A procession of Gano Jagoron Manch heading toward Pakistan HC in Dhaka in protest of Pakistan’s national assembly resolution against Quader Mollah
It came to me as a big surprise, and of course to millions of Bangladeshis, when I had noticed a news story on the webpage of Radio Pakistan on Monday night. I got interested to go into details of the story headlined ‘NA (National Assembly) adopts resolution against hanging of Abdul Quader Mollah’.
I was asking myself, how can Pakistan raise question on our judicial process and how can its National Assembly adopt a resolution expressing concern over hanging of Mollah, a notorious collaborator of the Pakistan occupation forces in Bangladesh in 1971? How can Pakistan ask Bangladesh government not to resurrect the issues of 1971 and end all cases against the leaders of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami through the spirit of understanding? I didn’t find any answer. But I felt that the Pakistani officials’ reaction is reprehensible.
Then I logged into my social network platform account and started a conversation with an internationally renowned political analyst. We had a brief discussion on the matter and about a timely article written by senior journalist Syed Badrul Ahsan (Why our foreign ministry silent?) which I read on the Daily Star web-edition. I asked him – Should our Foreign Ministry give a befitting reply to such remarks coming from Pakistan? He replied – “Bangladesh Foreign office should respond. However, I will refrain from making the statement because it is better ignored. The resolution was moved by the JI and I don’t want to dignify their craziness with a formal comment.”
The analyst’s observation was absolutely right. However, I felt that our Foreign Ministry, which remained silent even after disparaging remarks made by some Pakistani politicians, should respond, and hoped that it will wake up at last, at least after reading the news of adopting resolution in the NA of Pakistan and the article written by Syed Badrul Ahsan. It happened on Tuesday what I had thought.
Since morning on Tuesday, journalists from various media outlets had started rushing at the Foreign Ministry. Our Foreign Minister, AH Mahmud Ali, who was out of the capital, was flown back to Dhaka and had talked to the press about the matter.
Before, the Foreign Minister’s briefing, Pakistan High Commissioner in Dhaka Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and was apprised of Dhaka’s reaction over the resolution adopted in the Pakistan NA, Punjab Provincial Assembly and the remarks made by a senior Cabinet Minister of Pakistan government on the verdict and execution of the war crimes tribunals in Bangladesh.
Terming Pakistan resolutions “very unfortunate”, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said the government in its strong-worded statement protested Islamabad’s reaction and said it is not at all wise for Pakistan to interfere in internal affairs of Bangladesh. “Bangladesh has now reached such a stage that it is not afraid of anyone’s threat Pakistan was conveyed of Bangladesh’s protest “in strong language”.
Noting that the trial and execution for the crimes committed against humanity during the Liberation War is completely an internal issue of the country, he said. “It was not right for them to interfere in it.”
Responding to a question on Bangladesh’s position regarding concerns raised by the United Nations and the European Union over the execution, Mahmood Ali said, “That is a different issue.”
He said there is no relation between EU or UN position and the issue of Pakistan. “We’re conveying our position to everyone in the world.”
Referring to those who protest the death penalty to the war criminals on the grounds of human rights, the foreign minister questioned where their humanity was when Pakistanis carried out genocide against Bangladeshi people.
Pakistan envoy Afrasiab went to the foreign ministry around 5:00pm and had to wait for about 25 minutes before holding a meeting with Mustafa Kamal, secretary (bilateral) of foreign ministry.
While handing over the aide-memoire, Kamal referred to the campaign of genocide launched against innocents by the Pakistan army and its cohorts like Quader Mollah on the midnight of March 25, 1971, and the reign of terror unleashed in the subsequent months.
The secretary told with the Pakistan high commissioner that the establishment of the war crimes tribunals was Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s pledge in the 2008 election manifesto.
“The war crimes trials are not being conducted with any specific intention to rake up the memories of 1971 as misconstrued by some quarters in Pakistan but to put a legal closure to the injustice and pain suffered by the victims’ families and the Bangalee nation as a whole,” Kamal said.
The war crime trial has been the longstanding demand and aspiration of the people of Bangladesh, he said during the meeting, which lasted about 25 minutes.
The secretary also conveyed in unequivocal terms that such uncalled-for resolutions on the war crimes verdicts are tantamount to interference in the domestic affairs of Bangladesh.
We have noticed that there have been noisy demonstrations in various cities and towns of the country by the activists and supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan to protest the execution of war criminal Abdul Quader Mollah in Bangladesh. Funnily, Mollah, known as Koshai (Butcher) Mollah has been described as shaheed-e-Pakistan (martyr of Pakistan).
It’s more surprising that Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, minister for interior in Pakistan’s federal cabinet, came forth with expressions of his “deep grief” over Mollah’s hanging. When he (Nisar) had mentioned in his statement that till the very end before the creation of Bangladesh, Mollah remained a supporter of a united Pakistan and today every Pakistani is saddened.
Unfortunately, there are few blind supporters of Quader Mollah in Bangladesh who still argue that Koshai Mollah and executed Mollah is not the same person. We think, through all the remarks, came from Pakistan in the light of Mollah’s execution, will help those blind supporters understand the fact. And the Pakistani politicians must deserve special thanks that they, at last, have admitted that Quader Mollah was a collaborator.
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