Military’s meddling in politics won’t benefit country, warns Habibur Rahman

Dhaka Correspondent

Dhaka Correspondent

Former chief justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman said on Sunday that is was axiomatic that military interference in politics and administration could not benefit a country.  

Addressing a citizens’ dialogue at the Bangladesh-China Friendship Conference Centre, Habibur Rahman said, ‘Bangalees are not bestowed with any special attributes that they should prove otherwise.’

‘The thought of the day is transfer of power to an elected government after holding elections to the ninth parliament within this year; but there are worries about whether it will take place’, he said. 

The present government will have to take the responsibility for the uncertainties they have caused by suspending the democratic process, said the former head of a caretaker government adding, ‘They have to be cautious so that they do not harm the country by their overzealous activities.’ 

Justice Habibur Rahman observed that the constitution could be amendment and a constitution commission might also be formed for the amendment, but added, ‘We cannot be optimistic given the little potential of the law commission. Senior figures in government consider themselves to be omnipotent and do not want to consult people.’  

Expressing concern over the rising food costs, he called for increased investment in the agriculture sector. 

‘We have neglected this sector giving priority to industry.’  

He urged the government to ensure seed, manure and power supplies to farmers, saying, ‘We have to institute necessary reforms in agriculture and water resources, and devise better management modes, otherwise the present ‘famine situation’ will become our permanent national attribute.’ 

Gana Forum president Kamal Hossain, who presided over the daylong dialogue organised by Bangladesh First-Bangladesh 2025, said that price hike of essential commodities and power shortage were the two problems that needed to be addressed urgently. 

The government should hold a meaningful dialogue with the political parties for holding a free and fair election according to the roadmap announced by the Election Commission, he said. 

‘We want to establish a democratic country where there will be no poverty.’  

Former adviser Sultana Kamal, also the executive director of Ain O Salish Kendra, said, ‘We are not in a better condition now than when an elected government was in power’. 

‘But we do not want to return to the pre-January 11, 2007 situation and at the same time do not want to remain under a state of emergency’, she said. 

‘We want restoration of the people’s rights’, she added. 

Economist Quazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad urged the interim government to augment food stocks to ease the food crisis. 

He also called for raising an emergency fund for facing calamities. 

Yussuf Abdullah Harun, former president of FBCCI, said the food crisis was the most serious challenge facing Bangladesh at the moment and ‘we should take steps for strengthening our fragile economy’.  

BGMEA president Anwarul Alam Chowdhury said that the political parties must reach a consensus on ensuring stability in the country. 

Badiul Alam Majumder, country director of Hunger Project in Bangladesh, said that the country should be ruled by the politicians, not by others. 

He hoped that the government would hold a free and fair election in the country according to the roadmap announced by the Election Commission.    

The opening session was followed by two more sessions chaired by regulatory reforms commission chairman Akbar Ali Khan and educationist Anisuzzaman. 

The sessions discussed issues of food situation, agriculture and rural development and the youths.


3 Responses to “Military’s meddling in politics won’t benefit country, warns Habibur Rahman”

  1. Engr. Khondkar Abdus Saleque

    Very correct statement. If we only look at the countries of greater India created in 1947 -Pakiatan and India we know the answer. Pakitan and Bangladesh dominated directly or indirectly by military rule are in crisis. India managing to keep Army away fro Stae power is marching ahead. Pakitan is in serious crisis. Bangladesh is no less. Bangladesh could only enjoy real democracy from December 1971 to August15,1975. The tragic killing of Bangabandhu by a section of Amred forces satrted the militariastion process of our politics. Army General grabbed power. Rehabilitated Golam Azam , scrapped collaborators law.The slide started. BNP was formed by opportunists of ultra leftists and extreme rightist .Collaborator Shah Azizur Rahman was made PM. Indemnity law was enacted keeping the killers free from self confessed killing of the father of the nation.. Killers were rewarded. Several sector commanders and hundreds of freedom fighters in the army were systematically killed.The Particular Army General also got killed by another group of Army officers. A very cunning General snatched power. He instutionalised corruption. The period from 1991 -2006 could be different .But the politics was already grabbed by mucles and money. Two Lady PM could not control the rotten trend of politics. For all these the militarisation of politics and evil influence of Army rule must be blamed. Sensible elements of army did many good works .There is no denial of that. But what Justice Habibur Rahman said is more than correct. This cTG is trying to halt the slide. But again the Army influence in some cases is proving to be impediment.Our armed forces are not angels. The massive coutrywide corruption also infected them. If Bangladesh really want lasting peace Army must reamin in barack and should only come out as and when called by Civil adminstartion. We cann not find any war with only neighbor Indai ever .We may not even match Myanamr Army. We need a very strong Border Security, Strong police and strong Navy . The future pro people democratic Government must reasses the requirement of huge expenditure ondefence of a poor country like Bangladesh which if ever attcked by external force may not be able to defend more than few days if people gain do not take up arms. If instead the part of the money spent on defence is psent on Human resource development in Energy Sector , Health and Education sector that will bring much dividents.

  2. zulfikar ali

    General Moeen gets extension for one more year. Isn’t there any other qualified general to take his position! According to the military rule of conduct, next senior most general should replace him. All the promises of reform, eradicate corruption, free Bangladesh from corrupt politicians, seems to be just eye wash by the Gen Moeen run current administration. Gen Moeen is no better than Ershad, he is just following his footstep. It is matter time; we will have Gen Moeen as president. And Bangladesh will be derailed again from its democratic journey.

  3. cory

    I dont dare to comment on his statement. He knows what is it like to deal with Army especially in trouble times (remember Nasim episode). Anyway, he just reverberated the sentiments of millions. I could ‘nt help but agree with him.

    Just read a newspiece that the govt is planning to luanch a satellite to space.
    Why not this very dynamic govt is planning to dispatch half the population to some planets?:)

    May it take 90 years (constitution does not bar or bother them).

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