Hats off to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina whose undaunted resolve and unwavering promises to the nation and the bereaved families ,who still lick the wounds received during our 1971 War of Liberation in the killing, rape and torture of millions of people, have made it possible to send heavyweight war criminals to the gallows one after another. She has proved to be "iron lady' in trying the war criminals defying all local and foreign pressures.
The last on the current list of war crime
convicts Salauddin Quader Chowdhury (SQC) of Bangladesh Nationalist
Party (BNP) and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed of Jamaat-e-Islami were
hanged at the Dhaka Central Jail on Saturday midnight. They had been
tried and sentenced to death by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT)
of Bangladesh for committing crimes against humanity 44 years ago during
our war of liberation.
Anyone who experienced, saw or heard of the
horrors of 1971 as the Pakistani occupation army and their local
collborators led by Mojaheed and other Jamaat leaders (including its
student militants) still shivers, wake up at night from bad dreams and
spend time under the shadow of Jamaati "bazards" who may swoop down on
the peace and independence loving Bangladeshis anytime from the blue
along with their patrons of BNP and other ultra-Islamist killer groups.
was Sheikh Hasina, still bleeding in heart for the killing in 1975 of
her father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (our Father of the Nation)
and most of his family members in the hands of pro-Jamaat militants and
Pakistani Collaborators, made it an unflinching pledge to try and
punish all killers. In this arduous process that has seen so many bumps
and twists - and even threatened her own life, the Prime Minister
ensured trial and highest punishment (death penalty) of Bangabandhu's
killers and then of the 1971 war criminals.
With the execution of SQC
and Mojaheed, four war crime convicts have been hanged and 11 are on
death row following verdicts of ICT. Two other convicts including
Jamaat's former Ameer Golam Azam died in prison while serving life term.
Besides, Delwar Hossain Sayedee. Nayebe Ameer of Jamaat, has been
condemned to prison until death.
The authorities aptly backed by the
country's independent judiciary are also looking for other war
criminals to get them all and have them duly punished as per law of the
country and peoples aspiration.
The International Crimes Tribunal
set up by Sheikh Hasina's government has prosecuted and punished the
killers, rapists, arsonists and criminals of 1971 undaunted by efforts
to obstruct the process by the Jamaat-BNP clique who mounted an
international campaign against the trials, saying that the ICT does not
follow international standards.
In their lifetime, Mojaheed claimed
that there had been no war crime committed and no war criminal in
Bangladesh. SQC insisted that Pakistani army and their collaborators
persecuted and punished "enemies" of Pakistan and "agents" of India
during our War of Liberation.
But in their mercy petitions to
President Abdul Hamid they confessed their war crimes and admitted that
and war criminals exist in the country.
This removed all doubts
about clarity of the ICT trials and its standards -- and that criminals,
no matter how big or weighty are they, cannot evade justice in the long
President Abdul Hamid also showed his guts and respect to the
rule of law by rejecting and returning to the jail authority the mercy
petitions in no time. That made possible the quick executions of SQC and
A string of l human rights groups and some governments
including that of the United States and Britain, who pose themselves as
"guardians and protectors" of human rights joined the malicious campaign
- and when the death sentences were awarded they also tried to stop
their execution. However, the ICT, Supreme Court and the Prime Minister
stood like rock against any such deplorable attempt and kept the trials
on and executed verdicts.
We feel obsessed and annoyed to note that
the international rights groups and the Amnesty International had their
faces hidden under the rugs when the US-UK led coalition launched the
most dreadful killing and destruction mission in Iraq, killing President
Saddam Hussein and similar barbaric drive in other countries of the
Middle-East and other parts of the world. Did they try to stop American
President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair from
carrying out their terrible missions in those countries? But they failed
to prove the charges they made against the government of Saddam Hussein
and now Blair himself publicly apologized for the Iraq aggression on
`wrong ground and information'.
Now as Bangladesh moved to try war
criminals within its own domain, they all woke up and howled as
"conscious keepers". But Bangladesh people, especially the young
generation and freedom fighters, rose up in protest and frustrated their
evil designs. Today Bangladesh stands firmly with its head erected high
in the world and is revered by many freedom and peace loving nations as
a role model.
Through execution of the war criminals, Sheikh Hasina
has fulfilled her pledge to the nation, particularly the young
generation who gave her Awami League (AL) a massive mandate in the 2008
parliamentary election that made it possible for the AL to regain power.
They voted for Sheikh Hasina and her party mainly because of her
promise to try the war criminals who butchered their parents, brothers
and sisters, and raped women indiscriminately during 1971 War of
How our people will forget that the collaborators like
SQC and Mojaheed also gifted Bangladeshi girls to their Pakistani
masters and to the Pakistan occupation army.
The statement of some
US lawmakers after the execution of SQC and Mojaheed is not only
deplorable but an affront on the will and sentiment of our nation. They
describe the ICT as "very flawed" and a means of political
"retribution". We want to remind the US law makers that SQC and
Mojaheed have not been hanged as opposition leaders but as convicts for
their crimes against humanity during 1971 War of Liberation. Will they
term the execution of those Americans who opposed their Independence War
as "flawed and political retribution"?. We want to forget the history
that US government opposed our Liberation War and sent its Seventh Fleet
in support of the Pakistan occupation army.
On December 16, 1971,
we won independent Bangladesh under the leadership of Bangabandhu, our
Father of the Nation, from the ashes of East Pakistan. But the anger of
Pakistan's friends and surrogates kept smouldering. Jamaat which went
into hiding after Bangladesh's independence gradually reemerged and
started pursuing bids to reunite Pakistan following the killing of
Bangabandhu in 1975. But their heinous attempts have all failed because
of the resistance and resentment of the people.
Then they held
hands of the BNP, founded by military dictator General Ziaur Rahman and
now led by his widow Begum Khaleda Zia, to try to thwart Sehikh Hasina's
rule and tarnish her image in the world by resorting to violence and
killing people in the name of religious and political programmes.
leader Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister, lost much of her political
clouts by openly supporting the move to stop trial of war criminals,
defying a widely popular demand. Khaleda and her party stuck deeply with
Jamaat till SQC and Mojaheed hit the gallows - and probably will stay
so till they find their political disaster.
countrywide jubilations following hanging of SCQ and Mojaheed has proved
that people are happy at the continuing trial of the war criminals.
war crime trials and punishment of the perpetrators have somewhat eased
the burden in hearts of the people and on shoulders of the nation. But
still a lot remains to be done. People of all shades of opinion, except
the anti-liberation, communal and fundamentalist forces, welcome Sheikh
Hasina's strong stand and stern actions to improve law and order,
protect people's lives and rights, and overall, to make Bangladesh a
happy, prosperous, peaceful, democratic country. We all now want greater
unity of the nation against all the evil forces.