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21 February, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 21 February, 2019 02:21:00 AM
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BNP, partners want Jamaat to apologise

Rafiqul Islam Azad, Dhaka

The partners in the BNP-led 20-party alliance think that the Jamaat-e-Islami, a major partner in the coalition, should apologise to the nation for its controversial role during Bangladesh’s War of Liberation in 1971.

Leaders of different parties made the observation, as the demand for seeking apology from the nation is being raised within the Jamaat following the resignation of a senior leader of the party.

Barrister Abdur Razzaq, an assistant secretary general of the Islamist party, resigned from the party on Friday, suggesting that the party should seek apology from the nation for its controversial role during the War of Liberation.

Talking to The Independent, some leaders said the Jamaat should have sought apology for its mistakes and controversial role in being part of Pakistani occupation forces during the War of Liberation.  “Seeking apology by the Jamaat is now a demand of all. The party should be ashamed of its anti-Liberation War role, or should apologise for it. It’s a logical demand,” said BNP standing committee member, Nazrul Islam Khan.

 Talking to reporters after placing a wreath at the mazar of the late President, Ziaur Rahman, he said his party also wants trial and punishment of all anti-Liberation War elements.

“We surely want punishment and trial of those involved in anti-Liberation acts,” said Nazrul, who is also coordinator of the 20-party alliance.

He further said they think those who committed offences should offer apology. “We also should apologise to the people if we’ve been involved in any wrongdoing. Unfortunately, such culture is absent in our country,” he observed.

Replying to a question, the BNP leader said the Jamaat is still with the 20-party alliance, but it has the right to take a decision to quit the alliance.

Nazrul, along with central leaders of the Jatiyatabadi Tanti Dal, paid homage to Zia by placing a wreath at his grave at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the city, marking the 39th founding anniversary of the organisation.

Chairman of the Bangladesh Kallyan Party, Maj Gen (Retd) Syed Muhammad Ibrahim, said politics in a moving world cannot remain stationary or anchored on this or that matter.

“Bangladesh’s new generation, young people, have an urge to be in politics. So, we the elders, must facilitate there urge. The Jamaat must consider their point of view,” he said. The veteran freedom fighter further said if accepting the  mistakes of 1971 helps in national reconciliation, it must be done.

Secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Redwan Ahmed, said the Jamaat should have sought apology long ago, as the offences committed by the Jamaat was very grave and unpardonable.

“It was their moral obligation to seek apology by recognizing the independence of the country, on behalf of the motherland,” he said.

Redwan Ahmed, also a veteran freedom fighter, said the Jamaat had committed such misdeeds that, had he met any Jamaat man, he would have killed him or vice versa.

The LDP leader said he also called upon Pakistan to seek apology from Bangladeshis for their barbaric acts during the War of Liberation.  

Chairman of the Bangladesh Jatiya Party (BJP), Barrister Andakib Rahman Partha, echoed leaders of the 20-party alliance, saying the party should have sought apology long ago.

‘If the party fails to bring about changes in its structure and adopt time fitting measures, it will merely distance itself from people and their support,” he said. He said the party should have also started the process through its activities to go to the people long ago.

The erstwhile Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan strongly opposed the independence of Bangladesh and the break-up of Pakistan. The party has been stigmatized as an anti-Liberation force, as it collaborated with the Pakistani army in its operations against Bengali nationalists and pro-Liberation intellectuals in 1971.

At least five top leaders, including party ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami and secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mojaheed, have already been executed for crimes against humanity.

The Jamaat emerged as a political party in Bangladesh after the ban on Islamic parties was lifted in 1976.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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