Photo: Opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia with BNP leaders (L-R) Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury and Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain at a BNP rally at Laldighi Ground. Laldighi, Chittagong, Bangladesh. March 29, 2010.ByDrikNEWS,Raj Anikat, Chittagong.
BNP Chairperson and leader of the opposition Mrs Khaleda Zia, widow of slain President General Ziaur Rahman, addressed a rally at Laldighi maidan on 29th March 2010. This is her first public appearance, after Mahajote Government’s assumption of power, on 39th anniversary of the glorious independence of our country on 26th march, a day which also saw the launch of the process of the much desired trial of war criminals. The meeting was peaceful as state took all required security measures to let the leader of the opposition criticise the government.
We can compare the similar situation on 21 August 2004 at Bangabandhu Avenue. The then leader of the opposition was addressing a similar anti government rally at the heart of the capital Dhaka only 500 meters away from Central secretariat. It is alleged that state sponsored terrorists almost killed Hasina hurling grenade and using snipper bullets. In that carnage a lot of party activists including wife of President Zillur Rahman got killed, hundreds of others including Hasina got injured. This comparison is given here to draw analogy between respective situations.
Madam Zia’s speech can be summarised below
• She termed the present government as lying, aggressive, efficient in signing agreements and prone to lodging cases.
• She alleged that PM during India visit has handed over Chittagong, Mongla Port and Corridor to India.
• She also claimed that some ambitious Army Officers with General Moin grabbed state power.
• She also claimed that Dr Fakhruddin and General Moinuddin set Awami League in state power.
• She also revealed that Care taker government plotted to send her abroad pushing sleeping injections in her veins.
• She also claimed that the government is corrupt from the top to the bottom.
• She also said media at home and abroad have said Zia is the announcer of liberation war.
We know every conscious citizen can make their own analysis of what Khaleda Zia said at a critical stage of national life. She is leader of the opposition in the parliament. The parliament is in session now. She does not attend parliament or attend in any proceedings off parliamentary activities. One must wonder, therefore, if she had credible supporting evidences to substantiate these claims, why she did not take these issues to the parliament!
For the sake of clarity, some parts of her speech demand further analysis. Present government has to deal with priority national issues with controlled aggression to confront crisis triggered from misruling of Khaleda-led-alliance government. This government is pledge-bound to citizens to try War criminals, terrorists and corruption-syndicates and that is why cases are given against them. Some of Khaleda Zia’s associates are making fabricated allegations. As a result, defamatory suits are being tried against them. Over the last few months, Government has signed some milestone agreements and initiated MOUs with two major regional powers India and China. Situation has been created to resolve many long outstanding issues and improve sour relations with neighbours. Bangladesh, a small country, can not keep its doors and windows shut for ever. PM Hsaina has been mandated to take such decisions and is accountable to the nation through sovereign parliament.
PM Hasina has done historic works in offering Chittagong and Mongla to India, Nepal, Bhutan and China. When this materializes, Bangladesh economy will get tremendous boost. PM has also removed bottlenecks to include Bangladesh in Asian Highway Network. It must not be narrowed down to offering transit only to India alone. Connectivity with Bhutan, Nepal and China are also included in PM Hasina vision.
General Moinuddin Ahmed and few Generals who backed care taker Government were beneficiaries of Khaleda-led-alliance-government. Khaleda made Moin Army Chief bypassing many senior quality Army officers. Another main Person General Masududdin Chowdhury is a close relative of Khaleda Zia. However the actions of these favoured generals stopped implementations of election engineering blue print of Alliance Government and saved the country from a possible civil war.
World Community and all conscious citizens know that election 209 was fair and free. No credible clues of election manipulations could be found by any local or foreign observers.
The allegations of Khaleda Zia about plot to send her abroad using sleeping injection must be investigated.
Her allegations against PM Hasina of Corruptions must also be investigated. If not found to have any evidence supporting the speech of Khaleda Zia, she must be asked to beg apology.
Zia is one of the several announcers of the liberation War on behalf of Bangbandhu. This does not make any difference to respective positions of Bangabandhu and one Ziaur Rahman. After historic speech of 7th March 1971 there was nothing left to formally announce commencement of liberation war. Yet the EPR Radio announced Bangabnadhu declaration from mid night of 25th March. Several other persons announced it through out March 26th. President Zia never claimed that he announced it.
What Khaleda did not say was how and why terrorists made Bangladesh a safe heaven during her regime, how so many Pakistani and Indian terrorist organisations could find shelter in Bangladesh to run operations in Bangladesh and neighbouring countries. She also did not mention why her government could not explore and exploit natural resources or set up power plants to meet growing energy crisis. She should have admitted her failures which are the main reasons why the country is facing power, water and gas crisis. She also did not mention why her government could not take required actions to find out the terrorists those killed ASM Kibria, Ahsanullah Master, some noted journalists in Khulna. Why she failed to track down terrorists who carried out operation killing mission to eliminate Hasina and other top Awami League leaders?
Our nation realises why she has started coming out of her nest now. She has to create situation to set barriers against trial process of her long term allies – War Criminals. She has been a long-time political supporter and friend of the noted War criminals. Why the widow of a slain President who was a liberation war commander is conspicuously silent on trails initiative of War Criminals is almost beyond the common men’s grasp.
Nation is not short sighted or the visions of all citizens are not so blurred. We only hope that Khaleda Zia will realise soon that ground is fast moving from her feet. She must re-evaluate her position and stop spreading venom or these will boomerang against her soon.