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  • probirbidhan 18:01 on July 16, 2015 Permalink |
    Tags: , BNP, Hefazat, honeymoon, , , Prof Asif Nazrul, Sheila Ahmed   

    ফজলুল বারীঃ আসিফ নজরুলের রাজনৈতিক হানিমুন 

    Asif Nazrul_Sheila Ahmed-marriage-5আমাদের সময়ের একজন পন্ডিত (!) ব্যক্তি। তার আজকের নাম আসিফ নজরুল। আজ প্রথম আলোতে হানিমুন বিষয়ে একটি রচনা লিখেছেন। হানিমুন কী, কত প্রকার ইত্যাদি! তিনি কামেল মানুষ। জ্ঞাতসারে এরমাঝে তিন খানা বিবাহ করেছেন। অজ্ঞাতসার সমূহ সম্পর্কে আমাদের বন্ধুবান্ধবদের যথেষ্ট ধারনা আছে। যেহেতু একাধিক বিবাহ করেছেন, একাধিকবার হানিমুনে যাবার অভিজ্ঞতা আছে, তাই এই বিষয়টি নিয়ে দক্ষতা প্রশ্নাতীত। কিন্তু তিনি তার রচনায় তার ব্যক্তি অভিজ্ঞতা বাদ দিয়ে এক্ষেত্রেও শেখ হাসিনার সরকারকে টার্গেট করাতে যার পর নাই পুলকিত! অবশ্য ইনি এমনই। এসবই উনার সাম্প্রতিক এসাইনমেন্টও বটে।

    ইনার সঙ্গে যখন পরিচয় তখন তিনি খবর গ্রুপের চিত্রবাংলা, ছায়াছন্দ এসব চটি পত্রিকায় খ্যাপ লিখতেন। আমাদের বিচিন্তার আসরে আসার পর তাকে বলা হয়, আপনার নামটি খুব পচা। এরপর তার মো: নজরুল ইসলাম নামটি পাল্টে আসিফ নজরুল করা হয়। এখন তিনি সেই পরিবর্তিত নামেই পরিচিত। হয়তো এফিডেবিট করে পিতামাতার রাখা নামটি পাল্টে থাকতে পারেন। কিন্তু গোলাম আযমের বিচারের গণ আদালত পর্যন্ত তার সার্টিফিকেটে পিতামাতার নামটি মো: নজরুল ইসলামই ছিলো। উল্লেখ্য তখন গণ আদালতে কেউ গোলাম আযমের আইনজীবী হতে কেউ রাজি হচ্ছিলোনা। ইনি কেন রাজি হন তা ওয়াকিফহালরা জানেন। পরবর্তিতে তিনি শহীদ জননী জাহানারা ইমামের সঙ্গে প্রতারনা অথবা স্বরূপে আবির্ভূত হবার পর কি করে পক্ষ ত্যাগ করেন, তা নিয়ে অনেক লেখালেখি হয়েছে। এরপরের একটা ঘটনা বলি। বিএনপি-জামায়াত শিক্ষক কোটায় তিনি ততক্ষনে ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের শিক্ষকতায় ঢুকে গেছেন। শামসুন্নাহার হলের ছাত্রী নির্যাতনের ঘটনার পর ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে তখন ভিসি আনোয়ারুল্লাহ’র পদত্যাগের দাবিতে তুমুল ছাত্র আন্দোলন চলছে। পদ আঁকড়ে রাখতে ভিসি সকালে এককথা বিকালে আরেককথা বলেন। এসব নিয়ে বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের সাংবাদিকরা ছেঁকে ধরেছেন আনোয়ারুল্লাহকে। তখন আনোয়ারুল্লাহকে রক্ষা করতে ইনি তার পাশে বসেন কামেলের ভূমিকায়! ইনি সাংবাদিকদের বলেন ‘আমি মিথ্যা বলতে পারি, কিন্তু আনোয়ারুল্লাহ স্যার কখনো মিথ্যা বলতে পারেন না।’ আজকের প্রথম আলোর সিনিয়র রিপোর্টার মোশতাক তখন জনকন্ঠের বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় রিপোর্টার। সেখান থেকে বেরিয়ে এসে সে আমাকে বলে, এই লোকটা না আপনাদের সঙ্গে কাজ করতো। এমন দুই নাম্বার কেন এই লোক? আর যে লোক নিজের মুখে বলে সে মিথ্যা বলে, বলতে পারে সে বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের শিক্ষক হয়-থাকে কী করে?

    ২০০১ সালে যখন বিএনপি-জামায়াতের মন্ত্রিসভা গঠন করা হয় ইনি লুকিং ফর শত্রুজ স্বরাষ্ট্র প্রতিমন্ত্রী বাবর ঘনিষ্ঠ বিশেষ খ্যাতিমান হয়ে ওঠেন। তিনি বাবরকে ফোন করলেই তাকে যা খুশি করে দেয়। ১/১১’এ বিএনপি-জামায়াত ক্ষমতাচ্যুত হবার পর ইনার নানা দূর্ভাবনা বিশেষ প্রকাশ পায়। আওয়ামী লীগ ক্ষমতায় ফেরার পর নীতি-নৈতিকতার বিষয়গুলো নিয়ে উনার উদ্বেগ-উৎকন্ঠা বাড়ে! যুদ্ধাপরাধীদের বিচার শুরুর পর সাঈদি যুদ্ধাপরাধী না, তার এক বক্তব্যে তিনি কিছুটা বিপাকে পড়েন। ঢাকা বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ে তার অফিস আক্রান্ত হয়। আমাকে তখন একজন বলেন, ইনি না আপনাদের সঙ্গে কাজ করতেন। আপনাদের পত্রিকায় না প্রথম ছাপা হয়েছিল সাঈদি যুদ্ধাপরাধী। আমি তাকে জবাবে বলেছিলাম, আমাদের পত্রিকায় ছাপা হবার সময় তিনি যেহেতু চিত্রবাংলা, ছায়াছন্দে চটি লিখতেন তাই হয়তো সেই লেখাটি খেয়াল করেননি। আর শহীদ জননী জাহানারা ইমামের সঙ্গে বেঈমানির আগে ইনি কিন্তু সাঈদিকে যুদ্ধাপরাধী জেনে-বলেই মুখে ফেনা তুলতেন। বেঈমানি করার পর মনে করেন না। কারন যখন যে দেবতার পুজা তিনি করেন তাকেই তিনি শুধু ভোগ দেন।

    এমন এক কামেল ব্যক্তি আজ বরাতজোরে দেশের সবচেয়ে জনপ্রিয় পত্রিকা প্রথম আলোর আশ্রয়পুষ্ট। বাংলাদেশের সামাজিক-রাজনৈতিক নানা সমস্যা আছে। এরপরও বিস্ময়কর ইতিবাচক অনেক অর্জন সাফল্য আছে বাংলাদেশের। কিন্তু শুধু প্রথম আলোতে এই ভদ্রলোকের যদি লেখাগুলোর যোগফল দাঁড় করান, তাহলে বলতে হবে বাংলাদেশ বলেতো কিছু নেই আর! অনেক আগে ভেনিস হয়ে গেছে বাংলাদেশ! অথবা এসব ক্রন্দনের মূল কারন একটাই, বিএনপি-জামায়াত ক্ষমতায় কেন নেই, আসেনা কেনো? অথবা আসিবে কী কভু? প্রথম আলোর শুক্রবারের লেখায় ইনি তার গুরু এমাজউদ্দিন থেকে শুরু করে সবাইকে ধুয়ে দিয়েছেন! কারন এরা কেউ তার বিএনপি-জামায়াতকে ক্ষমতায় ফেরত আনতে পারছেনা! তার লেখাটির নিচে এক পাঠক মন্তব্যটি বেশ মজার! ইনি লিখেছেন, “Mr. Asif Nazrul, Have you ever found anything good in AL? Have you ever found anything bad in Jamat or BNP? Who are you? What are you, Mr. Nazrul?”

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  • probirbidhan 02:31 on February 27, 2013 Permalink |
    Tags: AK Mohammad Hossain, , BNP, Parliament Petition Committee   

    Bangladesh Parliament deaf of People’s voice for 38 years! 

    Bangladesh Parliament Building, Manik Mia Avenue, Dhaka

    Bangladesh Parliament Building, Manik Mia Avenue, Dhaka

    Rashidul Hasan, THE DAILY STAR February 27, 2013 — 

    The Parliament Petition Committee, the only House body through which people can participate in the law making process, remains practically inactive since its inception 38 years ago.

    Following the footsteps of many world democracies, the committee was introduced in the country in 1975 so that people can have their voices heard in parliament through this body and seek remedies to their problems.

    But, parliament experts and lawmakers say, the House committee by remaining inactive has been depriving citizens of their lawful rights. This committee remains inoperative all these years due to “insincerity” on the part of the parliament authorities.

    Moreover, most people are not aware of the committee and its function, they add.

    “Many issues of public importance could have been resolved had the Petition Committee worked properly,” parliament expert AK Mohammad Hossain told The Daily Star.

    Parliament sources say more than 1,039 bills were passed by the Jatiya Sangsad in the last 38 years. But not a single citizen participated in the law-making process through the committee.

    There is, however, one instance of getting solution to an issue of public importance in the eighth parliament in 2005 following a petition by Abul Hossain, the then president of the Satkhira Bar.

    In line with recommendations of the then Petition Committee, a road inside the Satkhira TV relay station was opened for public until construction of an alternative road.

    Petition committees play important roles in ensuring public participation in the law-making process in many democracies including in Australia, Germany, India, Scotland and the UK, said officials in the parliament secretariat.

    According to the House Rules of Procedure, anyone with consent of the Speaker can submit a petition, giving his opinion or feedback on any bill placed in the House. Petitions can also be filed on issues pending in the House or any other matters related to public interest.

    Under the rules, the Petition Committee headed by the Speaker would inform the House about the petition and recommend actions. This is an all-MP committee, and ministers cannot be its members.

    Statistics show 149 petitions related to public issues were submitted to the Petition Committee in the last 38 years. Of them, 12 were filed during the present (ninth) parliament that began in January 2009.

    The eighth parliament where the BNP-Jamaat alliance had majority seats, accepted one petition out of 20 submitted. Earlier, the seventh parliament accepted two petitions and the fifth parliament 17 petitions.

    Records of the meetings held by the committee during successive parliaments are also very poor. No meeting was held during the first four parliaments from 1973 to 1990. During the next four parliaments from 1991 to 2006, the committee sat nine times.

    The Petition Committee of the current parliament has yet to hold its first meeting.

    One of the members of the committee is not happy about such inaction. “You better talk to the Speaker,” he told this correspondent, requesting anonymity.

    Speaker Abdul Hamid said, “How we can hold meetings when we have not received any petition for discussion?”

    Contacted, BNP lawmaker Moudud Ahmed said the Petition Committee had an important role in holding parliament accountable through people’s participation.

    “But unfortunately, the committee exists only on paper. And this trend had been prevailing for the past 38 years for which we, the MPs, parliament and the successive governments, are responsible,” he added.

    Asked what steps his party had taken when in power, he said no government in the past had done enough to make the committee functional.

    “We will have to tell people that they have such a right in parliament. But lawmakers themselves would have to be more serious about the importance of the committee,” he added.

     
  • probirbidhan 20:07 on November 18, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: attack on police, , , BNP, , , state religion   

    BNP, Jamaat slam Hasina for Shariah remarks 

    The Daily Star November 18, 2012

    Two BNP leaders yesterday criticised Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for threatening to implement sharia and alleged that the government intended to create instability in the country by misleading the people.

    Speaking separately at two programmes, BNP Standing Committee Member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and BNP acting general secretary Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said it was ironic to listen to the leader of the Awami League talk about implementing sharia.

    They said the talk on sharia was nothing but an attempt to confuse people.

    প্রধানমন্ত্রীর বক্তব্য নিয়ে আলোচনা

    Shibir men go berserk in Ctg

    Jamaat men clash with cops at Jatrabari

    ‘US advice will cheer war criminals’

    ঐকমত্য হলে জামায়াতের রাজনীতি নিষিদ্ধ হতে পারে

    পাকিস্তানপ্রেমী জামায়াত কেন বাংলাদেশে রাজনীতি করে?

    জামায়াতের ইসলাম, রাজনীতি ও আমাদের দূর্বলতা

    জামায়াত-শিবিরের ‘নৈরাজ্যের’ বিরুদ্ধে সভা-সমাবেশ

    জামায়াত নেতার বাসায় ‘জঙ্গি প্রশিক্ষণ কেন্দ্র’

    PM, home minister firm against Jamaat plot

    জামায়াতের রাজনীতির জবাবদিহি তাদের কাছে

    ধর্মভিত্তিক রাজনীতি সমস্যায় পরিণত হয়েছে, সংসদে প্রধানমন্ত্রী

    At a human chain in the capital, Mosharraf said the AL has always tried to enhance its image at home and abroad, by claiming to be a secular party.

    The programme was organised by Shadhinota Forum demanding to know the whereabouts of Ilias Ali, a missing BNP leader.

    Meanwhile, speaking at a programme marking the 36th death anniversary of Maulana Bhasani, organised by BNP, Tangail Unit, Fakhrul said the AL’s �double standard policy� has been shown through Hasina’s speech.

    While addressing a meeting of AL Central Working Committee at Gono Bhaban, on November 16, the Prime Minister, said those who had assaulted the police to hinder the war crimes trial could be tried �under the sharia law�.

    �The government knows how to deal with those who are attacking the police to save the war criminals. Besides, there are alternative means like sharia to try them,� Hasina said.

     

    PM speaks about Shariah law to stop Jamaat-Shibir violence

    The Daily Star November 17, 2012

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said those attacking law enforcers and trying to hinder the war crimes trial could be tried under sharia.

    �The more excesses they do, the faster will be the war crimes trials. There will be no let-up in the trials,� she said.

    The government knows how to deal with those who are attacking police and out to save the war criminals. Besides, there are even alternative means like sharia and qiyas to try them, she said.

    The prime minister was addressing a meeting of the Awami League Central Working Committee at her Gono Bhaban residence.

    Hasina, also president of the ruling AL, said attacking police would bring no good for Jamaat-Shibir.

    Her comments follow a spate of attacks on the police by activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student body Islami Chhatra Shibir. The Islamist party has lately stepped up its demonstrations for a halt to the trials of its top brass on charges of war crimes.

    Contacted, noted jurist M Zahir said it would not be possible to try anyone under sharia [Islamic law] straight away. Those attacking the police could be tried under the traditional laws of the land.

    �If the trials have to be done under sharia, the Islamic law has to be passed by parliament,� Zahir told The Daily Star, adding that if any law was passed only to punish someone or some people, it would be considered a bad law.

    The prime minister in her speech also mentioned qiyas. According to Wikipedia, qiyas is the process of deductive analogy in which the teachings of the Hadith are compared and contrasted with those of the Quran, in order to apply a known injunction to a new circumstance and create a new injunction. Here the ruling of the Sunnah and the Quran may be used as a means to solve or provide a response to a new problem that may arise.

    At the ALCWC meet, Hasina said, in an indirect reference to the opposition, �They have plotted various conspiracies in their last-ditch effort to hinder the war crimes trials, and attacks on police across the country were parts of that plan.

    �So I call upon all, also the opposition leader, to refrain from trying to hinder the trials.�

    The prime minister observed the war crimes trial was the demand of the nation, especially the youths, and it must be held.

    Referring to the international crimes tribunals, she claimed that the tribunals were functioning transparently and there was hardly any instance in the world where so many opportunities had been given to the accused.

    She said the main opposition BNP enforced hartal on the day the verdict of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman killing case was announced. The verdict was delivered during the last Awami League-led government’s tenure, 1996-2001.

    �This time, I also want to say that these trials [war crimes trials] must also be held and none can prevent them,� she said.

    She said the nation was of warriors and they would never bow down to the defeated forces (Jamaat-Shibir).

    At the meeting yesterday, a coordination committee was formed for holding a grand alliance rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on December 16, Victory Day. Awami League leader Muhammad Nasim was made the convener of the committee.

    The Awami League chief also instructed party workers to prepare for the month-long celebrations in December.

    On the attack on minorities in Ramu of Cox’s Bazar on September 29-30, the prime minister said it had been staged to destroy the country’s communal harmony and people knew that very well.

    �This incident was unexpected�it was done in a planned way to create anarchy in the country. But fortunately, we managed to prevent it.�

    She criticised the opposition leader for visiting China and India before visiting Ramu, where she �only presented the victims with a speech of allegations against the government and nothing else�.

    The meeting yesterday also fixed December 29 for holding the party’s national council in Dhaka.

     
  • probirbidhan 05:34 on August 29, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , BNP, Sajib Wazed Joy, , Thai Ambassador in Dhaka Tasanawadee Miancharoen   

    Exclusive: Hasina’s son Joy corrupt, Koko innocent, claims Khaleda Zia 

    Defending her son Arafat Rahman Koko as innocent, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia claims she has documents of corruption allegedly committed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajib Wazed Joy.

    At a meeting of BNP standing committee Sunday night, Khaleda expressed her dissatisfaction with the party colleagues as she thinks they are reluctant to speak about Joy’s alleged corruption.

    SMS to Sheikh Hasina to go tough against corruption

    পদ্মা সেতুঃ ‘দুর্নীতি’র সংজ্ঞা পাল্টাতে হবে মনে হচ্ছে

    রাজনীতিতে ব্যক্তিগত সম্পর্কঃ হাসিনা-খালেদার শুভেচ্ছা বিনিময়

    PM’s UK interview triumphs, failures

    আবুলকে ‘সাময়িক’ বিদায় দিল আওয়ামী লীগ

    শান্তি চাইলে ন্যায়বিচারের বিকল্প নেই

    Meeting sources say according to the chairperson’s decision, all the “corruption documents related to Joy” will be translated into Bangla and published in leaflets for distribution across the country.

    “The government has falsely implicated Koko in corruption cases and now they are smearing him. Koko’s name was not found in any documents, while I have the documents of corruption done by the prime minister’s son,” the sources quoted Khaleda as saying.

    At one stage of the meeting Khaleda asked her staff to bring some papers from her office room. Later she showed the standing committee members a file saying it’s a document of Joy’s “corruption”.

    However, nobody opened the file and the BNP chief also did not disclose its contents. The committee members did not make any comment after the chairperson’s statements, the sources added.

    “You [standing committee members] don’t speak up against corruption by the prime minister’s family members. But they [ruling party leaders] are running propaganda against us. From now on you should be vocal against corruption of the prime minister’s family members,” Khaleda went on.

    Earlier on June 23 last year, a Dhaka court sentenced Koko with six-year rigorous imprisonment and fined him Tk 38.83 crore for laundering Tk 20 crore to Singapore.

    Koko, Khaleda’s younger son, who is now fugitive, is also facing a tax evasion case involving Tk 52 lakh.

    Koko was arrested during the military-backed caretaker government rule in 2007. Later he was given parole and he left for Bangkok for better medical treatment on July 19, 2008.

    On July 12 last year, Thai Ambassador in Dhaka Tasanawadee Miancharoen at a press briefing said, “Koko is no longer in Bangkok. He is in Malaysia.”

    Since then the Bangladesh government has no idea about Koko’s whereabouts.

     
  • probirbidhan 05:09 on August 29, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , , BNP, , , , , ,   

    Salauddin Quader Chowdhury escaped armed attack in 1971, ordered by Ziaur Rahman 

    During the Liberation War, Maj Ziaur Rahman commissioned the killing of 22 “collaborators”, including Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and his father, said two freedom fighters at the International Crimes Tribunal-1 yesterday.

    Maj Zia also designated a team to execute the killings, the two said.

    Freedom fighters–SM Mahbub-Ul-Alam and Qazi Mohammad Nurul Absar–told this before the tribunal while testifying against Salauddin in the case filed in connection with his crimes against humanity.

    Salauddin was in the dock during their depositions.

    সাকা চৌধুরীর বিরুদ্ধে অভিযানের বিবরণ দিলেন দুই সাক্ষী

    The witnesses told the tribunal that they conducted the operation to kill Salauddin together as he was “killing and torturing people” with the help of the Pakistani army, and their collaborators, the Al-Badr, Al-Shams and the Razakars.

    Alam, 63 and Absar, 61, said they along with two other freedom fighters launched an attack on Salauddin in September, 1971, in Chittagong when Salauddin was coming out of a house in his car.

    The two witnesses said they later heard from different sources that Salauddin sustained serious injuries while his driver was killed in the attack.

    Major Zia was a sector commander and the chief of the Z-force during the Liberation War. He later became the president of Bangladesh and founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party in 1978.

    Salauddin joined the BNP in the 90’s and is now a standing committee member of the party.

    Both the prosecution witnesses yesterday gave detailed description of their operation against Salauddin.

    They also described how student leader Mahbubul Alam was tortured to death at Salauddin’s Good’s Hill home in Chittagong during the Liberation War.

    “After completion of my training Major Zia made me the commander of our 16-member team and handed over a hit list. The first name on the list was Fazlul Quader Chowdhury while the second one was his son Salauddin,” said SM Mahbub-Ul-Alam.

    Alam was the 11th prosecution witness in the case.

    Alam, a businessman, said as the Pakistani army began mass killings and had occupied half the Chittagong town on March 25, 1971, he went to Ramgar and met Major Zia.

    “As per Major Zia’s directive, I went to Tripura in India for training. After completion of my training, he, then sector commander, directed us to make a 16-member team who knew Chittagong town well,” he added.

    The freedom fighter said the name of their group was Bravo Company and “its number was eight”.

    “Major Zia handed over to us a hit list including the name of Fazlul, Salauddin, Didar Mia, a Muslim League leader, and Sharafat Ullah. He also mentioned some places to conduct operations and gave weapons and some money,” he added.

    Alam said after returning to Chittagong town they heard that the Pakistani army and collaborator forces, Al-Badr, Al-Shams and the Razakars, led by Salauddin were “massacring” people in Chittagong and in adjacent areas.

    “A son of one Mozaffar told me that the Pakistani army led by Salauddin abducted Mozaffar and his brother whose locations were not known since then,” he added.

    “We also heard that people were brought to Good’s Hill to be tortured and made to disappear under the leadership of Salauddin,” he continued.

    Quoting one of his comrades, he said one Mahbub Alam was also tortured to death after “he was skinned alive” at Good’s Hill.

    The freedom fighter said those who were critically injured after torture were sent to the home of doctor Chhami Uddin and those whose condition were even worse were made to go missing.

    He said the sector commander’s headquarters was mounting pressure on them to do something about Salauddin.

    “We planned to conduct an operation at the doctor’s home as we came to know that Salauddin will join a family programme there. As per our plan, we took position with fire arms in front of the house around 6:30pm on September 20,” he added.

    “When Salauddin came out of the house, after staying there for around one hour, Aziz Uddin, son of Chhami, gave us the signal with a torch according to plan,” he added.

    “Getting the signal we, the four-member team, attacked the car. Fazlul Haque sprayed the car with bullets from his Sten gun while Sourendra Nath Sen charged grenades and I opened fire with my revolver,” he added.

    He said, “We left the place after the operation and later heard that Salauddin was crucially injured and his driver killed in the operation.”

    Earlier in the day, Nurul Absar, the 10th witness, gave his statement before the tribunal.

    Absar said Mahbub Alam, former Bangladesh Student Union president of Rangunia College unit, was his friend and they had planned together to protest the “massacres” being carried out by non-Bangalee people and their Pakistani supporters in Chittagong.

    He said Mahbub was living at Khatunganj in Chittagong but he was incommunicado since June-July 1971.

    “Later, I heard that a group of people including Salauddin, Yousuf Khan, Hamidul Quader Chowdhury alias Khoka, Maksud and Ziauddin kidnapped Mahbub from Khatunganj and tortured him at Good’s Hill,” he added.

    “I heard that there was no skin left on Mahbub’s body as they forced him to lie on a wooden plank bristling with nails and put another plank on him and pressed it down,” he said.

    Introducing himself as an organiser of the Liberation War, the now employee of a private firm said they decided to kill Salauddin as they heard that he regularly tortured freedom mongers at his Good’s Hill home.

    A group of freedom fighters also returned from India with the list then.

    “We also came to know that Salauddin sent the critically injured people to Chhami Uddin’s home secretly to know whether they will survive. Aziz Uddin, son of Chhami Uddin, was our friend. As he heard that freedom fighters planned to kill his father he sought security for his family from me,” he added.

    “I told him that if he informed us when Salauddin will join their family programme, I will help him. At the end of September, he informed me that Salauddin will join their family programme,” he added.

    “Getting the information I informed my commander, SM Mahbub-Ul-Alam, and we designed our plan to conduct an operation with two others,” he added.

    “We took our position in front of Chhami Uddin’s home after Magrib prayers. As per our plan, I took position on the road and informed three others about the arrival of Salauddin with a Pakistani army officer. I heard the sound of the attack around 8:30pm and left the place immediately,” he added.

    He said Aziz told them that Salauddin drove the car himself. That is why the firing was aimed at the driver seat.

    “We learnt from newspapers the next day that Salauddin received splinter grenade injuries in his leg while his driver was killed in the operation. We also heard that Salauddin went abroad after the operation,” he added.

    Defence counsels would cross-examine Nurul Absar today and SM Mahbub-Ul-Alam tomorrow.

    Salauddin was produced before the court yesterday. He is facing 23 specific charges of crimes against humanity he allegedly committed during the Liberation War.

    He is among four Jamaat-e-Islami and BNP leaders facing similar charges at Tribunal-1, the first of the two courts formed to deal with such crimes.

    Meanwhile, the International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday recorded the cross examination of Abdul Momen, the first prosecution witness in the war crimes case against former BNP lawmaker Abdul Alim.

    Defence counsels would resume the cross-examination today, as the court did not go into session after lunch yesterday.

    The court did not go into session as father of Justice Obaidul Hassan, a member of the Tribunal-2, had died.

    Witness Momen, a former student leader, testified before the tribunal on August 6. He had said then that the former BNP lawmaker had ordered the killing of nine Hindus of Khetlal upazila of Joypurhat during the Liberation War.

    On June 11, the tribunal framed 17 charges of war crimes against Alim, which include genocide, murder of Bangalee civilians, and burying people alive during the war.

     
  • probirbidhan 22:04 on August 24, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , BNP,   

    Khaleda was behind August 21 grenade attack, says Awami League 

    The Daily Star/UNB, Dhaka

    Minister without portfolio Suranjit Sengupta on Friday said opposition leader Khaleda Zia must apologise to people admitting her mistake for what he said backing the August 21 grenade attack.

    4-party alliance involved in grenade attack: Hasina

    ‘Enemies’ still hatching plots to kill me

    AL involved in Aug 21 grenade attack: BNP

    A test for investigators

    Slow trial frustrates AL ranks

    BNP shifts stance

    Tarique promised attackers safe exit

    “I appreciate BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for recently admitting her mistake by backing former president Iajuddin Ahmed as the chief adviser to the caretaker government, and she should now admit her fault in patronising the August 21 grenade attack,” he told a discussion at the city’s Osmani Auditorium.

    According to media reports, Khaleda at a meeting of the BNP standing committee on August 2 “admitted her mistake of backing Iajuddin as the chief adviser to the caretaker government”.

    “Backing Iajuddin was not the only mistake the BNP chairperson made,” Suranjit said adding, “She should admit and apologise to people for all her mistakes, including backing the August 21 grenade attack and delaying the war crimes trial.”

    “It’s natural to make mistakes in politics, but there’s also scope for corrections in politics. It’s better to admit the mistakes,” he said.

    “If she doesn’t admit the fault and prefers the culture of violence, bloodshed and obstructing constitutional course, she’ll lose her position in democratic politics,” he added.

    Speaking at the discussion, organised by Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote marking the 8th death anniversary of AL leader Ivy Rahman, State Minister of Law Quamrul Islam accused the then BNP government of destroying a lot of evidence of the grenade attack case.

    Ivy, the then Women Affairs secretary of the AL, along with others was injured in a grenade attack on an AL rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in the city on August 21, 2004. She later died at the Combined Military Hospital on August 24.

    “But, I think, the trial on the grenade attack will be completed under this government,” he said.

    The trial proceedings are progressing fairly well as 62 witnesses have already testified in the court, Quamrul added.

    “Not only the trial of the grenade attack, but also the trial of war criminals and 10-truck arms haul case will be completed before the end of our tenure,” he said.

     

    প্রথম আলোঃ

    সম্পৃক্ততা না থাকার কারণেই বিএনপি তাদের আন্দোলন থেকে সরে এসেছে বলে মন্তব্য করেছেন আওয়ামী লীগের যুগ্ম সাধারণ সম্পাদক মাহবুব-উল আলম হানিফ। বাসস।

    আজ সকালে আইভি রহমানের অষ্টম মৃত্যুবার্ষিকী উপলক্ষে রাজধানীর বনানী কবরস্থানে তাঁর কবরে ফুল দিয়ে শ্রদ্ধা নিবেদন শেষে সাংবাদিকদের হানিফ এসব কথা বলেন।

    আওয়ামী লীগের এই নেতা বলেন, জনমত সৃষ্টির জন্য সাম্প্রতিক সময়ে তাঁরা (বিএনপি) যে চেষ্টা চালাচ্ছেন, বক্তৃতা দিচ্ছেন, তাতেই প্রমাণিত হয় দেশের সাধারণ জনগণ তাঁদের আন্দোলনের সঙ্গে নেই।

    এক প্রশ্নের জবাবে মাহবুব-উল আলম হানিফ বলেন, যাঁরা হত্যার মাধ্যমে ক্ষমতায় এসেছেন, তাঁরা মিথ্যাচার ছাড়া আর কী করবেন। ওই সময়ের (২০০৪ সাল) ডিজিএফআইপ্রধানের জবানবন্দি প্রদানের মধ্য দিয়ে এটা পরিষ্কার হয়েছে, ওই হামলায় খালেদা জিয়া জড়িত ছিলেন। তিনি বলেন, ২১ আগস্ট গ্রেনেড হামলায় তৎকালীন বিএনপি-জামায়াত জোট সরকারের প্রধানমন্ত্রী খালেদা জিয়া, তাঁর ছেলে তারেক রহমান, মন্ত্রিপরিষদের সদস্যসহ সর্বোচ্চ মহল জড়িত ছিল। তাঁরাই এই গ্রেনেড হামলার নীলনকশা প্রণয়ন করেছিলেন। ২১ আগস্টের গ্রেনেড হামলা মামলার তদন্ত চলছে। দ্রুততম সময়ের মধ্যে বিচারকাজ শেষ হবে বলেও আশা প্রকাশ করেন আওয়ামী লীগর এই যুগ্ম সাধারণ সম্পাদক।

     
  • probirbidhan 22:06 on August 10, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: BNP, Jatiyatabadi Dal, ,   

    Nazmul Huda’s new party: Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Front 

    Former BNP leader Nazmul Huda declaring a new political party at an Iftar party at a city hotel on Friday. Photo: Focus Bangla

    Maverick former minister Nazmul Huda, who recently left the BNP, has formed a new political party, Bangladesh Jatiyatabadi Front, and announced that he will have candidates for all the 300 seats in the next election.

    Huda, who is the Convenor of this party, officially announced the constitution of the Jatiyatabadi Front on Friday afternoon at the Imperial Hotel at Gulistan in the city.

    হুদার নেতৃত্বে নতুন ‘জাতীয়তাবাদী ফ্রন্ট’

    “Jatiyatabadi Front as a political party will uphold nationalist ideals. We will have candidates for 300 seats in the next election,” he said at the meet.

    The Daily Star Online Report

    Huda on Jun 6 had told at a press briefing that he was resigning from the BNP once again to protest party’s Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s failure to engage in talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Later, he sent in his resignation to Khaleda.

    Speaking about the new party to bdnews24.com earlier in the day, he said,” Jatiyatabadi Front was previously formed just before the 1978 presidential elections. (Former President) Ziaur Rahman was elected as President from this front.”

    “The BNP, a new political party, had emerged from the front,” he said.

    Huda, a founding member of the BNP, said, “Jatiyatabadi Front has been off the limelight since the BNP was formed. I am going to announce that Front as a new political party.”

    He said the party would have a 21-strong Steering Committee as the highest policy-making body and added the Central Committee would include 101 members, but their identity could not be known immediately.

    Huda, who faced corruption charges during the 2007-08 military-backed government’s tenure, had served as the State Minister for Information in the 1991-96 BNP government and was fired for his remarks in 1995.

    Then the Vice-Chairman of the BNP, he was thrown out of the party in 2010 for going against the party position after Khaleda left her home of 28 years in Dhaka Cantonment after losing court battle.

    He was reinstated in the party after he had regretted his comment.

    “My newly-formed party’s Central Committee will be constituted on Nov 7,” he said.

    Huda said an independent, neutral and powerful Election Commission, based on the opinion of all political parties, was a must to supervise transparent and fair elections.

    “That commission must be given all authority during the polls,” he added.

    He said he believed power could only be transferred through elections and added he wanted to bring changes to political ideologies.

    He said he was hopeful that many people from the old Jatiyatabadi Front and other parties would join his party.

     
  • probirbidhan 01:09 on August 6, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , BNP, , chief advisor Iajuddin,   

    Khaleda throws away Hasina’s small cabinet formula 

    Dhaka, Aug 5 (bdnews24.com)

    BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Sunday alleged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s proposal of an ‘interim government’ was to prolong her stay on power.

    “We don’t accept the proposal. The Prime Minister has made the proposal to stick to power, to come back to power. We are rejecting it,” said Khaleda said at an Iftar.

    The opposition chief also called for national unity on topple the current government.

    এই প্রস্তাব মানি না, প্রত্যাখ্যান করছি

    Prime Minister Hasina had floated the idea of interim government during an interview with BBC in London recently. She also urged BNP to place the proposal after joining Parliament.

    The constitutional provision of caretaker government system was scrapped last year through the 15th Amendment.

    Citing immediate-past military-backed caretaker government that stayed in power for about two years, Hasina, also the Awami League chief, had argued the amendment was made to seal off the scope for unelected people to take over state power.

    However, the BNP has been demanding reinstatement of the constitutional provision.

    Instead of talking about the interim government idea, Khaleda has been threatening the government with a tougher movement after Eid-ul-Fitr to force government to bow to the opposition demand.

    The Iftar was orgnaised at National Press Club by Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and a faction of Dhaka Union of Journalists. Senior journalists, politicians, doctors and lawyers attended the event.

    Khaleda alleged in the last three and a half years, 16 journalists were killed, false cases were filed against many and still more were repressed.

     

    Khaleda admits 2006 ‘mistake’

    Rakib Hasnet Suman

    BNP chief Khaleda Zia has finally admitted, albeit behind closed doors, that it was a mistake to back then president Iajuddin Ahmed as the chief adviser to the caretaker government in 2006.

    She also went on to say that she should not have opposed then chief justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury becoming the chief adviser instead of Iajuddin.

    She said this during a meeting of the BNP standing committee Thursday night at her Gulshan office, meeting sources claimed.

    At the meeting BNP policymakers were discussing Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s recent proposal for an interim government with a small cabinet to oversee the next parliamentary elections.

    At one stage of the discussion, the former premier said backing president Iajuddin Ahmed as the chief adviser in 2006 was a bad decision. “We even opposed Justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury as head of the caretaker government as you [her colleagues in the standing committee] had told me he was an Awami League man. But it was wrong too,” meeting sources quoted Khaleda as saying.

    “So what if he [Justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury] was a man of Awami League. [Justice] Latifur Rahman [former caretaker government chief] too was known as an Awami League man,” Khaleda said.

    A member of the standing committee asking not to be named said the comment of the BNP chief seemed well thought out.

    To The Daily Star, senior BNP leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said, “We are busy on the issues related to the future.”

    On October 29, 2006, president Iajuddin Ahmed assumed the office of chief adviser to the non-party caretaker government in addition to his presidential responsibilities as major political parties failed to reach a consensus on an acceptable person for the post.

    Justice KM Hasan was supposed to be the chief adviser but he declined as the Awami League-led alliance had opposed the idea. Later, the name of Justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury and Justice Hamidul Haque came into discussion but the BNP-led alliance opposed them.

    Later, then president Iajuddin Ahmad held talks with four major political parties, BNP, Awami League, Jamaat-e-Islami and Jatiya Party, to resolve the stalemate over the chief adviser issue.

    After the talks, a Bangabhaban spokesman told the media that the president would give his decision as “other options for appointing the caretaker government chief from retired judges of the Supreme Court had been exhausted”.

    During the talks, BNP, Jamaat and Jatiya Party had informed the then president that they had reservations about Justice Mahmudul Amin Chowdhury being the chief adviser, and Bangabhaban claimed that Justice Hamidul Haque had declined the post of chief adviser.

    On October 29, 2006, Iajuddin was sworn in as chief adviser, which was welcomed by Khaleda Zia and her archrival Sheikh Hasina was dejected.

    After some dramatic turn of events, Iajuddin declared emergency on January 11, 2007, and stepped down from the chief adviser post, which brought an end to over four-month-long political chaos and confrontation between Awami League and BNP.

    The elections, however, were held almost two years later.

     
  • probirbidhan 23:06 on August 5, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , BNP, Electronic voting machines (EVM)   

    No EVM for 2014 polls, says CEC 

    Dhaka, Aug 5 (bdnews24.com)

    Electronic voting machines (EVM) will not be employed in the next parliamentary elections, the Chief Election Commissioner said on Sunday.

    The decision not to entrust Bangladeshi democracy to computers was because ‘the Election Commission is not ready to use the EVMs at the national level’, Kazi Rakib Uddin Ahmed told reporters.

    “The law will have to be changed for this. But we have already done some test-runs in several local government elections,” he said after a meeting at the Election Commission.

    No EVM in next polls: CEC

    সংসদ নির্বাচন ইভিএমে হচ্ছে না: সিইসি

    His remarks came after six months of speculations over the use of the EVMs in the general elections. He, however, said that EVMs would be used experimentally in the Rangpur City Corporation polls.

    According to the CEC, the voter list for 200 Upazilas was updated and the commission was currently examining double voters. A total of 3 million news voters were registered this year.

    He mentioned that 1,96,000 people became voters twice in 2008-09.

    “Some of them lost their identity cards or some others changed address. But, anyone who had a new identity card out of any ill-motive would be punished,” Rakib added.

    As for Dhaka City Corporation polls, he said updating the voter list will begin in October while the High Court order postponing the polls will be challenged.

    He declined comment when asked whether they would disclose the expenditure and income of political parties.

    The last EC, led by A T M Shamsul Huda, had successfully used voting machines in one ward during Chittagong polls and in one-third of polling centres in Narayanganj elections, and turned Comilla city polls and Narsinghdi municipal by-polls into completely computer-based elections.

    Main opposition BNP has been opposing the use of EVM in all elections since the EC began trialling them.

    Uncertainty had loomed over their use in the elections after Kazi Rakib took over the EC in February though the government and the immediate-past EC had been firm on its use in the national elections.

    The Institute of Information and Communication Technology (IICT) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) has been providing technical assistance to the EC in manufacturing and using the EVMs.

    IICT Director Prof Lutful Kabir in March had told bdnews24.com that the new Election Commission was not paying ‘proper attention’ to the issue.

    Other Election Commissioners had earlier hinted the Commission’s confusion over the issue, but CEC Rakib on Sunday confirmed for the first time that the EC was not ready to use the EVMs in the parliamentary elections.

    After taking oath as the CEC on Feb 15, Rakib on Feb 28 had said that the newly-formed Election Commission would again take the initiatives to hold dialogue with political parties to make the use of EVMs in the national polls acceptable to everyone.

    But no initiatives have been taken since then.

    The EVM are susceptible to fraud as its control unit cannot be fully secured from tampering, experts say, even though the government pumped huge money into the new technology to help voters cast their ballots electronically.

    When the machines break down, voters can use provisional paper ballots, but there is scepticism over whether they will be counted.

     
  • probirbidhan 21:59 on July 5, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , , BNP   

    Corruption grows because of politics: ACC chairman 

    Major parties not sincere in fighting graft

    The Daily Star July 4, 2012

    The two main political parties in the country are “not sincere” in fulfilling their electoral pledges to tackle corruption, Anti-Corruption Commission Chairman Ghulam Rahman has said.

    “Promises to fight graft are aplenty in the electoral manifestos of the two main political parties [Awami League and BNP]. But initiatives to implement their manifestos and promises are not seen,” Ghulam Rahman was quoted as saying at a discussion at the commission auditorium in the capital yesterday.

    The press was not invited to the programme organised by Bangladesh Enterprise Ltd.

    দুর্নীতি দমনে দৃঢ় পদক্ষেপ নেই

    আ.লীগকে নতুন নেতৃত্বের হাতে তুলে দেওয়ার চেষ্টা করছি: আশরাফ

    Meeting sources on condition of anonymity told The Daily Star that the anti-graft body boss said political will was imperative to check corruption.

    Later in the afternoon, the ACC chief briefed the media at his office where he said, “The amendment to the Anti-Corruption Commission Act has remained pending for the last one and a half years. I hope it will be amended during the current parliament session.”

    Asked why the press had not been invited to cover the discussion, Ghulam Rahman told this newspaper over the phone, “We did not think it necessary. It is for me to decide whether or not I will call anybody to my home.”

    It may be mentioned that the ACC on June 28 imposed a ban on media access to its office.

    The 11:00am to 1:00pm discussion was chaired by the ACC chairman and was attended by Chief Information Commissioner Muhammad Zamir, Comptroller and Auditor General Ahmed Ataul Hakeem, ACC Commissioner Mohammad Sahabuddin Chuppu and Information Commissioners Abu Taher and Sadeka Halim, among others.

    “Access to information is people’s right. Transparency and accountability of the government can be ensured only by ensuring people’s access to information on all important issues,” the chief information commissioner was quoted as saying at the discussion.

     
  • probirbidhan 04:45 on July 4, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , BNP, , , , , World Bank President Jim Yong Kim   

    Padma loan cancellation ‘right’, defends World Bank boss 

    Dhaka, Jul 3 (bdnews24.com)

    The newly appointed World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim has said the decision to cancel loan for the Bangladesh’s Padma bridge project was ‘appropriate’, according to international media reports.

    His comment came on first day on the job when Bangladesh government was preparing to hold discussion with the top management of the Bank to review its decision.

    Minister biggest reason

    Fakhrul wants ‘that minister’ punished

    IDB toes JICA line, continues fund support

    Talks with World Bank any time: Muhith

    Padma Project: Muhith hits out at World Ban

    ঋণ বাতিলের সিদ্ধান্ত সঠিক: জিম কিম

    পদ্মা সেতু প্রকল্পে আইডিবিও থাকছে

    ‘সেই মন্ত্রীর’ শাস্তি চান ফখরুল

    “I think it was appropriate,” The Globe and Mail quoted Kim to have said on Tuesday of the decision in his first meeting with journalists on Monday.

    Kim said that they were ‘very concerned’ about the well-being of the poorest people in Bangladesh.

    “But what I must stress is that, the bank’s position is that it does not tolerate corruption,” Kim was quoted by the Candian newspaper to have said.

    The World Bank cancelled its pledged $1.2-billion loan for Bangladesh’s $2.9 billion biggest infrastructure project saying the government had not cooperated in investigating “high-level corruption” in the project, an allegation Bangladesh refused.

    The Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith in a statement made in the parliament on Monday spoke about the government’s ‘flexible stance over several proposals by the World Bank in order to save the continuity of the project’.

    The global lender had issued a statement on Friday announcing its decision, just two days before Kim’s predecessor Robert Zoellick’s tenure in the bank expired.

    Muhith blamed Zoellick for taking the ‘illogical’ decision, which he said hampered the image of Bangladesh and believed that it would reconsider the decision.

    Muhith told Parliament that they would engage the top leadership of the Bank any time to break the deadlock surrounding global lending agency’s cancellation of promised funds.

    He had also said they were continuously negotiating with the influential members of the Bank.

    Co-financier the Asian Development Bank (ADB) also hinted to cancel funding for the of the Padma bridge project following WB’s footsteps.

     
  • probirbidhan 08:54 on May 26, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , BNP, , crossfire, , , Ilias, Ilias Ali, , journalists Sagar-Runi murder, , Mohammad Yunus, , Nobel Peace Prize, , , , Saudi ambassador, , The Economist on Bangladesh, , trade-union activist Aminul Islam   

    ‘Hard, tense time ahead’ for Bangladesh: The Economist 

    The Economist has published two articles on current political situation in Bangladesh. Titled “Bangladesh’s toxic politics: Hello, Delhi” and “Politics in Bangladesh: Banged about”, the articles — dated May 26, 2012 — are now on the British news magazine’s website. The Daily Star reprints them here.

    BANGLADESH’S TOXIC POLITICS: HELLO, DELHI
    It is up to India to try to stop Sheikh Hasina ruining Bangladesh


    The Punch-and-Judy show of Bangladeshi politics, in which the ruling party –run by the daughter of a former president — bashes the opposition–run by the widow of a former president–before swapping places with it, has been running for decades. The outside world rarely pays attention because nothing seems to change.

    Recently, though, the squabbling has turned into a crisis, which threatens to make life still worse for the 170m poor Muslims who suffer under one of the world’s worst governments. Since Bangladesh’s political leaders show no interest in their fate, outsiders need to do so.

    When Sheikh Hasina, leader of the Awami League and current prime minister, and Khaleda Zia, leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), alternated in power in the 1990s, things were pretty bad, but in the past decade they have got worse. The administration Mrs Zia headed from 2001 to 2006 was a brutal kleptocracy. It was followed by army-backed unelected technocrats. Then in 2008 the Awami League swept to power in a landslide victory. The League has 229 of 300 parliamentary seats compared with 31 for Mrs Zia’s BNP. Sheikh Hasina has used this mandate to consolidate power and hound her enemies, real and imagined.

    There has been a spate of mysterious disappearances. This month 33 senior members of the opposition were arrested on charges of vandalism and arson. A war-crimes tribunal to investigate the atrocities in Bangladesh’s war of independence in 1971some of the bloodiest in modern history now looks like an attempt to discredit the BNP and its Islamist allies. And the hounding of Mohammad Yunus, a pioneer of microfinance, creator of the Grameen Bank and a Nobel laureate, is seen as payback for his temerity in 2007 in trying to launch a “third force” in politics. Meanwhile, journalists and activists face intimidation and worse, and the vibrant NGOs that keep the spirit of democracy alive worry that proposed legislation would leave them at the mercy of government whims.

    Last year the League did away with the provision that caretaker administrations should oversee elections. The arrangement was not ideal. In January 2007 protests led by the League, convinced that the BNP would rig an election, led to a coup. But without some assurance of fair play the BNP will boycott the next election, due in 2014. So there is the prospect of yet more protests, which in Bangladesh often take the form of crippling strikes. There is also the real prospect of utter political paralysis, risking even worse turmoil on the streets.

    THE ONLY VOICE IN DHAKA
    The outside world is trying to do its bit. The World Bank has scrapped a deal to pay for a big bridge because of its suspicions of corruption. EU ambassadors have denounced the treatment of Mr Yunus and the harassment of activists. Hillary Clinton flew to Dhaka this month to stand by Mr Yunus.

    But the government seems unmoved. In a snub to Mrs Clinton, it announced a review into ownership of Grameen, a move to take over (and probably destroy) the bank. The only country to have much influence in Dhaka is India. Until recently the regional superpower tolerated Sheikh Hasina’s excesses, in part because Bangladesh has cracked down on Islamists. India now seems to be hedging its bets between the two parties. But if it still wants to have a functioning democracy next door, it needs to speak out far louder in favour of it.

    POLITICS IN BANGLADESH: BANGED ABOUT
    The prime minister sets the country on a dangerous path

    Inching through the crowded streets of Bangladesh’s capital brings both exhilaration and frustration. Dhaka’s garishly painted tricycle rickshaws, battered buses, occasional goats and luxury cars somehow all manage to creep onward. Drivers skilled at furious honking are also masters of compromise and smiles.

    If only the bitter politicians could prove so deft. Some 18 months before a general election, Bangladesh suffers street protests. Opposition leaders are sent to jail, and disappearances and murders are widely blamed on an old rivalry for power. A confrontation over the next poll who should oversee it, and whether it will be fair is already so strident that some observers doubt a contested one will be held at all. Meanwhile, Bangladeshis fret over prices of food and fuel, chronic power cuts and broken promises of new roads.

    As the leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Khaleda Zia, tells it, all ills lie at the government’s door. She ticks off a list of wicked acts she blames on her antagonist in an ancient rivalry, the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina. A young BNP politician abducted a month ago and very probably murdered. Two others killed earlier. Some 33 opposition figures, including senior MPs, dumped in jail this month over a trumped-up case of arson. In all, she says, 3,000 BNP members have been arrested. “It is to intimidate, to create a sense of fear.”

    There is plenty more darkness about. In recent months Bangladesh has endured a spate of other mysterious killings a Saudi diplomat shot dead; a trade-union activist tortured and murdered; a pair of journalists butchered after investigating corruption. This correspondent was trailed in Dhaka by a pair of secret-service men on a motorbike. A rumour of a bizarre coup attempt, in January, was used by the government to get closer political control over the army.

    One of the country’s best known figures, Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank, has been harassed for some time. An increasingly paranoid Mrs Hasina sees him as a political threat. This month in Dhaka Hillary Clinton, America’s secretary of state, met the Nobel laureate and assured him of her support. It brought no relief. Ministers snipe at him, and the government has just ordered yet another official review of his bank.

    “We are very worried that the commission has been formed and terms of reference include ownership,” says Mr Yunus. In effect, the government is seeking ways to grab Grameen, which is 97%-owned by its poor members, many of them women. Officials are also bent on settling scores with Mr Yunus, who oversees an ungainly charitable empire that includes a telecoms company as well as the bank. Over a lavish dinner, a group of government spies brags of having a thick file of allegations ready against the “money-monger”.

    ENGINE TROUBLE
    The list of gripes against the government is long. Corruption is pervasive enough for donors to be alarmed. The World Bank has scrapped funding for a bridge over the Padma river. Japan, the largest single giver of aid, has just sent its deputy prime minister to Dhaka to demand a clean-up. In a case of recent graft, a railway minister, who quit after police found sacks of cash in his aide’s car, was suddenly cleared by an internal inquiry of any corruption and reinstated to the cabinet. Meanwhile, strong doubts persist about the fairness of democracy. The United States’s ambassador in Dhaka this week repeated Mrs Clinton’s warning that the next election must be “participatory”, ie, run fairly so the opposition will take part.

    Most telling would be a shift in India’s attitude. Long a close ally of Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League cheering her crackdown on Islamic extremists and insurgents from India’s north-east, and being open to more trade India’s ruling Congress party may now, sensibly, be hedging its bets. Pranab Mukherjee, India’s finance minister, called on Mrs Zia recently, inviting her back to Delhi. Mrs Zia chuckles that she will go after Delhi’s summer heat is past. She also calls the neighbour a “friend”, a possible hint of change in a party that often seeks popularity by bashing India.

    As Sheikh Hasina looks ever more strident, people may start tiptoeing away from her. Not every ill in Bangladesh can be laid at the prime minister’s door. Although she did mess with the constitution, scrapping arrangements she had previously insisted on in opposition for a neutral caretaker to run the government for three months before election day, she now appears to want to keep her options open, possibly in order to be better able to skew the outcome of the next election. Meanwhile, Mrs Zia’s party orders street protests and hunger strikes, and threatens angry mass rallies in June. The sad result is that politics grows more polarised and confrontational.

    Still, Mrs Hasina is not quite the all-powerful bogey woman her bitterest opponents suggest. Certainly she seems set on cracking down on civil groups, for example with a new bill to put non-government organisations more firmly under political control. But it is hard to see how the murders and attacks on activists and journalists help her government, other than to spread a general sense of intimidation.

    The opposition, too, has a reputation for thuggery, corruption and intimidation, and does not bother much to hide it. A veteran leader of the BNP says that, should his party boycott the next election, 20 days of street protests by BNP supporters would then be followed by violent attacks by his party workers on their rivals.

    The shame of it all is how little heed the squabbling politicians pay to what should matter more: keeping the economy growing and reducing poverty further. In the face of electricity shortages, blocked roads and land disputes, the Bangladesh economy has been doing remarkably well. Its clothing industry has the potential to generate over $40 billion a year from exports, according to McKinsey, a consultancy.

    Indicators of well-being have been improving. If annual economic growth of over 6% is sustained, a country that not long ago was a byword for poverty can contemplate reaching middle-income levels in barely a decade. But that needs single-minded focus by the government on dealing with the country’s economic bottlenecks and social needs. Instead, like Dhaka’s wretched roads, politics looks jammed. Uncertainty leading up to the next election, and growing anxiety among diplomats and foreign observers of Bangladesh, suggest a hard, tense time ahead. More than anyone, blame the driver.

    The RAW activity in Bangladesh

    The Satkhira frustration

    ইউনুসের ‘শান্তিতে নোবেল’ প্রাপ্তি, প্রতিহিংসা ও পদক-কালচার

    দুর্নীতি, অনিয়মের খবর প্রকাশের কারনে আক্রান্ত সাংবাদিক

    সুরঞ্জিতের গদিপ্রীতি; রাষ্ট্রীয়ভাবে দুর্নীতি’র পালন

     
  • probirbidhan 22:15 on May 10, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , , BNP, citizens, civil society, elections, , tolerance   

    People must act in politics now 

    Citizens urged at roundtable to overcome political crisis

    The Daily Star Friday, May 11, 2012 

    Citizens must speak out strongly against “political confrontation” in the country and press the two major political parties to foster the culture of tolerance, said discussants at a roundtable yesterday.

    Alluding to the ruling Awami League and the main opposition BNP, they said the political crisis was deepening by the day due to a lack of tolerance and respect among the parties. People should act to pressurise them to raise their tolerance level and respect each other for the sake of democracy.

    The roundtable styled “Ongoing political crisis and citizens’ concern” was organised at the Jatiya Press Club by the Sushashoner Jonno Nagorik (Sujan), an organisation working for good governance.

    Former Dhaka University vice-chancellor Prof Emazuddin Ahmed emphasised dialogue between the political parties to resolve conflicts and uphold democracy.

    He also expressed concern over the deterioration of law and order.

    People will not be able to come out of the cycle of two major political parties as long as the “majoritarian” system continues, said former election commissioner M Shakhawat Hussain.

    ASM Shahjahan, former adviser to the caretaker government, said the electorate should take corrective measures to deal with the faults and wrongdoings in the political arena.

    Chairing the function, Sujan Vice-president M Hafizuddin Khan, another former adviser to the caretaker government, said, “One of the two major political parties will be destroyed, if such confrontation continues.”

    The activities of the political parties are dragging the country into violence, said Zafrullah Chowdhury, one of the trustees of Gonoshasthaya Kendra.

    Referring to the huge amount of money being deposited in the account of former state minister for home Tanjim Ahmad Sohel Taj without his knowledge, he said it was nothing but money laundering.

    Academician Prof Ajoy Roy said a third political force is needed to end the ongoing political crisis.

    Former Jahangirnagar University Prof Dilara Chowdhury urged the civil society members not to serve the purpose of any political party.

    Sujan Secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar said politicians would be compelled to change their behaviours, if the citizens became more responsive.

    Mahmudur Rahman Manna, former organising secretary of Awami League, said people should raise their voices to draw attention of the politicians to what they say.

    Dhaka University Law Prof Asif Nazrul, former cabinet secretary Ali Imam Majumder, and former state minister for foreign affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury also spoke.

     
  • probirbidhan 13:10 on May 9, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , BNP, confrontation, , ,   

    Political Chaos Descending On Bangladesh 

    Analysis by SAAG (South Asia Analysis group)

    By Bhaskar Roy May 8, 2012

    Street politics has been the hall mark of Bengalee politics. The 1952 language movement in Dhaka stands as the marker of the freedom struggle against the West Pakistani disregard for the East. Liberation was achieved in 1971, but democracy was snuffed out in August 1975 when the father of the nation Sk. Mujibur Rahman was assassinated by a group of young army officers. This was followed by a series of martial law governments till 1991. Since then, as democracy returned to the country, the two main political parties, the Awami League and the BNP have been in contention with each other with confrontations, sometimes violent, on the streets. The language movement was for a noble cause. Since 1991, the political movements on the streets have no noble cause. They are hurting the economy and stability of the country. All sides share the blame.

    BangladeshBangladesh

    It is sad, but political violence, revenge and retribution seems to have become embedded in the country. On the other hand, the law and order machinery, especially the special force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), have tended to become more brutalized. Cases of killings, crossfire deaths and disappearance of people have become more wide spread. Domestic and international human rights organizations have been recording the statistics and appealing to the government for restraint and accountability. Despite assurances from the government, the situation has not improved significantly.

    On top of that, the recent disappearance of BNP’s organization secretary, Illias Ali and his driver has given added ammunition to the BNP led opposition to launch protest demonstrations against the government.

    Ali’s disappearance was peculiar. His car was found abandoned late at night. There was no sound. No shots were fired. Either is was a case of a perfect abduction, or an inside (BNP) job. Searches and investigations have yet to reveal any clues.

    There are some important questions here. Are the government leaders including Home Minister Sahara Khatun and their immediate senior bureaucrats are so inept that they cannot control the police and RAB? Or, are these agencies being allowed a free hand to do whatever they want? Third is the government being sabotaged from inside by these same agencies some of which were created during the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami (JEI) government of 2001-2006? Trojan Horses cannot be ruled out.

    Unfortunately, the government and the main ruling party, the Awami League have adopted a wrong approach to counter the opposition’s demonstrations on the streets. It is the responsibility of the political leaders and the law enforcement personnel that the democratically accepted movements remain peaceful. When, however, the Awami League workers wade into the field and rough up opposition members, the issue takes on a different perspective. With some of these actions including arbitrary arrests to ensure stability, the government may be scoring self-goals.

    The culture of state violence which included domestic and external terrorism, goes back to 2001-2006 BNP-JEI government. They let loose a cult of unparalleled political violence. Awami League leaders and workers were attacked and killed. In an attack on Awami League leader Sk. Hasina in May 2004, in Dhaka, 22 of the Party’s leaders including a presidium member were killed, many injured and Sk. Hasina escaped miraculously with an injury which still has to be treated. That case, directly connected with the BNP, is yet to be resolved and the culprits punished.

    Prime Minister and BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia’s elder son, Tareque Reheman, was the king pin of the violence policy, terrorism, and corruption. As senior Joint General Secretary of BNP, Tareque ruled from his office in Hawa Bhavan. The terrorist group called the Jamatual Mujahidin Bangladesh (JMB) headed by Bangla Bhai was controlled by him. Assisting him was Home Minister for state Luftozzaman Babar and several other ministers including JEI leaders like Matiur Reheman Nizami, Dilwar Hossain Sayedie and others. Nizami, a Razakar of 1971, was a minister. Khatme Nabuwaqt leaders, another terrorist organization, used to refer to Tareque Reheman as “maternal uncle”. Their talks will fill up volumes. Tareque also controlled important promotions and postings in the army, other security organizations and the bureaucracy.

    The BNP-JEI combine aimed to create an Islamist extremist controlled state with some collaboration with Pakistan and fundings from NGOs from the Gulf including from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. A mad idea. But if it succeeded, it would have wreaked havoc in South Asia. Sanctuary even for the Al Qaida was considered. The JMB exploded bombs in 53 out of 54 districts on August 17, 2004. Under the regime, Bangladesh was on the verge of being declared a state sponsor of terrorism.

    It is, therefore, no surprise, that the Awami League was brought back by the people with an overwhelming majority in the December, 2008 elections. The BNP was sharply diminished, and the JEI was all but wiped out. This reflected the aspirations of the people of Bangladesh. Over 40 percent of the voters were exercising their franchise for the first time. The next election is going to add more new voters. These young people want a stable and secure country, education and jobs. They are very bright people. If they are dismayed and turned away, the consequences are going to be serious.

    After the Awami League led government took over in January, 2009, there was a freshness and hope in the air. If allowed to by its own politics, Bangladesh can become the flag bearer of South Asia. Its economy has grown by 6 percent a year. The garment industry is the second largest in the world only next to China’s. It is ready to stand as a bridge between South Asia and South East Asia.

    Unfortunately the opposition, certain interested intellectuals and bureaucrats who harbour anti-Indianism as their nectar continue to oppose any profitable agreements with India. Giving India transit facility to its north-east would bring in Nepal and Bhutan into play as these countries have to traverse Indian territory to reach Bangladesh. Much of Bangladesh’s power problems would be resolved through transmissions from Nepal, Bhutan and India. Chittagong and Mongla sea ports will be further activated profitably.

    India’s one billion dollar soft aid could help in Bangladesh’s economic development especially after Indian Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee declared in Dhaka that $200 million of that tranche into aid, and the rest at one percent interest, the lowest that Bangladesh has received. But there are generic problems especially from Indian suppliers. The Indian government must review this agreement. Unfortunately, West Bengal or Paschim Bangla Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee, with a myopic view on state politics, has stymied the Teesta river water agreement. This, hopefully, will be resolved soon along with the Tipaimukh dam issue, and support Bangladesh’s development.

    Sk. Hasina had promised to eradicate terrorism from her country. She has recorded signal success. Terrorism monitors across the world have applauded her achievement. But the progenitors of terrorism are still around. That is the challenge.

    Sk. Hasina has crafted and executed a sound foreign policy. Maintaining the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh, she has reached across to neighbours and the world. She has balanced relations with China and India, brought in Russia, now moving towards new economic relations with the US and the European Union. Her relations with the Gulf and West Asian countries are stable, having resolved issues relating to expatriate Bangladeshi workers. Foreign remittance from this region is poised to increase.

    The biggest challenge to Sk. Hasina and her government is her commitment to bring the 1971 war criminals to book. Three million Bengalees died in the liberation war, around 300 thousand women were raped. All these were not done only by the Pakistani army, but the anti-liberation forces like the Al Badar and Al Shams collectively known as the Razakars. These genocidal groups even misled the Pakistani army on occasions to attack and decimate old men, women and children. There was no discrimination between Muslims and Hindus.

    These genocidal actors mostly represented by the JEI and a few in the BNP now, were rehabilitated by President Zia-ur-Rahman in 1978. He also formed the BNP that year.

    Despite some questions from the EU and the USA and opposition from the BNP and JEI and their acolytes in various institutions, the International War Crimes Tribunal (ICT) Bangladesh was established in 2010. Individuals have been identified, and the top five leaders of the JEI are in jail for war crimes and other criminal acts. Surprisingly, the process appears to have stalled.

    In a scathing editorial on March 28, the Dhaka daily The New Age questioned the intention of the government and accused it of “insincerity” in conducting the war crime trials faithfully. The ICT Bangladesh has pulled up the prosecutions lawyers several times for failure to produce witnesses and shoddy investigations. Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told the media that the government was looking for competent lawyers. This is astonishing. Bangladesh has many competent lawyers. Then, why appoint incompetent lawyers in the first place?

    Although some witnesses have died there are many who are alive. There are documentary evidence left by the Pakistani army and officials while withdrawing in a hurry which implicates Matiur Reheman Nizami and others. A book by a Pakistani Major Sadiq Salik “Witness to Surrender” gives eye witness accounts of the role of the Razakars and how these groups were created by the Pakistani army.

    External pressures to scuttle the war crimes trial may not be discounted. In fact, they can exert more pressure than the internal opponents. Pakistan would be at the top of the list as their army stand to be discredited once again. Islamabad sent a special emissary to Dhaka on this issue in early 2010. Saudi Arabia has its own interest in promoting Pakistan’s position and its own strategy to promote Wahabi Islam in Bangladesh. The Saudi Gazette came out recently in defence of Prof. Gulam Azam, earlier Amir of JEI and the main collaborator with the Pakistani army. The US has its own problem because of its position against the liberation war, and still not fully clear on its position in the assassination of Sk. Mujibur Rahman. The European Union stands against death penalty. These are formidable forces.

    The BNP-led opposition will do everything possible to keep the government under pressure, create chaotic conditions and use issues like the disappearance of Illyas Ali to lock down the country. At the moment they are unlikely to listen to the business community to avoid strikes which are hitting the economy. In fact, if the economy plummets, it will be a stick in the opposition’s hands. This, however, is democratic politics.

    The opposition’s 90 day ultimatum to the government to restore the caretaker government system for elections ends on June 10. The government must listen to the constructive criticism coming from the neutral media. It must review some of its political and administrative decisions.

    The war crimes remain Bangladesh’s poisonous weed. Everything that followed had roots in it. Unless this weed is weeded out completely and the truth brought in front of the people many of who are post-liberation generation, have learnt distorted history of the liberation war. This has also led to distorted politics. If this opportunity to settle the issues is wasted the nation will be a perpetual sick person. The gains made till now by the Awami League led government are not irreversible.

    SAAG is the South Asia Analysis Group, a non-profit, non-commercial think tank. The objective of SAAG is to advance strategic analysis and contribute to the expansion of knowledge of Indian and International security and promote public understanding.

     
  • probirbidhan 11:44 on April 26, 2012 Permalink |
    Tags: , BAKSAL, , BNP, dictator, Marxists and Stalinists, Rakkhi Bahini,   

    Rogue regime smashing democracy in Bangladesh 

    | by Jessica Fox

    The long-cherished dream of India turned true with the victory of Bangladesh Awami League. It is authentically proved by various sources that India aspires to see the current government in Dhaka to continue in power at least up to 2021, when a submissive Bangladesh can be totally ensured. 
    Something is wrong in a small South Asian nation, where a authoritarian regime is gradually enforcing series of anti-people policies, making direct threat to country’s democracy, which had been repeatedly disrupted by bloody and bloodless military coups since it got liberated from Pakistan in 1971. Bangladesh, though a small nation with a total 160 million homogenous population is heading towards another playground of Marxists and Stalinists, who grabbed power through an engineered election in 2008 with the help of military junta. Many of the political experts on South Asian affairs fear, Bangladesh could become the second Communist ruled nation after Nepal within the span of next two years. The current regime of Bangladesh Awami League led leftist coalitions have already exhibited tendencies of totally ignoring the West, including the United States, thus aligning with neighboring India as its political guru.
    After a bloody war of nine months, the country named Bangladesh was created with 75 million populations. The first political party, Bangladesh Awami League, which formed the government under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman continued committing series of political and diplomatic blunders while Mujib opted for establishing one-party rule thus banning freedom of expression, rights of citizen as well as encouraging secret killings of the political opponents. He also attempted for making stronger ties with anti-West nations such as Cuba or Palestine for example, with the ambition of becoming another Fidel Castro in South Asia . During his rule, on an average, more than ten thousand people were subjected to secret killings, while grabbing properties of religious minorities as well as various forms of state-patronized intimidation of different opinions were already at the worst-ever alarming level. It was further added by acute food crisis and famine, as well as corruption and lawlessness at every level, which at some point even risked the independence and sovereignty of the country. In 1974, Bangladesh experienced the deadliest famine ever, which killed around 1.5 million Bangladeshi people from hunger. The Bangladesh famine of 1974 is a major source of discontent against Mujib’s government. Bangladeshi people feel ashamed, insulted and demoralized as a nation for this famine that was not due to a food crisis but, according to Nobel laureate Amartya Sen — due instead to the lack of governance and democratic practices. Intense criticism of Mujib arose over lack of political leadership, a flawed pricing policy, and rising inflation amidst heavy losses suffered by the nationalized industries. Mujib’s ambitious social programs performed poorly, owing to scarcity of resources, funds and personnel, and caused unrest amongst the masses. BAKSAL (the one-party rule established by the government) was protested by different groups but they were punished by Mujibur Rahman. It was known that Mujibur Rahman never accepted any criticism against him. Mujib was widely accused for the responsible of 40000 killings by his Rakkhi Bahini (the para-militia force created for cleansing political opponents of the ruling class). On January 25, 1975 Mujib declared a state of emergency and his political supporters approved a constitutional amendment banning all opposition political parties. Mujib assumed the presidency and was given extraordinary powers. His political supporters amalgamated to form the only legalized political party, the Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League, commonly known by its initials – BAKSAL. The party identified itself with the rural masses, farmers and labourers and took control of government machinery. It also launched major socialist programs. Using government forces and a militia of supporters called the Jatiyo Rakkhi Bahini, Mujib oversaw the arrest of opposition activists and strict control of political activities across the country. Members of Jatiyo Rakkhi Bahini were granted immunity from prosecution and other legal proceedings. The militia known as Rakhi Bahini and police were accused of torturing suspects and political killings. While retaining support from many segments of the population, Mujib evoked anger amongst veterans of the liberation war for what was seen as a betrayal of the causes of democracy and civil rights.
    Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is possibly the only leader of his contemporaries, who turned into a dangerous dictator from being a most-popular leader of the people. Though Mujib still is considered as a towering personality in South Asia for his courageous role in leading the nation towards attaining independence, the subsequent actions of his government, which mostly went against the people, had certainly labeled him as a good leader but worst administrator or even a ruthless dictator. The era of Mujibur Rahman came to an end following a military coup in 1975, wherefrom the country went through decade-long suspension of democracy, thus entering number of dictatorial military regimes. Things once again started changing in 1990, when military dictator and Islamist pal General Hussain Mohammed Ershad was ousted from power through a mass revolt. Since then democracy continued to crawl again. But once again, the high ambitious military men in Bangladesh put democracy into dictatorial clutches in 2007 by seizing power from a constitutional government thus continuing numerous forms of anti-democracy actions, including attempts of eliminating the mainstream political parties and leadership. It also got involved in criminal actions like extorting industrialists, entrepreneurs and businessmen, including social elites thus establishing a total reign of terror. International community became extremely critical of such actions of the military junta and started putting pressure for restoring democracy. Sensing severe consequences, the military junta attempted to bargain with the political parties about getting indemnity to all of their misdeeds during the dictatorial rule of two years. Few meetings took place overseas between the representatives of the military controlled junta and Bangladesh Awami League, while Bangladesh Nationalist Party rejected any such secret compromise formula. Moreover, international patrons of the military controlled junta, particularly India were putting emphasis in seeing Bangladesh Awami League installed into power for implementation of a number of Indian agendas, which include, letting New Delhi get the corridor facilities from Bangladesh for transporting its commercial and military cargoes to the North-Eastern region. It is rightly predicted by the political forecasters that such facilities were extremely necessary for India to maintain its tight grip over the North-Eastern region, thus eliminating the existing struggles of independence. Should India did not get the corridor facilities from Bangladesh for another 2-3 years, few Christian dominated independent nations would already emerge within the map of Indian sub-continent.
    Secondly a pro-Indian mere puppet government in Bangladesh was essential for letting Indian security forces and intelligence agencies enter the territory of Bangladesh in discreet manner to hunt for anti-Indian elements within the country and gradually eliminate them thus continuing offensives on the anti-Indian notions and sentiments.
    Thirdly, such government in Bangladesh was required by New Delhi to somehow dampen Bangladesh Army as well as paramilitary forces, which is once again important for New Delhi to establish Indian dominance within South Asia.
    The long-cherished dream of India turned true with the victory of Bangladesh Awami League. It is authentically proved by various sources that India aspires to see the current government in Dhaka to continue in power at least up to 2021, when a submissive Bangladesh can be totally ensured. Though India proclaims to be the largest democracy in the world, it has agenda of establishing one-party authoritarian rule in Bangladesh with a brute administration, thus greatly and blindly compromising the interest of Bangladesh in every level. This is now a win-win situation for India while a real agony for the people of Bangladesh seeing a government in Dhaka, which puts more emphasis on implementing Indian agendas, instead of paying minimal attention to the interest of Bangladesh. When Bangladesh completed its fourth decade of independence recently, it is justly feared by many that the nation of 160 million people are now destined towards losing its own dignity and pride, thus letting the rogue regime in scraping democracy and establishing the one-party dictatorship with fullest and dedicated agendas of serving the purpose of India.
     
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