Friday, December 18, 2015 EDITORIAL

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 EDITORIAL

Brazen politicization: Bureaucracy, police, army

Notwithstanding the blight of politicisation of bureaucracy—-which runs counter to proper constitutional governance—-the nation has witnessed the malady under successive regimes. However, of late the bane has crossed all limits in all sectors of public administration, because recruitment,  posting, transfer, putting out of action as ‘OSD’ and forced retirement are being made on political consideration.
Ideally, after being recruited through due process by the statutory body, (the Bangladesh Pubic Service Commission (PSC), the civil servants of necessity have to be non-partisan, apolitical and impartial in order that they can perform their duties maintaining neutrality, with merit and fair play as the guiding principles.
A government or party top brass formulates policies which are put into practice by bureaucrats. But known for its brazen politicisation of the bureaucracy, the ruling Awami League (AL) government has not spared even brilliant civil servants of unimpeachable integrity.  For instance, one such BCS admin cadre officer, reportedly having proven record of absolute impartiality, made the national airline Biman profitable [which had been incurring a loss of Tk 250-300 crore a year] —- during his tenure as its managing director in 2006-09. Though the common administrative practice is to recompense reward, he was made officer on special duty (OSD) in January, 2009, right after the A L-led government assumed office. As if that was not enough, the worst blow for him came in August this year when the government sent him on forced retirement.
Mention should be made of the fact that he is the one bold officer who ripped down illegal billboards of Arafat Rahman Koko during the BNP regime and did not stop even after Koko had himself rushed to the scene; and the government was not annoyed. There are more such example. The practice of making officers OSDs is not new in this country; but during the AL regime, the number of OSDs took a quantum jump from 250 to 650 compared to the previous BNP regime. Politicisation of civil service is bound to be counterproductive having the negative impact, resulting in the deterioration in quality in the civil service which will not attract talented people.
Referring to other branches of bureaucracy and army, Opposition BNP’s Chairperson Khaleda Zia recently alleged that Bangladesh armed forces’ involvement in development work is leading the forces the wrong way. Noting that the police and the military “are not party workers”, she said that they are the children of this country. “I would like to tell the armed forces that it was we who built them up. They (the Awami League) didn’t want that. They claimed Bangladesh did not need an army,” she said at a function in her Gulshan office.
She accused police and RAB of staging ‘encounter’ killings and executing forced disappearances. She held Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and RAB Director General responsible for such incidents.“Police are acting under orders. They are killing their own brothers and sisters.”
Referring to the border killings, she said she was surprised that there were no protests. She appealed to judges to be “impartial”. The BNP chief also repeated her demand for a national election under an ‘impartial’ government.
To look back, on 12 November 2014 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Political Affairs Adviser H T Imam addressed the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the ruling AL’s terrifying student front, at the TSC, Dhaka University. Extolling the role played by officers having BCL background, Imam spoke about the advantages of having “party men in the administration”, and how the ruling Awami League (AL) benefited from them. Days before the 5 January election, he said, many pro-AL officers were inducted into mobile courts and they did everything that helped the government resist the BNP’s bid to thwart the election.
Referring to the competitive exam for the Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS), H T Imam assured the BCL men, “Sit for the BCS, we will take care of the rest”. He told the BCL boys, “Whenever I take anyone’s bio-data to the Prime Minister or request her to give someone a job, she asks whether the person was involved in BCL politics and also about his or her contribution to politics. ...We will see how much we can help you with the viva voce. Our leader (Sheikh Hasina) has told us to arrange jobs for you by any means.”
As a pretty senior bureaucrat, is not H T Imam fully aware of the civil service which must not be politicised? And lo and behold, another senior bureaucrat and former AL minister, M K Alamgir, was the first to politicise and corrode the civil service when he set up “Janatar Mancha” in the city in 1995.

Donald Trump’s repugnant anti-Muslim statement
While fellow Republican presidential candidates are slamming Donald Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States, his proposal has immediately sparked condemnation from several of his Republican presidential rivals. [Vide businessinsider.com 7 Dec. 2015]. The UN Human Rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein has called Trump’s proposal “grossly irresponsible,” warning that it plays into the hands of extremist groups at the expense of ordinary Muslims who are also “eligible targets” of the extremists adding that he and other Muslims at the UN “could be victimised by these groups” as well as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others. “So it’s not a case of the West vs. Islam, it’s a case of the violent extremists on the one hand vs. the rest, and that’s the truth.”
Trump’s call has ignited a political firestorm. Trump’s open appeal to the most reactionary, racist and fascistic sentiments has created a political crisis for the American ruling elite. His rhetoric shatters the official charade that America is the defender of “freedom” and “democracy,” which has been “used by Democratic and Republican administrations alike to justify imperialist wars and interventions throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa”.

Comment

Notwithstanding the blight of politicisation of bureaucracy—-which runs counter to proper constitutional governance—-the nation has witnessed the malady under successive regimes. However, of late the bane has crossed all limits in all sectors of public administration, because recruitment,  posting, transfer, putting out of action as ‘OSD’ and forced retirement are being made on political consideration.
Ideally, after being recruited through due process by the statutory body, (the Bangladesh Pubic Service Commission (PSC), the civil servants of necessity have to be non-partisan, apolitical and impartial in order that they can perform their duties maintaining neutrality, with merit and fair play as the guiding principles.
A government or party top brass formulates policies which are put into practice by bureaucrats. But known for its brazen politicisation of the bureaucracy, the ruling Awami League (AL) government has not spared even brilliant civil servants of unimpeachable integrity.  For instance, one such BCS admin cadre officer, reportedly having proven record of absolute impartiality, made the national airline Biman profitable [which had been incurring a loss of Tk 250-300 crore a year] —- during his tenure as its managing director in 2006-09. Though the common administrative practice is to recompense reward, he was made officer on special duty (OSD) in January, 2009, right after the A L-led government assumed office. As if that was not enough, the worst blow for him came in August this year when the government sent him on forced retirement.
Mention should be made of the fact that he is the one bold officer who ripped down illegal billboards of Arafat Rahman Koko during the BNP regime and did not stop even after Koko had himself rushed to the scene; and the government was not annoyed. There are more such example. The practice of making officers OSDs is not new in this country; but during the AL regime, the number of OSDs took a quantum jump from 250 to 650 compared to the previous BNP regime. Politicisation of civil service is bound to be counterproductive having the negative impact, resulting in the deterioration in quality in the civil service which will not attract talented people.
Referring to other branches of bureaucracy and army, Opposition BNP’s Chairperson Khaleda Zia recently alleged that Bangladesh armed forces’ involvement in development work is leading the forces the wrong way. Noting that the police and the military “are not party workers”, she said that they are the children of this country. “I would like to tell the armed forces that it was we who built them up. They (the Awami League) didn’t want that. They claimed Bangladesh did not need an army,” she said at a function in her Gulshan office.
She accused police and RAB of staging ‘encounter’ killings and executing forced disappearances. She held Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and RAB Director General responsible for such incidents.“Police are acting under orders. They are killing their own brothers and sisters.”
Referring to the border killings, she said she was surprised that there were no protests. She appealed to judges to be “impartial”. The BNP chief also repeated her demand for a national election under an ‘impartial’ government.
To look back, on 12 November 2014 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s Political Affairs Adviser H T Imam addressed the activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the ruling AL’s terrifying student front, at the TSC, Dhaka University. Extolling the role played by officers having BCL background, Imam spoke about the advantages of having “party men in the administration”, and how the ruling Awami League (AL) benefited from them. Days before the 5 January election, he said, many pro-AL officers were inducted into mobile courts and they did everything that helped the government resist the BNP’s bid to thwart the election.
Referring to the competitive exam for the Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS), H T Imam assured the BCL men, “Sit for the BCS, we will take care of the rest”. He told the BCL boys, “Whenever I take anyone’s bio-data to the Prime Minister or request her to give someone a job, she asks whether the person was involved in BCL politics and also about his or her contribution to politics. ...We will see how much we can help you with the viva voce. Our leader (Sheikh Hasina) has told us to arrange jobs for you by any means.”
As a pretty senior bureaucrat, is not H T Imam fully aware of the civil service which must not be politicised? And lo and behold, another senior bureaucrat and former AL minister, M K Alamgir, was the first to politicise and corrode the civil service when he set up “Janatar Mancha” in the city in 1995.

Donald Trump’s repugnant anti-Muslim statement
While fellow Republican presidential candidates are slamming Donald Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States, his proposal has immediately sparked condemnation from several of his Republican presidential rivals. [Vide businessinsider.com 7 Dec. 2015]. The UN Human Rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein has called Trump’s proposal “grossly irresponsible,” warning that it plays into the hands of extremist groups at the expense of ordinary Muslims who are also “eligible targets” of the extremists adding that he and other Muslims at the UN “could be victimised by these groups” as well as Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others. “So it’s not a case of the West vs. Islam, it’s a case of the violent extremists on the one hand vs. the rest, and that’s the truth.”
Trump’s call has ignited a political firestorm. Trump’s open appeal to the most reactionary, racist and fascistic sentiments has created a political crisis for the American ruling elite. His rhetoric shatters the official charade that America is the defender of “freedom” and “democracy,” which has been “used by Democratic and Republican administrations alike to justify imperialist wars and interventions throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa”.


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Paris COP21: Nations approve landmark climate accord!

Dr. Abdul Ruff

Apparently world powers have become serious now about the impending dangers to the earth from deadly climate change.  The communiqué of Paris COP21 clearly reflects for the first time in human history that the political leaders are concerned about saving the world from early destruction. 
Representatives of 195 nations reached a landmark accord at Paris COP21 to reduce climate change that will, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change. The deal adopted on December 12 after two weeks of negotiations will come into force in 2020 and commits all countries to cut emissions.

The deal
The announcement of accord by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was met with an eruption of cheers and ovations from thousands of delegates gathered from around the world, represents a major breakthrough on an issue that has foiled decades of international efforts to address climate change.
The text sets the objective of making sure that global warming stays “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and continuing to “pursue efforts” to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius since pre-industrial times. To achieve that goal, governments pledged to stop the rise in greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible without any time frame. By some point after 2050, man-made emissions should be reduced to a level that nature can absorb. However, there is no penalty for countries that miss their emission-reduction targets. The measures also include $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020, with a commitment to increase the figure in the future.
Most environmental activists reacted positively to the agreement, which replaces the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, but warned it was only the first step of many.  “World governments finalized a global agreement today in Paris that lays a foundation for long-term efforts to fight climate change,” the WWF conservation group said. However, it also warned that “more effort is needed to secure a path that would limit warming to 1.5C.”
The accord, which United Nations diplomats have been working toward for nine years, changes that dynamic by requiring action in some form from every country, rich or poor. “This is truly a historic moment,” the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said in an interview. “For the first time, we have a truly universal agreement on climate change, one of the most crucial problem on earth.”

Powerful signal
President Obama, who regards tackling climate change as a central element of his legacy, spoke of the deal in a televised address from the White House. “This agreement sends a powerful signal that the world is fully committed to a low-carbon future,” he said. “We’ve shown that the world has both the will and the ability to take on this challenge.”
China earlier said rich developed countries needed to offer more financial support to developing countries. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there were “no winners or losers”. “Climate justice has won and we are all working towards a greener future,” he said.
Scientists and leaders said the talks here represented the world’s last, best hope of striking a deal that would begin to avert the most devastating effects of a warming planet.
Poorer countries had pushed for a legally binding provision requiring that rich countries appropriate a minimum of at least $100 billion a year to help them mitigate and adapt to the ravages of climate change. Representatives of some developing nations expressed dissatisfaction.
Traditionally, such pacts have required developed economies like the United States to take action to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but they have exempted developing countries like China and India from such obligations.
Negotiators from many countries have said that a crucial moment in the path to the Paris accord came last year in the USA, when President Obama enacted the nation’s first climate change policy — a set of stringent new Environmental Protection Agency regulations designed to slash greenhouse gas pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants.
Just five years ago, such a deal seemed politically impossible. A similar 2009 climate change summit meeting in Copenhagen collapsed in acrimonious failure after countries could not unite around a deal.

Targets not binding!
Unlike in Copenhagen, the stars for this assembly were aligned. The changes that led to the Paris accord came about through a mix of factors, particularly major shifts in the domestic politics and bilateral relationships of China and the United States, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas polluters.
The attempt to impose emissions targets on countries was one of the main reasons why the Copenhagen talks in 2009 failed. Nations including China, India and South Africa were unwilling to sign up to a condition that they felt could hamper economic growth and development.
Since the Copenhagen deal collapsed, scientific studies have confirmed that the earliest impacts of climate change have started to sweep across the planet. While scientists once warned that climate change was a problem for future generations, recent scientific reports have concluded that it has started to wreak havoc now, from flooding in Miami to droughts and water shortages in China.
Recent giant floods in Indian city of Chennai in the South testify to the horrors of climatic disorder.
Scientific studies have concluded, the world will be locked into a future of devastating consequences, including rising sea levels, severe droughts and flooding, widespread food and water shortages and more destructive storms. The Paris deal could represent the moment at which, because of a shift in global economic policy, the inexorable rise in planet-warming carbon emissions that started during the Industrial Revolution began to level out and eventually decline.
The new deal will not, on its own, solve global warming. At best it will cut global greenhouse gas emissions by about half enough as is necessary to stave off an increase in atmospheric temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, the targets themselves will not be legally binding under the Paris deal.

No plan B exists!
The climate deal reached in Paris is “the best chance we have to save the one planet we have”, US President Obama has said. BBC says the speeches and the cliches at the adoption of the Paris Agreement flowed like good champagne - success after all has many fathers! The main emotion is relief.
The world has come together around an agreement that will empower us to chart a new path for our planet. The world finally has a framework for cooperating on climate change that’s suited to the task. Whether or not this becomes a true turning point for the world, though, depends critically on how seriously countries follow through.
The deal could be viewed as a signal to global financial and energy markets, triggering a fundamental shift away from investment in coal, oil and gas as primary energy sources toward zero-carbon energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear power.
The deal that has been agreed is without parallel in terms of climate change or of the environment. It sets out a clear long-term temperature limit for the planet and a clear way of getting there. There is money for poor countries to adapt; there is a strong review mechanism to increase ambition over time. This is key if the deal is to achieve the aim of keeping warming well below 2C.
Effects of climate change are dreadful. More than anything though the deal signifies, a new way for the world to achieve progress - without it costing the earth. A long term perspective on the way we do sustainability is at the heart of this deal. If it delivers that, it truly will be world changing.
Ban Ki Moon said there was “no Plan B” to save the earth and life if the deal fell apart. The Eiffel Tower in Paris was illuminated with that phrase Friday night.

The writer is an analyst, columnist, contributing to many  newspapers on world politics; chronicler of foreign occupation and freedom movements; Chancellor-Founder of Centre for International Affairs (CIA); former universityteacher; author of eBooks/books; Editor: International opinion; Editor, foreignForeign policy issues, Palestine Times :website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com / emails abdulruff@gmail.com & abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com; Phone*: 91-8129081217*

Comment

Dr. Abdul Ruff

Apparently world powers have become serious now about the impending dangers to the earth from deadly climate change.  The communiqué of Paris COP21 clearly reflects for the first time in human history that the political leaders are concerned about saving the world from early destruction. 
Representatives of 195 nations reached a landmark accord at Paris COP21 to reduce climate change that will, for the first time, commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions to help stave off the most drastic effects of climate change. The deal adopted on December 12 after two weeks of negotiations will come into force in 2020 and commits all countries to cut emissions.

The deal
The announcement of accord by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was met with an eruption of cheers and ovations from thousands of delegates gathered from around the world, represents a major breakthrough on an issue that has foiled decades of international efforts to address climate change.
The text sets the objective of making sure that global warming stays “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and continuing to “pursue efforts” to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius since pre-industrial times. To achieve that goal, governments pledged to stop the rise in greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible without any time frame. By some point after 2050, man-made emissions should be reduced to a level that nature can absorb. However, there is no penalty for countries that miss their emission-reduction targets. The measures also include $100 billion a year in climate finance for developing countries by 2020, with a commitment to increase the figure in the future.
Most environmental activists reacted positively to the agreement, which replaces the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, but warned it was only the first step of many.  “World governments finalized a global agreement today in Paris that lays a foundation for long-term efforts to fight climate change,” the WWF conservation group said. However, it also warned that “more effort is needed to secure a path that would limit warming to 1.5C.”
The accord, which United Nations diplomats have been working toward for nine years, changes that dynamic by requiring action in some form from every country, rich or poor. “This is truly a historic moment,” the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said in an interview. “For the first time, we have a truly universal agreement on climate change, one of the most crucial problem on earth.”

Powerful signal
President Obama, who regards tackling climate change as a central element of his legacy, spoke of the deal in a televised address from the White House. “This agreement sends a powerful signal that the world is fully committed to a low-carbon future,” he said. “We’ve shown that the world has both the will and the ability to take on this challenge.”
China earlier said rich developed countries needed to offer more financial support to developing countries. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there were “no winners or losers”. “Climate justice has won and we are all working towards a greener future,” he said.
Scientists and leaders said the talks here represented the world’s last, best hope of striking a deal that would begin to avert the most devastating effects of a warming planet.
Poorer countries had pushed for a legally binding provision requiring that rich countries appropriate a minimum of at least $100 billion a year to help them mitigate and adapt to the ravages of climate change. Representatives of some developing nations expressed dissatisfaction.
Traditionally, such pacts have required developed economies like the United States to take action to lower greenhouse gas emissions, but they have exempted developing countries like China and India from such obligations.
Negotiators from many countries have said that a crucial moment in the path to the Paris accord came last year in the USA, when President Obama enacted the nation’s first climate change policy — a set of stringent new Environmental Protection Agency regulations designed to slash greenhouse gas pollution from the nation’s coal-fired power plants.
Just five years ago, such a deal seemed politically impossible. A similar 2009 climate change summit meeting in Copenhagen collapsed in acrimonious failure after countries could not unite around a deal.

Targets not binding!
Unlike in Copenhagen, the stars for this assembly were aligned. The changes that led to the Paris accord came about through a mix of factors, particularly major shifts in the domestic politics and bilateral relationships of China and the United States, the world’s two largest greenhouse gas polluters.
The attempt to impose emissions targets on countries was one of the main reasons why the Copenhagen talks in 2009 failed. Nations including China, India and South Africa were unwilling to sign up to a condition that they felt could hamper economic growth and development.
Since the Copenhagen deal collapsed, scientific studies have confirmed that the earliest impacts of climate change have started to sweep across the planet. While scientists once warned that climate change was a problem for future generations, recent scientific reports have concluded that it has started to wreak havoc now, from flooding in Miami to droughts and water shortages in China.
Recent giant floods in Indian city of Chennai in the South testify to the horrors of climatic disorder.
Scientific studies have concluded, the world will be locked into a future of devastating consequences, including rising sea levels, severe droughts and flooding, widespread food and water shortages and more destructive storms. The Paris deal could represent the moment at which, because of a shift in global economic policy, the inexorable rise in planet-warming carbon emissions that started during the Industrial Revolution began to level out and eventually decline.
The new deal will not, on its own, solve global warming. At best it will cut global greenhouse gas emissions by about half enough as is necessary to stave off an increase in atmospheric temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, the targets themselves will not be legally binding under the Paris deal.

No plan B exists!
The climate deal reached in Paris is “the best chance we have to save the one planet we have”, US President Obama has said. BBC says the speeches and the cliches at the adoption of the Paris Agreement flowed like good champagne - success after all has many fathers! The main emotion is relief.
The world has come together around an agreement that will empower us to chart a new path for our planet. The world finally has a framework for cooperating on climate change that’s suited to the task. Whether or not this becomes a true turning point for the world, though, depends critically on how seriously countries follow through.
The deal could be viewed as a signal to global financial and energy markets, triggering a fundamental shift away from investment in coal, oil and gas as primary energy sources toward zero-carbon energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear power.
The deal that has been agreed is without parallel in terms of climate change or of the environment. It sets out a clear long-term temperature limit for the planet and a clear way of getting there. There is money for poor countries to adapt; there is a strong review mechanism to increase ambition over time. This is key if the deal is to achieve the aim of keeping warming well below 2C.
Effects of climate change are dreadful. More than anything though the deal signifies, a new way for the world to achieve progress - without it costing the earth. A long term perspective on the way we do sustainability is at the heart of this deal. If it delivers that, it truly will be world changing.
Ban Ki Moon said there was “no Plan B” to save the earth and life if the deal fell apart. The Eiffel Tower in Paris was illuminated with that phrase Friday night.

The writer is an analyst, columnist, contributing to many  newspapers on world politics; chronicler of foreign occupation and freedom movements; Chancellor-Founder of Centre for International Affairs (CIA); former universityteacher; author of eBooks/books; Editor: International opinion; Editor, foreignForeign policy issues, Palestine Times :website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com / emails abdulruff@gmail.com & abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com; Phone*: 91-8129081217*


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 VIEW POINT

Trial of 195 war criminals should be held

A. M. K. Chowdhury

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (PM) said the trial of war criminals of 1971 is going on and it would continue what may come. The PM said, “During the war crimes trial, many stalwarts phoned me pursuing for not executing the war crimes verdicts. I got their phone calls and talked to them. But I never received any phone call from these big shots for any good purpose.” The PM said this while responding to a supplementary question from ruling party MP Kamal Ahmed Majumder during the PM’s question – answer session in Parliament a reported on September 10, 2015.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry on November 22 made a statement voicing “deep concern” over the execution of war criminals Salauddin Quader  Chowdhury and  Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed. Bangladesh summoned the Pakistan high commissioner in Dhaka for lodging a formal protest. Blasting Islamabad’s statement, Dhaka termed it a unabashed interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs and said Bangladesh expects the Pakistani authorities would  act responsibly and refrain from making such “uncalled for statements”. In response to Bangladesh’s move, Pakistan summoned acting high commissioner of Bangladesh Moushumi Rahman to its foreign ministry and denied committing any war crimes or atrocities during the 1971 Liberation War. Pakistan also rejected Bangladesh’s statement which was handed over to the Pakistan high commissioner in Dhaka after summoning him to the foreign ministry on November 23.
Pakistan’s latest move triggered  outrage in Bangladesh as war crimes trial campaigners accused Pakistan of “resorting to falsehood” over its role in 1971.
The Sector Commanders’ Forum (SCF) lambasted the Pakistan’s interference into war crimes trial in Bangladesh and demanded trial of Pakistan authorities for committing crimes against humanity in 1971. SCF President Maj Gen (Retd) K.M. Shafiullah  (Bir Uttam) said, “None should interfere  into the  trial of war criminals, not to speak  of Pakistan. Pakistan authorities have sided with the war criminals who committed genocide in Bangladesh during the War of Liberation in 1971. Trial of Pakistan should be held, as trial of the war criminals was held in the world. Trial of 195 war criminals of Pakistan should be held in phases.”
About 195 war criminals, Barrister Turin Afroze, a prosecutor of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) said, “If Pakistan had not committed war crimes, then why did it negotiate the repatriation of 195 prisoners of war? The 1974 agreement talked about the trial procedure of 195 prisoners of war, although the agreement has no legal basis now. Besides, Bangladesh is trying its own people who sided with the Pakistan army and committed crimes along with them.
State Minister Shahriar  Alam said, “Pakistan was interpreting the 1974 agreement wrongly and intentionally”. “Under the agreement signed on April 9, 1974, Bangladesh had agreed not to proceed with the trial of 195 prisoners of war repatriated to Pakistan … Having regard to the appeal of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to forgive and forget the past.” (The Daily Star, dated December 1, 2015). Mention may be made here that around 93,000 Pakistan armed forces personnel surrendered to the Bangladesh –India joint force at Race Course Maidan  (now Suhrawardhi Udyan) in the city on December 16, 1971.
It is still fresh in our memory that when army tanks were moving on the city roads to finalize the plan to assassinate the nation’s architect Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder President of Bangladesh, the SCF President Maj Gen (Retd) KM Shafiullah (Bir Uttam) was then army chief. Being chief of army he did not know anything about the plan of a few junior army officers who killed Bangabandhu and most of the members and relatives of his family. The court also reprimanded him for it.
Awami League (AL) Presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, also a nephew of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, raised allegation  of involvement of K. M.Shafiullah, the then army chief, in the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975. Selim said a proper investigation would reveal the role of K.M.Shafiullah, the army chief at that time. He said why Shafiullah after receiving a phone call from President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975 did not move with his troops and remained silent.
Similar question has been raised by BNP Spokesperson Asaduzzaman Ripon, who queried why Shafiullah, the then army chief, did not rush to the house of Sheikh Mujib after his killing; rather he went to the radio station to express allegiance to the Khondaker Moshtaque government. Ripon questioned why the present commerce minister Tofail Ahmed and the Rakkhi Bahini were silent on the day. (The New Age, dated August 19, 2015)
Effective steps should be taken to proceed with the trial of 195 war criminals repatriated to Pakistan. We should not be bothered by Pakistan’s remarks on the trial. The true spirit of our Liberation War can be fostered by trying all of the war criminals in phases.
Besides, the Justice Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report is in place. The Commission was constituted in Pakistan “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the atrocities and 1971 war”, including the “circumstances in which the commander of the Eastern High Command (Lt. Gen. AAK Niazi) surrendered the Eastern contingent forces under his command laid down their arms.” The government should realize it.

Comment

A. M. K. Chowdhury

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (PM) said the trial of war criminals of 1971 is going on and it would continue what may come. The PM said, “During the war crimes trial, many stalwarts phoned me pursuing for not executing the war crimes verdicts. I got their phone calls and talked to them. But I never received any phone call from these big shots for any good purpose.” The PM said this while responding to a supplementary question from ruling party MP Kamal Ahmed Majumder during the PM’s question – answer session in Parliament a reported on September 10, 2015.
Pakistan’s foreign ministry on November 22 made a statement voicing “deep concern” over the execution of war criminals Salauddin Quader  Chowdhury and  Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed. Bangladesh summoned the Pakistan high commissioner in Dhaka for lodging a formal protest. Blasting Islamabad’s statement, Dhaka termed it a unabashed interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs and said Bangladesh expects the Pakistani authorities would  act responsibly and refrain from making such “uncalled for statements”. In response to Bangladesh’s move, Pakistan summoned acting high commissioner of Bangladesh Moushumi Rahman to its foreign ministry and denied committing any war crimes or atrocities during the 1971 Liberation War. Pakistan also rejected Bangladesh’s statement which was handed over to the Pakistan high commissioner in Dhaka after summoning him to the foreign ministry on November 23.
Pakistan’s latest move triggered  outrage in Bangladesh as war crimes trial campaigners accused Pakistan of “resorting to falsehood” over its role in 1971.
The Sector Commanders’ Forum (SCF) lambasted the Pakistan’s interference into war crimes trial in Bangladesh and demanded trial of Pakistan authorities for committing crimes against humanity in 1971. SCF President Maj Gen (Retd) K.M. Shafiullah  (Bir Uttam) said, “None should interfere  into the  trial of war criminals, not to speak  of Pakistan. Pakistan authorities have sided with the war criminals who committed genocide in Bangladesh during the War of Liberation in 1971. Trial of Pakistan should be held, as trial of the war criminals was held in the world. Trial of 195 war criminals of Pakistan should be held in phases.”
About 195 war criminals, Barrister Turin Afroze, a prosecutor of the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) said, “If Pakistan had not committed war crimes, then why did it negotiate the repatriation of 195 prisoners of war? The 1974 agreement talked about the trial procedure of 195 prisoners of war, although the agreement has no legal basis now. Besides, Bangladesh is trying its own people who sided with the Pakistan army and committed crimes along with them.
State Minister Shahriar  Alam said, “Pakistan was interpreting the 1974 agreement wrongly and intentionally”. “Under the agreement signed on April 9, 1974, Bangladesh had agreed not to proceed with the trial of 195 prisoners of war repatriated to Pakistan … Having regard to the appeal of the Prime Minister of Pakistan to forgive and forget the past.” (The Daily Star, dated December 1, 2015). Mention may be made here that around 93,000 Pakistan armed forces personnel surrendered to the Bangladesh –India joint force at Race Course Maidan  (now Suhrawardhi Udyan) in the city on December 16, 1971.
It is still fresh in our memory that when army tanks were moving on the city roads to finalize the plan to assassinate the nation’s architect Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder President of Bangladesh, the SCF President Maj Gen (Retd) KM Shafiullah (Bir Uttam) was then army chief. Being chief of army he did not know anything about the plan of a few junior army officers who killed Bangabandhu and most of the members and relatives of his family. The court also reprimanded him for it.
Awami League (AL) Presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, also a nephew of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, raised allegation  of involvement of K. M.Shafiullah, the then army chief, in the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975. Selim said a proper investigation would reveal the role of K.M.Shafiullah, the army chief at that time. He said why Shafiullah after receiving a phone call from President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on August 15, 1975 did not move with his troops and remained silent.
Similar question has been raised by BNP Spokesperson Asaduzzaman Ripon, who queried why Shafiullah, the then army chief, did not rush to the house of Sheikh Mujib after his killing; rather he went to the radio station to express allegiance to the Khondaker Moshtaque government. Ripon questioned why the present commerce minister Tofail Ahmed and the Rakkhi Bahini were silent on the day. (The New Age, dated August 19, 2015)
Effective steps should be taken to proceed with the trial of 195 war criminals repatriated to Pakistan. We should not be bothered by Pakistan’s remarks on the trial. The true spirit of our Liberation War can be fostered by trying all of the war criminals in phases.
Besides, the Justice Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report is in place. The Commission was constituted in Pakistan “to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the atrocities and 1971 war”, including the “circumstances in which the commander of the Eastern High Command (Lt. Gen. AAK Niazi) surrendered the Eastern contingent forces under his command laid down their arms.” The government should realize it.


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