war is well established and has become part of history. Nobody can deny it. Questioning or trivializing the historic event of Bangladesh’s independence struggle will never be accepted by the people.




Video of the day
তাজা খবর Bangla News Today on 24 July 2017 Bangladeshi Live Latest Online Today Update News
More Column News
Recent Photos and Videos

Web Statistics