[An E-Bangladesh Reports]
The major political parties, including Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party were critical of chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed’s statement about the jurisdiction of the proposed Truth Commission regarding the top two politicians, Sheikh Hasina of Awami League and Khaleda Zia of BNP.
Awami League, Workers Party of Bangladesh, Communist Party of Bangladesh and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal also raised question if there is any necessity of forming the commission at all.
Fakhruddin Ahmed said in an interview, aired Saturday on Al Jazeera Television, that former prime ministers Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia would not be able to seek pardon from the proposed Truth Commission.
‘There is no necessity of forming the Truth Commission here,’ acting Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam said Sunday. ‘It [commission] is like a “Kangaroo court” formed in a few countries to control special situations. Here in Bangladesh, political and social situations do not require such commission.’
When asked about the CA’s statement about the jurisdiction of the commission regarding Hasina and Khaleda, he said the government will not have chance to get Sheikh Hasina at the commission as she would not go to the commission. ‘She does not need to go to the commission,’ he said.
BNP joint secretary general Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said, ‘The government frequently claims that the judiciary is independent. But the chief adviser’s remarks on jurisdiction of the proposed truth commission regarding the top two politicians and former prime ministers raised doubt if the commission would be able to work independently.’
Usually the state promulgates a law or forms a body so that any citizen can avail the benefit, he said adding question, ‘Are they [Khaleda and Hasina] not citizens of the country?’
He termed the chief adviser’s remarks as ‘antagonistic’ to the top two politicians who were former prime ministers of the country. ‘It is unfortunate and undesirable. Such comments lower image of the country,’ he said.
Workers Party of Bangladesh president Rashed Khan Menon expressed his ‘reservation’ against the idea of the truth commission. ‘Keeping the two leaders [Hasina and Khaleda] out of the jurisdiction of the truth commission proves that it is a politically motivated venture,’ he said.
‘It [commission] would be used to allow the corrupt persons from escaping the punishment,’ he said.
Communist Party of Bangladesh president Monzurul Ahsan Khan said the commission would be used as a tool to allow the persons involved in financial crimes to get escape.
Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal convener Khalequzzaman said the government created a new controversy by making its motive public to keep Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia out of the jurisdiction of the commission.
They said any law or body, promulgated or formed by the state, must not be discriminatory.
They said even if such commission is formed, those commission should not be reserved for a group of persons.