Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bangladesh's ridiculous situation!


Bangladesh press very prominenty published news about possible visit by US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Someone with minimum news sense may initially get confused thinking the tour is already finalized.A news quoting Ministry of Foreign affairs said Ms. Hillary was invited by Bangladeshi foreign minister Dr. Dipu Moni in 'side-line' talks during an international conference on Afghanistan in Netherlands.It said, the US Secretary of State has “accepted the invitation and would tour Bangladesh on a mutually convenient time”.

In my writings, I repeatedly commented on the naive attitude and lack of experience of several kid ministers in the cabinet of Sheikh Hasina Wajed. This time, the way Bangladeshi foreign ministry distributed the news about the possible visit, will certainly bring smile in the faces of world's diplomatic arena seeing the childish attitude of the government.Any leader in the world can be informally invited in so-called side-talks and as a part of diplomatic gesture no one would say 'no' to such information invitation.

But, it does not mean that the invitation was accepted or the visit is imminent. Dr. Dipu Moni with her no knowledge of diplomacy might have taken the US Secretary of State as a mere colleague. She possibly does not know that, every year, the US Secretary of State receives hundreds of such informal invitations from many of the leaders around the world. And, of course, these are nothing but very much part of diplomatic courtesy by the Secretary of State to say, she would visit on a mutually convenient time.

Former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice received several such invitations even from the former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia or former administrator in the interim government Dr. Fakhruddin Ahmed. Even Bangladeshi ambassadors in United States continue to place such invitations on an informal manner almost on a regular basis. But, none always means 'businesses'.I am almost sure, staffers in the State Department will get surprised at the way the news about possible tour by Hillary Clinton has been publicized in Bangladeshi press.

And, this news item, although looking quite smart and glamorous to show the performance of the Bangladeshi Foreign Minister as 'excellent' is in reality an exposure of childish attitude of the minister as well her team. Bangladeshi ministry might have been rather pressed by the minister in issuing such press release; otherwise, many of the seasoned diplomats inside MOFA are already aware of the result of such informal invitations.

Dipu Moni should have understood that, every small talk in the so-called side-talk opportunity is not to be disclosed to the press. Surely Bangladeshi foreign ministry would have publicized the news with due importance if the invitation was made through proper channel and was accepted as well. Such funny attitude of the Bangladeshi minister will onwards put her in the lines of diplomatic duffers in the eyes of world leaders. Many of them even may feel hesitant even speaking to her in future.

And this is the first result of diplomatic mess by the kid minister of Sheikh Hasina Wajed.Interestingly, Dhaka's prominent English press, The Daily Star, The New Nation etc did not publish this funny news, as they absolutely understood that, the contents in the press release issued by MOFA were quite pre-mature.Now, let me shift to another minister. Law and parliamentary affairs minister Barrister Shafiq Ahmed told reporters that Qawmi madrasas are turning into breeding grounds of religion-based terrorism."They are not following the Quran, the Shariah and even laws of the land," he said adding that religious militancy goes against the spirit of religion and Islam.He said, the clergies and teachers in Madrassas and mosques are teaching jihad and encouraging people towards Jihad by alluring with the promise of heaven and 72-virgins.

With this statement, the minister surely has opened a new avenue of confrontation with the Islamic and Islamist leaders and majority section of people of Bangladesh with the present government, when the 90 days government of Sheikh Hasina is suffering from severe political malnutrition. Names of a number of leaders belonging to the Grand Alliance government such as Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Mirza Azam, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Barrister Fazle Noor Taposh, Hasanul Huq Inu, Rahsed Khan Menon, Abdul Jalil, Liakot Sikder, Sajeda Chowdhury, Joinal Hazari, Haji Mockbul, Shamim Osman, Abul Hasnat Abdullah, Pankaj Deb Nath, Bahauddin Nasim are already in the list of suspects in connection to BDR massacre case.

On the other hand, the Prime Minister has very cunningly picked up the residence of Khaleda Zia inside Dhaka Garrison as an issue of politics thus stating that, if the house shall be vacated by Mrs. Zia, this will be used as housing complex for the family members of the martyred army officers.In a parliament session on March 31, 2009 the matter came prominently, while the PM and her parliament colleagues were seen making fun and bursting into laughter at this issue of Mrs. Zia's residence.

By mixing the residence issue with the BDR massacre, Sheikh Hasina Wajed in reality mixed the saddest incident of the nation into a mere political agenda, thus telling the nation that, her government will try in taking highest advanatage of the incident in gaining political benefit for er government.Members of Bangladesh Armed Forces may assume about the 'sincerety' of the Prime Minister in neutrally probing the massacre case and punishing the culprits. I can almost predict that, the present rulers in Dhaka shall never let the investigation continue in a neutral manner, nor there will be ever any trial of the killers and their patrons and collaborators at least in near future.

And lastly, I should mention about the latest statement by none, but the one and only the Faruk Khan, a self proclaimed excellent personality in Bangladeshi politics.Lt. Col. Faruk Khan, who is the coordinator of the 3 probe committees told reporters that, if Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed would have allowed military action on BDR headquarters on February 25, 2009, at least 20,000 people would have been killed.He also said, no one was killed before 10:45 am on that day.In fact, according to my personal opinion, Faruk Khan should be properly interrogated by the army probe teams, as from his series of statements, now I really smell rat in him.Khan's latest statement will generate further questions in the minds of the people especially the investigators. Some of the questions are:

Lt. Col. Faruk Khan said, should the PM allowed military action in BDR headquarters, at least 20,000 people would have been killed. In this case, my question is, according to various reports, there were maximum 10 thousand people inside the BDR headquarter on February 25, 2009.

In this case, how 20,000 people would have been killed? Did his party had any agenda of sending extra 10,000 armed cadres inside the place of mutiny once the army action was imminent?

Lt. Col. Faruk Khan said, killings did not take place before 10:45 am. He also said, according to CCTV, arms were looted 10:25 am. In this case, my question is, how he earlier said, outsiders came inside BDR headquarters and opened fire thus killing officers?

Awami League government was from the beginning mentioning about a ‘grey pickup van’. This was also mentioned by one of the survived officers named Major Shams. Now, where is the theory of grey van disappeared? Or, this Shams, who survived the massacre was also one of the planted elements inside the BDR headquarters, like Lt. Col Mukit (another survivor) who was sending fax messages from the BDR headquarters from 11:50 pm onwards on February 25, 2009 with various comments against Bangladesh Army and BDR director general?

Why Lt. Col. Mukit was sending all these fax messages to a number of pro-Awami League writers and journalists in Dhaka? What was his intention? What is the political background of this army officer?

Survived officer Shams and Major Kamruzzaman told reporters repeatedly that officers were killed by 11 am. Minister faruk Khan said, no one was killed before 11 am. Question is, who is lying?

Earlier Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed also said, officers were killed between 10:30 – 11 am. But, her minister rejected the statement of the PM. Or, both and other colleagues in the Awami League government are giving contradictory statements willingly to mislead the investigation?

In her statement in the Parliament on April 1, 2009, Sheikh Hasina Wajed while commenting on BDR massacre said, “Zia hanged hundreds of airforce officers and murdered several army officers in the name of trial”.

In this case, with this statement does the Bangladeshi Prime Minister want to say that, as Zia killed the millitarymen so she also killed only some? On the other hand, during Zia’s rule, airforce officers were tried for their involvement in mutiny. But, inside BDR headquarters, army officers were killed by the mutineers. Did Sheikh Hasina consider these army officers as ‘mutineers’ for helping the government after January 11, 2007, which pushed her into prison on corruption charges?

Sheikh Hasina’s statement in the parliament in reality went against the political forces in Bangladesh. She said, former ruler Zia, the founder of Bangladesh Nationalist Party killed army officers in the name of trial.Now, her government also possibly is going to get caught in killing army officers inside BDR headquarters. So, did Sheikh Hasina mean that, politicians in Bangladesh, irrespective of their political identity are anti-army? If so, what possible reaction she may assume from the members of the armed forces?

Retired Major General Syed Muhammed Ibrahim, who is also a political and defense analyst in Bangladesh on April 1, 2009 commented that, military action would have surely saved lives and honor of many army officers and their family members. Lt. Col. Faruk and others in Awami League continued to claim that, army offensives would have been disastrarous. Faruk was claiming to be an expert on millitary affairs. But, when a senior General like Syed Ibrahim also opined in favor of army operations, what mere petty officer like Faruk Khan can say in defense of Prime Minister’s dilly-dally in taking action?

Mirza Azam, a lawmaker in the ruling party and a suspect in the BDR massacre told the parliament couple of days after the mutiny that, he and Jahangir Kabir Nanak consider Sheikh Hasina’s commands as Ibadat (religious rituals). He made this comment while stating how Sheikh Hasina Wajed asked them at 1:00 pm to try to do something in connection to the BDR massacre. First of all, why the PM assigned these two juniors in ‘trying to do something’ mission? Why she did not assign her home minister or senior ministers like Matia Chowdhury?

Is it because, politicians like Mrs. Matia Chowdhury has personal guts and would never consider any wrong or bad commands as Ibadat? Moreover, choosing people like Nanak and Azam, who has dirty track record in politics of political murder, atrocitiy, anachism etc, gives signal to everyone about unknown mystery behind the entire so-called political settlement theme.

Much before the 14-member mutineer delegation met the Prime Minister, one of the renegade members inside BDR headquarters demanded general amnesty from their netri (leader) Sheikh Hasina Wajed in TV interviews. Interestingly general amnesty was announced by the PM during the 3-hour long closed door meeting. What is the mystery behind such tremendous coordination of claim and execution?

After the meeting with the PM, the mutineer kingpins faced the press. Although the Home Minister Sahara Khatun was present, Nanak was chosen as the spokesperson by the government to address the press alongwith DAD Towhid. Nanak’s statement should be carefully seen by the investigators. From his body language, everyone will fully understand his affiliation and solidarity with the killers. Moreover, he said, “the BDR delagation have expressed their feelings and complaints with the honorable prime minister in an emotional manner”. What did those people say to Sheikh Hasina Wajed in ‘emotional manner’?

Although Barrister Abdur Razzak of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami was formally summoned by Criminal Investigation Department’s chief investigator Abdul Kahar Akhand, there was no report of Akhand summoning leaders of the ruling Grand Alliance, especially Jahangir Kabir Nanak or Mirza Azam. Moreover, it is learnt that, Kahar Akhand continued to constantly communicate with the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Mirza Azam, even after he took up the investigation assignment. What is the reason for this mid-ranking police officer having the audacity of speaking to the Prime Minister over cell phone directly?

What was also the reason behind his calls to Nanak or Azam?

On March 20, 2009 in the late mid night, Abdul Kahar Akhand had a secret meeting with three influential members of Bangladesh Awami League in Dhanmondi area. What was the agenda of discussion of this secret meeting?

Abdul Kahar Akhand is expecting a promotion in several weeks. It is learnt that, government has given signal to him of immediate promotion if the investigation report is done “as agreed”. What is the fact of agreement?

Government is influencing the mobile phone operators in cooperating with the present rulers in providing evidence of phone call records related to the mutiny. It is even learnt that, threats of harrassment centering mobile phone company’s illegal Voip businesses is also placed during this requests, if they (operators) do not cooperate with the government and CID. Is it possible that the government may influence the operators in getting some false call statements by inserting numbers of some opposition leaders to show their involvement in the mutiny?

Several officers in army and DGFI were actively trying to find out facts behind the BDR massacre. But, in one week of the mutiny and such tremendous efforts and some results of these officers, Sheikh Hasina managed to remove all these army officers and DGFI officials to other desks at the help of army chief General Moeen U Ahmed, in exchange of according him one year extension. It is even learnt that, a particular officer in DGFI whose name begins with ‘M’ was visiting Sheikh Hasina Wajed’s residence named Sudha Swadan at Dhanmondi much before the general election of December 29, on a regular basis.

Removal of DGFI officers and army officers from important posts were done at the suggestion of one Brigradier General M. Why the government is unwilling to let some real investigative effort continue inside the army and DGFI to findout the culprits of the massacre?

The government is considering placing several army officers, who expressed anger at the Sena Kunja meeting with the Prime Minister. DGFI director Brig. Gen. M is preparing such list. A large number of senior officers like Lt. General Masud Uddin Chowdhury, Maj. General ATM Amin, Brig General Chowdhury Fazlul Bari, Brig. Gen. Nuruzzaman, Brig. Gen. Lodi, Col etc are reportedly in the queue of gradual force retirement by the present government. Such retirements will come into effect as soon as the government tackled the mutiny related complications. Awami League loyalist officers will be gradually placed in various important positions.

There is such placement already in National Security Intelligence. Why the government is vindictive on the officers, who were heavy with shock and anger at the brutal murder of their colleague officers and rape and humiliation of many members of the army officers inside the BDR headquarters?

On the day of mutiny, although it began at 9:30 am, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina remained at her residence instead of even getting prepared to attend her office. What was the mystery behind for the Prime Minister in staying at home? Was it a preparation to meet the mutiny kingpins?

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina did not attend her office for several days after the munity. What was the reason behind? Any special reason of fear?

Sheikh Hasina Wajed told the Parliament on April 1, 2009 that her government will try to do everything in helping the members of the martyred army officers. This ‘try to do everything’ type statement can only be applicable for financially under-privileged people or beggers. But, this is a case of some real heroes of the nation, who sacrificed their lives in the hands of the mutnineers while on duty. Why and how the PM can make such statements to undermine the dignity of the martyrs?

There is rumor that, although Awami League leader Torab Ali Akhand is arrested in connection to BDR mutiny, his name will be cleared from the final report of CID. Is it true?
Why Torab Ali Akhand’s statement under section 164 was not recorded when he was placed before the magistrate after the remand?

Since arrest of Leather Liton (son of Torab Ali), investigators are keeping tight lip on this matter. What is the mystery behind?

Dipu Chowdhury, Son of Awami League leader Mofazzal Chowdhury Maya and Jewel son of Awami League leader Abul Hasnat Abdullah came to Bangladesh on February 10, 2009 secretly and were staying at the residence of an AL leader near BDR headquarters. Is there any information on such secret trip’s reason?

A large section of arms, explosives and ammunitions looted from the BDR headquarters were finally shifted to some figures in Awami League, Chatra League, Jubo Leage and even BNP. According to information, Leather Liton of Awami League and Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu of BNP were two of the major beneficiaries of such looted items. Why the investigators are silent on making any comment on the whereabouts of these items from BDR headquarters?

Why the government is buying time in the investigation process? When and really when the reports will be published? What is the fate of army investigation? Initially, army was holding press briefing about the massacre. Why such briefings suddenly stopped? Why the army investiagtion team is not uttering a single word about the date of publishing the report?
Who helped the mutineer BDR men in fleeing the country? Is it a fact that those mutineers were boarded into aircraft through a special passage near the boarding bridge? Who made such arrangements? Is there any involvement of the home ministry and the civil aviation ministry ‘big men’?

Why Sajib Wajed Joy, son and advisor of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed is continuing to claim in various international community that BDR mutiny was a result of decade long repression by army officers? Has he been assigned as the advisor of the PM to continue anti army propaganda in foreign countries?

What happened to the two ‘Chinese’ national who were also rescued from the BDR headquarters? What was their identity and what they were doing inside the place of mutiny?
Is it true that Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Mirza Azam entered the BDR headquarters on February 25 late night to inspect the cleaning of blood stain and mass-burial of the army officers?

Is it true that Colonel Gulzar was shot by Mirza Azam at late night of February 25?
Several ambulences belonging to Red Crescent Society (this is headed by a person from the ruling party) were entering and coming out of the BDR headquarters since late afternoon of February 25. Who were or what items were carried out from the BDR headquarters by these ambulences?

During the massacre, why some Awami League leaders were stationed near LabAid Hospital? What they were doing?

Why Biryani (delicious meal) were supplied inside BDR headquarters in police van during the late hours of February 25?

Why Awami League activists were supplying ‘Vodka’ in drinking water bottles to the renegade troops? Was it to keep their ‘morale’ strong?

How a number of mutineers were having mobile phone numbers of Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Mirza Azam, Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir, Sahara Khatun, Sajeda Chowdhury, Abdul Jalil, Liakot Sikder, Barrister Taposh etc?

It is reported in the media that, huge amount of money was invested behind the brutal massacre. Some ‘businessmen’ financed this action. Massacre kingpin DAD Towhid even met some influential politicians at NAM building right after the general election. But, CID investigators are trying to twist all such information to various directions as per directives of the government. Sheikh Hasina Wajed was suggested to make the inspector general of police as the head of the CID investigation team as supervisor. But, why the head of the government fears in assigning an honest, dedicated and directly affected (son in law of the IGP was killed and daughter humiliated during the massacre) officer like Noor Muhammed with this important task of investiagtion?

Sajib Wajed Joy is hiring some attornies in United States while Sheikh Rehana is also working in hiring lawyers from Britain to defend the accused people in the trial into the massacre case. Millions of dollars will be spent for this purpose. Why such enthusiasm? Difference between the armed forces and the politicians especially those in power is increasing every day. Citizen as well as members of the martyred officers are already hopeless of seeing any real investigation result and trial of the killers, collaborators and patrons.Any hidden anger always explodes one day. Delay in investigation, questioned role of the government and senseless statement of the ministers may ultimately lead the fate of democracy of Bangladesh towards unknown destination.

People may even opt for chosing un-elected democracy instead of elected anarchy, terror and autocracy.