Silence on Executions in Bangladesh

By M. Tahir Khan.

The last week’s execution of Mir Qasem Ali, the last prominent Jamaat leader marked the atrocities of Sheikh Haseena’s government against all those who loved and supported Pakistan in 1971 war imposed by India in collaboration with Mukti Bani, RAW trained Bengalis in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). The hangings and the proceedings of the 1971 war crimes remained highly controversial from the start of the legal proceedings. Legal flaws in the proceedings were highlighted on different platforms on international media, some of the international human rights organizations also highlighted it, but media hype and the voices of human rights organizations were not able to stop Bangladesh’s Sheikh Haseena from these executions. The free trial remained a dream and a mystery could not be solved that how independent law proceedings took place after 45 years and on what evidences these executions were awarded.

This was not the first execution by the Bangladesh’s government. Since 2013, Sheikh Haseena Wajid’s government executed six prominent opposition leaders, five from Jamaat-e-Islami following Moti-ur-Rehman Nizami, Ali Ahsan, Mohammad Mojaheed, Abdul Qadeer Molla, Mohammad Kamrauzzaman were also executed on the same charges, but Haseena’s lust for blood and human lives has not yet fulfilled. Mir Qasem was not only last prominent Jamaat leader but he was also a celebrated philanthropist, a successful businessman, a person who is known for his efforts to create media free and the one who is capable of creating intellectual and practical challenge as well, but government was behind every individual who had the capacity to build pressure on Haseena’s India connections.

Since the start of proceedings in the crimes tribunal, it was evident that fair trial opportunity was not provided and government of Haseena took the decisions of its own will from the judiciary. Reasons are simple, first of all she wants to cut to size her opposition, secondly, to create hatred against Pakistan by executing people who had some love for Pakistan and finally Haseena Wajid wants to please her Masters (The Indian Government). The proceedings of Mir Qasem’s case in 1971 war tribunal gave a clear judgment that all judicial system was under severe stress. One of the best examples to quote here relates to the alleged abduction of Mir Qasem’s lawyer’s son who was also a part of his defense team.

The shady and dubious trial can be witnessed if we can formulate a timeline starting from the formation  of International Crime Tribunal in 2010, which itself is not international but a national tribunal formed under the Bangladesh Law formed in 1973 and later on amended in 2009 and 2012. The flaws in the proceedings were first time highlighted in 2012 when the telephonic conversation of more than 17 hours and over 230 emails exchanged between Mohammad Nizamul Haq, Chairman of International Crime Tribunal and his lawyer friend Ahmed Ziaudddin based in Brussels were hacked and published in internationally reputed magazine The Economist. The issues discussed on 14th November, 2012 in the hacked telephonic conversation simply brought forward all the Bangladesh Government’s plan for the executions and raised many questions on the trial being carried for 1971 war crimes. In the leaked conversation, the Judge Mohammad Nizamul Haq while communicating with Ahmed Ziauddin, the Brussels based lawyer quoted as “government is absolutely crazy for a judgment; the government has gone totally mad. They have gone completely mad, I am telling you and they want judgment by 16th December”, the day Bangladesh was created and Pakistani forces surrendered in 1971.

In the first week of December 2012, the exclusive stories in Economist forced Mohammad Nizamul Haq, Chairman International War Tribunal to resign from his position and his resignation had verified that the Tribunal is just a setup not meant for the fair trial, however, it had failed to stop Sheikh Haseena who kept on pushing the shady trials to please India.

In November 2015, the hanging of Bangladesh Opposition Leader Salahuddin Chaudhry not only exposed the ugly face of Bangladesh’s International Crime Tribunal, but also proved the intentions of Sheikh Haseena’s government who put all of her efforts to get judgment to execute Salahuddin Chaudhry. As per details revealed by Dr. Moeed Pirzada in his television show, in 1971 war Salahuddin Chaudhry was not even in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), he was a student and studying in Punjab University in Lahore. Unfortunately, Bangladesh government did all out effort to stop witnesses in favour of Chaudhry, few of the witnesses who were not given permission to enter into Bangladesh includes some of the respectable names of Pakistan, including Amber Haroon, Muneeb Arjumand Khan, social worker; Ishaq Khaqwani, Ex MNA and Riaz Ahmed Noon, grandson of Feroz Khan Noon, Ex Prime Minister of Pakistan.

It may also be important here to highlight the date factor associated with 16th December, The Fall of Dhaka, this is the same date on which Sheikh Haseena wanted judgment from Mohammad Nizamul Haq and this is also the same date on which Army Public School was attacked and 126 school children were brutally murdered by none other than but enemies of Pakistan and it is also clear who wants to give message to Pakistan.

This is not the end of story, shady trials are kept on by the government of Bangladesh and in the last four years after the resignation of Judge Mohammad Nizamul Haq, the so called war tribunal remained busy in its suspicious trials. World powers including United Nations, European Union, Human Rights Organizations and powerful western media preach Pakistan to abandon capital punishment in the country which is more needed especially to cater terrorism but world kept mum on the executions being given in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, the response from the government of Pakistan also remained symbolic which is far less than the desired, whereas the Bangladesh government on the behest of India, is constantly creating hatred against Pakistan in the minds of Bengali people and removing all the people who loved Pakistan or had some soft corner for Pakistan.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *