Editor's Mind

Bangabhaban awaits for whom?

Publish: 10:01 AM, 21 Jan, 2023


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April 21, 1977. It's past midnight. Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem is deep asleep in his bedroom at Bangabhaban. A sudden sound of boots. Sound of screaming. President Justice Sayem woke up and heard a loud noise. Some soldiers broke the door of his bedroom. The President was still unable to fully get out of bed. Armed military men surrounded the president pointing stun guns at him under the leadership of Ziaur Rahman. Justice Sayem trembles with fear. Such a situation was beyond the imagination of that old man. Zia was holding a paper. In a threatening tone, he said, "Sign Hair." The president was a little embarrassed. He asked in a frightened tone, what is it? Zia replied 'You are sick. You are resigning from the post of President due to illness.' Gathering some courage, he said, 'I had a health check-up last week. I am completely healthy.' Zia now aims the stun gun at his chest and in a stern voice he says, 'sign'. Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem had no other option. He has to give up either his life or the presidency. With trembling hands, he picked up the pen and paper and signed. Zia then pushed Justice Sayem away and snatched the paper. Minutes later Zia, the army chief, a military hero, declared himself president. The account of Zia's capture of the Bangabhaban at midnight appears in the book titled 'At Bangabhaban: Last Face' written by Abu Sadat Muhammad Sayem himself. The book is not available in the market now. It has a Bengali translation. But that's censored. The Bengali translation does not contain the story of Zia's capture of Bangabhaban. The original English book was banned by the BNP after coming to power in 1991. This is one of many scandalous incidents that happened around Bangabhavan after independence. Bangladesh's presidential fortune is not very cheerful. Most presidents did not complete their terms. Two presidents were killed in military coups.

Those who became president in Bangladesh can be divided into two categories. A type of president who is under a presidential system of government. They were very powerful. Three of them were directly elected by the people. However, all three votes were controversial and farcical. Another type of president is those under parliamentary democracy. Now Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy. The power of the President is now largely formal. But still, he is the guardian of the state. This highest post of the country is important for many reasons. Bangladesh will welcome a new president this year. The countdown to the presidential election has begun. Bangabhaban waits for whom? 

We may get the answer to this question very soon. But the past history of our presidency is full of bitterness. There have been conspiracies to destroy democracy in various ways in Bangabhaban. Therefore, the selection of new residents of Bangabhaban is important for many reasons.

During the Great Liberation War of 1971, the Mujib Nagar Government was formed on 17 April. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu was declared President in the 'Mujib Nagar Government'. Bangabandhu was then in Pakistan prison. Tajuddin Ahmed made Bangabandhu the President and became the Prime Minister himself for strategic reasons. After the victory in the liberation war, the father of the nation returned home on January 10. Without delay, he introduced parliamentary democracy in the light of the spirit of the liberation war. Bangabandhu left the post of President and took oath as Prime Minister. Justice Abu Sayeed Chowdhury was elected as the new president on January 12. Abu Sayeed Chowdhury was the president for almost two years. Then on 24 December 1973 Mohammadullah became the President. On January 25, 1975, a presidential system of government was introduced in Bangladesh. Mohammadullah left the post of president and became a minister. After the terrible tragedy on August 15, 1975, Mohammadullah became the vice president under murderer Mostaq. Mohammadullah is undoubtedly one of those whose names are notable in making joke of the most honorable post of presidency. How does a person become a minister or vice president after being in the highest constitutional position? When all these impersonal, greedy people enter Bangabhaban, it poses a danger to politics and the country.

After January 25, 1975, a new system of government was introduced in the country. All political parties are brought under one umbrella. Bangabandhu took oath as President. But after only 202 days, the country's founding father was brutally killed by the anti-independence forces. Within three and a half years of victory, the scandalous chapter of killing the president with his whole family was written in Bangladesh. The Supreme Court termed the presidential chapter of murderer Mostaq as unconstitutional. So, I am not willing to recognize the 83-day tenure of the murderer Mostaq as president. After Mostaq, Justice Sayem became the President on November 6, 1975. I started my writing with his story. Army chief Zia declared himself president by removing Sayem at gunpoint. In my opinion, it was treason. Because his becoming president while serving in the army was a serious constitutional crime. But in a cruel irony of fate, the very weapon that brought Zia to power also brought his tragic end. Zia was brutally killed in a military coup in Chittagong on 30 May 1981. Vice President Justice Sattar became Acting President. But according to the constitution, he was ineligible for the presidential election. Constitution was amended to make Justice Sattar eligible for election. On November 15, 1981, the presidential election was held through direct voting. Justice Sattar won the election by defeating Awami League nominated candidate Dr. Kamal Hossain. But widespread allegations of vote rigging and fraud arose against Justice Sattar and the BNP. Bangabhaban has been affected again. On March 24, 1982, a military coup took place in Bangladesh. Justice Sattar was deposed. Ershad Putul made a puppet president by seizing power. Justice Ahsan Uddin Chowdhury was made President. But the real power was Ershad. Ershad followed in Zia's footsteps at every step of his illegal dictatorship. On December 10, 1983, Ershad deposed Ahsan Uddin Chowdhury and declared himself the president. This military dictator served as president for about seven years. However, he remained in power for nearly nine years as the chief martial law administrator and usurper of illegal powers. A short-term caretaker government was then formed under the leadership of Justice Sahabuddin. It was the result of the mass anti-dictatorship movement. Justice Sahabuddin served as the head of the non-partisan, neutral caretaker government or acting president for about a year. BNP came to power in the 1991 elections. The two major parties agreed to re-establish parliamentary democracy in the country. The bloody chapter of the presidential system of government came to an end. In a parliamentary democracy, the powers of the President are severely curtailed. BNP made the post of President dishonorable. Late Dr. Akbar Ali Khan in an article entitled 'Bangabhabane Bantuk: Is the executive moving towards an elected dictatorship?' of his book 'Obak Bangladesh: Bichitro Cholona Jale Rajniti' has presented the actual story in a very skillful manner. I am presenting some of it for the readers to consider it relevant: 

"At the end of 1991, I was transferred from the post of Economic Counselor to the Bangladesh Embassy in the United States and appointed as Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Finance. Two or three days after joining the finance department, Finance Minister Saifur Rahman called me. He expressed his opinion about various irregularities of a managing director of a bank and suggested filing a file recommending his removal and appointment of senior deputy managing director in his place. I returned to the office and after discussing with the officers of the concerned department I was satisfied that there was much truth in the Minister's allegations. I request the Joint Secretary to immediately prepare the file as directed by the Minister. The file arrived on my desk within a few hours. A summary of the document is submitted to the president for approval. It may be recalled that the files regarding changes in the bank's managing directors had to be submitted to the President in the President-ruled system. But after the fall of Ershad, the constitution was amended and a cabinet-ruled government was constitutionally introduced. Although the constitution was amended, the rules of procedure were not amended. The Rules of Procedure prior to the amendment of the Constitution stipulated that the appointment of Managing Directors would require the approval of the President. As there was still inconsistency between the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure, the Cabinet Division's direction was sought as to whether the President's permission was required in this case. The Cabinet Department in consultation with the Ministry of Law said that till the time the rules of procedure are not amended, the permission of the President should be taken in this case. The joint secretary showed me the document. I was satisfied and forwarded the summary prepared for the President to the finance minister.

The next day when the minister came to the office, his personal assistant informed me that I should meet the minister immediately. As soon as I went to the minister's room, the finance minister asked me, why did I present the summary to the president? Am I not aware of the cabinet-ruled state system that has been introduced in the country? In that context, he asked in English that, do I think Batku sitting in Bangabhaban is really running the country? After saying that it was done on the advice of the Ministry of Law, his anger turned on the Ministry of Law. He abused the Law Secretary over the telephone and told me that the document could not be sent to the President. I said you write that the summary should be presented to the Prime Minister. He wrote and accordingly, the document again returned to him and action was taken with his and the Prime Minister's permission.

The solution of the departmental work was fine, but a big suspicion arose in my mind. The relationship between the finance minister and the President was not good at that time. The then president was short. But by using the word Batku (short), the finance minister was not only mocking his shortness, but also implied the political philosophy of the finance minister. He believed that the role of the President was secondary in a cabinet-led state system. If the members of the cabinet are as powerful as giants, then the power of the President is like dwarf." (Book: 'Obak Bangladesh: Bichitro Cholona Jale Rajniti; Page 165-166) 

Abdur Rahman Biswas was a local-level razaka in 1971. Through this, BNP made the highest constitutional post of the country dishonorable. But despite that, Abdur Rahman Biswas completed his term. He is the first president in Bangladesh to hand over power peacefully after completing his term. The Awami League government led by Sheikh Hasina came to power after 21 years in the 1996 elections. Sheikh Hasina tried to make parliamentary democracy work. The prime minister's question and answer session was launched in the parliament. She took initiative to make the parliamentary committees effective. Sheikh Hasina also made the highest constitutional post dignified. Retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and former Chief Justice of the Caretaker Government, Sahabuddin Ahmed was elected as the guardian of the state. Sheikh Hasina wanted him to be neutral. Wanted to be accepted by all. Sheikh Hasina started the custom of honoring the President. Meeting the President after visiting foreign countries. Sheikh Hasina introduced the practice of going to Bangabhaban to inform him of various situations. She replaced the 'Batku President' as 'His Excellency'. Power is not a big deal for her. She took the honor of the President into unique heights. Sheikh Hasina set an extraordinary example of giving recognition to the constitution and constitutional positions. But in return she was betrayed. Justice Sahabuddin as President took a stand against Awami League. He questioned the government by making various irrelevant statements. One of the reasons for Awami League's disaster in the 2001 elections was Justice Sahabuddin's controversial role. Justice Sahabuddin is a prime example of what happens when a so-called impartial person is brought to the highest post. In October 2001, the BNP won a huge victory. BNP chose the party's founding leader Professor Dr. Badruddeza Chowdhury as president, because BNP wanted a 'Batku' as president. BNP did not accept an acceptable, truly guardian president. Professor Chowdhury became untouchable and that is why the ruling BNP took the initiative to cut him off. After his resignation, BNP took 77 days to find another 'Batku' person for the post of President. Until then Speaker Barrister Zamir Uddin Sarkar served as Acting President. Professor Iajuddin Ahmed of Dhaka University became the new 'Batku' discovered by BNP. BNP leaders used to call him 'Yes Uddin' and he was like joke for the BNP leaders. He too had become an impersonal, clownish figure during the crisis. Being obedient, 'Yes Uddin' pushed the whole country into deep crisis. The main reason why the unelected government sat on the chest of Bangladesh for two long years was the lack of political wisdom of Dr. Iajuddin Ahmed. It was the second Batku president that has done the worst damage to BNP. In 2009, Awami League formed the government for the second time under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina. This time, Sheikh Hasina chose Zillur Rahman, the guardian of the party, an idealist leader without deviation in politics. However, Zillur Rahman became a guardian of the nation due to his political wisdom and foresight in the crisis of 1-11. He earned the trust, confidence and respect of all. He died as President. The whole country was shocked by his death. As a President he was truly the head of the family called the State. After his death, Awami League chose Abdul Hamid as its president. A grassroots-born politician who speaks in common people's language. In simple words, he can climb the high walls of Bangabhaban and blend into the crowd. An idealistic but very simple man. His stay at Bangabhaban for nearly 10 years in two terms is now coming to an end.

I did this brief review of the Presidents since independence out of fear. Democracy is threatened whenever the wrong people enter the Bangabhaban. Undemocratic rulers have degraded the highest office by inducting loyalists into the Bangabhaban. We don't want a shameless president like Mohammadullah. I also reject those who oppucy the Bangabhaban with arms and plays the tune of patriotism. Just as we don't want a nameless 'Batku' to be the president, we also don't want a civilized ex-bureaucrat to controvert the 'Bangabhaban' with the power of extreme neutrality. The President is the first citizen of the state. A politician. An ideal person with whom people will relate and think of as one of their own. Awami League has such a person. 'Democracy' will be secured if he is given the ticket of Bangabhaban. If the key of Bangabhaban is in the hands of the wrong person, 'democracy' will go into exile again. Hard times are coming ahead. Selecting the resident of Bangabhaban is now very important.



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Editor's Mind

Does the US want to make Bangladesh a Taliban state?

Publish: 02:20 PM, 25 Mar, 2023


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25th March. Through "Operation Searchlight," the Pakistani military carried out brutal genocide against Bengalis. This is considered to be the biggest atrocity of the Second World War. The inhumanity of this national tragedy shocked the entire world. Through Seymour Topping's reporting, the world learned about the terrifying rampage of the Pakistani military. Even today, the Bengali nation remembers the atrocities of the Pakistani military with horror. Murder, looting, arson, and rape were the tools used by the Pakistanis on that day. This horrific act was the catalyst for a nine-month long bloody war. Following the guidance of their forefathers, the unarmed Bengali nation fought back with whatever they had. The United States did not condemn the genocide and barbarity of '71. Although the country's largest demographic was in favor of humanity. Many American politicians, like Kennedy, stood in solidarity with Bangladesh. However, the then US President Richard Nixon was in favor of Pakistan. He supported the genocide that Pakistanis committed. His trusted Henry Kissinger told the United Nations, "There has been no genocide in Bangladesh. It is a propaganda." The United States, which claims to uphold human rights, supported and cooperated the abductors and looters that day. The Nixon-Kissinger duo did everything they could for nine long months to stop Bangladesh. But even with American support, the heroic Bengalis defeated the Pakistani army. It was proved that no one can defeat the indomitable spirit of the desire for independence. The dawn of independent sovereign Bangladesh arrived. Even after fierce opposition from the powerful United States, we still have our blood-stained sacred flag. Our independence. However, even after the victory in '71, Pakistan and the United States did not accept Bangladesh. Bangladesh seemed to be turning into a failed state and as an independent country, it seemed unable to sustain itself, hence the conspiracy against it remained constant. In 1974, the United States stopped the supply of grain to Bangladesh at the behest of Kissinger. The country was plunged into crisis and created an artificial famine. Jasad, Ganabahini, and Sarbahara were formed to combat the instability in the country. The government initiated a ruthless conspiracy to suppress anti-independence forces, in which the United States played a major role. August 15, 1975, witnessed another dark chapter in Bangladesh's history, where the father of the nation was brutally murdered with his family. Now, these documents related to this have been released in the United States. Upon analyzing them, it can be seen that the US was complicit in the atrocities of 1975. They provided shelter, support, and assistance to the conspirators. The United States had granted legitimacy to the power grab of the murderer Mostaq. To save the killers, Mostaq and Zia created Indemnity Ordinance. This law is called the worst human rights violation law in history. The United States has never condemned such a heinous law with any evidence to this day. All of these came to mind after reading the 61-page human rights report on Bangladesh published by the United States on March 20, 2022. The last line of Rabindranath Tagore's poem "Two Acres of Land" came to mind, "If you were a noble king today, I would be a thief." The United States supported the Pakistani genocide in '71. They did not consider looting, arson, and rape as a violation of human rights. They pushed Bangladesh towards famine in '74. They supported the killers of the father of the nation in '75. And now they have become judges of Bangladesh's human rights today. Taking on the great responsibility of measuring the human rights situation in Bangladesh voluntarily is truly remarkable. The US human rights report has three aspects. Firstly, the report is a compilation of past data. In some cases, old reports have been copied verbatim. Secondly, some topics in the report are suggestive and relevant. Some comments and observations have been made in the report regarding the US view of Bangladesh. Thirdly, regarding the source of information, there is bias. The report has made several comments based on disputed and untrue information. The information has not been verified.

 

Some points of this report are current and similar to previous reports. The US State Department's annual human rights report does not include any new topic on the independence of the judiciary, human rights situation, Rohingya situation and the situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Some parts of last year's report seem to have been repeated. Similarly, there is no new information on women's empowerment, child marriage, minority rights, and the rights of small groups in the US human rights report. Some comments and decisions in the Human Rights Report 2022 are very relevant and suggestive. The 61-page Bangladesh-related human rights report begins with a mention of the 2018 election. It is stated at the beginning of the report, "A parliamentary democracy has been established in Bangladesh. The Prime Minister has more power there. Awami League, led by Sheikh Hasina, won the national parliament election in December 2018 like the previous two times." Observers do not consider this election to be fair and impartial. In this election, various irregularities were found, including ballot stuffing, intimidation of opposition polling agents and voters, and threats. The American Human Rights Report primarily analyzes the human rights situation on an annual basis. But why was the 2018 election questioned in the 2022 report? Interestingly, almost identical comments were made about the 2018 election in the Human Rights Report for 2018, which was released on March 11, 2019. So, what is the reason for presenting an incident from four years ago in a new way? After the 2018 election, the United States congratulated the new government. The then-US President Donald Trump sent a congratulatory message to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Over the past four years, more than two dozen American officials have visited Bangladesh. This means that the United States had approved of the 2018 election a long time ago. So what is the purpose of raising this issue now? Pressuring the government before the election? Moreover, the Prime Minister's powers were increased in the constitutional amendment in 1991. BNP was in power at that time. Why question the authority of the Prime Minister now, after all this time? Is it to support the proposal for the restoration of BNP's political framework?

 

The report has expressed support for the protests of opposition parties, including the BNP, in several places. Throughout the report, the statements of the BNP-controlled organizations, such as "Odhikar" and "Mayer Daak" have been taken into account. On the fourth page of the report, it has been reported that "Local human rights organizations have claimed 16 cases of disappearances between January and September. Civil society organizations have claimed that those who have disappeared were mainly leaders, workers and dissenters of the opposition party." This information is clearly provided by the Mayer Daak. Each of the 16 people who were claimed to have disappeared has since returned. None of them were BNP leaders, nor were they workers. At least four of them have given interviews to various media outlets upon their return. Among them, at least two were dismissed military personnel, who have been proven guilty of the extrajudicial killings. They have also acknowledged it in their own statement. One person's name was on the list of missing people, but later he admitted himself that he had left with his friends. Such an incomplete and biased report being published in the official report of the world's most influential country is surprising. The head of the ' Odhikar' organization, Adilur Rahman Khan is a pro-BNP lawyer. Former JSD leader Adilur served as the Deputy Attorney General during the BNP-Jamaat coalition government from 2001 to 2006. In May 2013, his organization was criticized for publishing a false and distorted report regarding the Dhaka crackdown by Hefazat. At that time, the organization "Odikar" spread rumors of multiple deaths caused by the crackdown, which were later proven to be false, motivated, and fabricated. The report was released with the intention of creating unrest in the country. This false report by the propagandist organization gained significance in the US Human Rights Report. "Mayer Daak" is another BNP-controlled organization. This organization is run by a sister of a BNP leader. Many of the reports published about “Mayer Daak” have been later proven to be untrue. The American report has shown bias against the BNP. Almost all publications have expressed support for the BNP without any reservation. In the report's 13th page, it is mentioned that Begum Khaleda Zia was sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption and embezzlement in 2018. This case was filed in 2008. International and local legal experts believe that Khaleda Zia was kept away from the election process without sufficient evidence. These experts say that the court is following a policy of slow progress in releasing Khaleda Zia. However, the reality is that Begum Zia's lawyers have accepted the "slow and steady" policy regarding the case of the BNP chairperson. The lawyers of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are not interested in attending the final verdict hearing of the orphanage corruption case. What is BNP's intention in putting pressure on the government when it has created lengthy delays in the case against Begum Khaleda Zia? Begum Zia has been sentenced in two corruption cases through lengthy legal battles. His lawyers have repeatedly gone to the High Court and have had every opportunity to argue in favor of his case. But if this verdict is politically motivated, then what is justice?

 

If you read the 21-page American report, you might think it's a leaflet of the BNP. It is said here, "BNP's programs are not regularly allowed or obstructed." Then how did BNP hold colorful rallies in every divisional city? How are they carrying out protest programs every Saturday in the upazila, district and divisional levels? On page 31 of the report, the incident in front of the BNP office has been reported piece by piece. On December 10, the BNP refused to hold a rally where it had been given permission. On December 7th, the BNP attempted to occupy the area in Nayapaltan. 16 sacks of rice and pulses were found during raids at BNP office. Can it be a political program to disrupt public life by taking a position on a busy street? But this issue is completely avoided in the US report. The same page mentions that 86 cases against the BNP Secretary General are still pending. However, the US report avoided the information that 61 of these cases have been postponed by the higher court's order.

 

A frightening aspect of this report is the attempt to attack our culture and traditions. Every country has its own customs, cultural traditions, values. Family ties in Bangladesh are thousands of years old. Family, male-female relationship, marriage have deepened our culture. Eastern family values, conservative love marriages, romanticism, respect for elders etc. are now respected by the western world. Traditionally, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, etc., are considered deviant here. Our culture and tradition does not nurture these. Almost all people in this country consider homosexuality or same-sex relationship to be a perversion. It is more rooted in our tastes and cultural consciousness than religious beliefs. But the 61-page human rights report has the fuel to recognize these Western distortions at least a dozen times. The American report attempts to impose these Western desperation-induced immoral and unsavory relations into our traditional, natural social relations. Even the report shows support for atheism and a kind of sympathy for their rights. The report also claims that these people are at risk of death from extremists. In other words, there is a kind of provocation of western depression, distortion and ugly intrusion in this report. On the other hand, sympathy for war criminals, communal forces, especially the anti-independence organization Jamaat, can be observed in the US report. The human rights report of the United States is a manifestation of their double standard and contradictory policies.

 

The most worrying aspect of this report is the love for Jamaat. This is a major shift in the US stance on sectarian, radical fundamentalist and fanatical groups. The United States identified Jamaat as a radical right-wing sectarian political force in human rights reports in 2001, 2002 and 2004. Declared the Jamaat-controlled student body Islami Chhatra Shibir as a terrorist organisation. But this time in the report, the United States has completely taken a U-turn on this matter. On the 13th page of the report, questions have been raised about the International Criminal Tribunal set up for the trial of war criminals. It has been said - 'Observers feel that the trial of war criminals is politically biased and only members of the opposition party have been convicted. The US government supported the genocide in 1971. Is that why they are protesting now? In Bangladesh, the trial of war criminals is being conducted according to international standards. The trial is being conducted with proper adherence to every step of justice. Even the main opposition party, BNP, did not question this trial. On the other hand, did the United States once again support the genocide, rape, and looting of 1971? Are they eager to avenge the defeat of '71? This is why so much outrage?

 

On pages 30 and 31 of the American report, there seems to be no sympathy towards the extremist communal organization Jamaat, who are opposed to independence. It is stated that "opposition workers are accused of authoritarianism. The leaders and workers of the largest Muslim political organization, Jamaat, are prevented from exercising their constitutionally recognized rights to independence and assembly. The report wrongly states that the government has cancelled Jamaat's registration as a political party and that their candidates are no longer allowed to be nominated. However, the entire matter has been under the direction of the Supreme Court and the Election Commission. Both of these institutions are independent and sovereign. The United States considered this Jamaat an 'enemy' for democracy and secular Bangladesh. Several previous reports have compared them to the Taliban. The United States considered Jamaat to be an obstacle to women's freedom and religious freedom. Why is the United States so interested in their rights now? Is this a repeat of the Afghan drama? The United States played a major role in propping up the Taliban to fight communism in Afghanistan. The Taliban now hold Afghanistan in their hands. Does the US want to repeat the same mistake again in Bangladesh? The country that Henry Kissinger once referred to as a basket case in 1971 is now a wonder of the world, a model of development. This is why the United States is so angry and upset? Is the United States looking to create a Taliban-like state in Bangladesh in order to exact revenge for their defeat in that country's development? The entire report hints at the possibility that the United States has a plan for Bangladesh. There is an indication of uncertainty surrounding the election in US reports. So does the United States want to bring someone like Hamid Karzai to power through the election, whose inevitable fate will be the rise of militants? Is this what the American report hinting at?



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Editor's Mind

"I have no idea from where these wretched thieves has emerged"

Publish: 11:00 AM, 18 Mar, 2023


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On March 17, Bangladesh observed the birthday of its founding father with deep respect and love. Bangabandhu envisioned a modern, developed, prosperous, and self-reliant Bangladesh, which he called "Sonar Bangla" (Golden Bengal). In just three and a half years, he transformed a war-ravaged and devastated country into a success story of remarkable reconstitution. But Bangabandhu was not satisfied. There were obstacles at every turn. He spoke openly about these challenges and the enemies of development, without any reservation. On March 26, 1975, on the occasion of the historic Independence Day, he delivered a speech at the Martyred Intellectuals Memorial in which he called for a struggle against corruption. In that speech, he said, "If economic freedom is not achieved, political freedom will fail. If people cannot eat their fill, cannot clothe themselves, and cannot solve their unemployment problems, then peace will not return to their lives. Who are the corrupt today? Those who give bribes, those who take bribes, those who smuggle, those who engage in black marketing, those who do not fulfill their responsibilities, those who work against conscience, those who sell their country to foreign countries. We must start our fight against these dishonest people. We must build forts in our homes to eradicate these dishonest people. We must build these forts to alleviate the suffering of the people of Bangladesh. ...These are all thieves, and I don't know where they came from. Pakistan took everything, but if they had taken these thieves, I would have survived." (Source: Sheikh Mujib, Bangladesh's Another Name - Dr. Atiur Rahman. Pages: 267-268)

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is walking on the path shown by Bangabandhu, leading Bangladesh forward in the struggle for economic freedom. Under Sheikh Hasina's leadership, Bangladesh has achieved unprecedented success in the past 14 years. However, the thieves still exist. They dance at the celebrations of their corruption. These corrupt individuals, smugglers, and willful defaulters are the biggest obstacles to the country's economy and progress. They are a disease for this country, a terrible cancer. If we cannot defeat them, we will not be able to build the 'Golden Bengal'. Our economic liberation will be impossible. Bangladesh's economy is currently struggling through a storm. Inflation is over eight percent. Recently, the Prime Minister addressed a gathering of businessmen and stated, "The rise in commodity prices is causing suffering for people." Bangladesh's foreign currency reserves are now over 30 billion dollars. This is true, as Bangladesh's economy has suffered a significant blow due to the Russia-Ukraine war. However, despite the impact of the war's leadership, Bangladesh's economy remains strong. If smuggling could be stopped, the burden of unwanted debts would not have occurred. When Bangabandhu declared war against "thieves," they were not "robbers," but they have turned into "monsters" now. They are sucking up all our dreams and achievements like bloodsuckers. We must wage war against them and defeat them.

Bangladesh is currently one of the top countries in the world for money laundering. The exact amount of money that has been laundered out of the country is unknown, but various credible sources in the international media have reported that the amount exceeds 100 billion dollars. If this money had stayed in the country instead of being laundered abroad, our foreign currency reserves would have been over 130 billion dollars. We would have become the 20th largest economy in the world. There is no denying that money laundering has occurred. Everyone knows who has done it and where it has taken place. Some incidents of money laundering have been proven, such as the sudden disappearance of Member of Parliament Shahid Islam. In the 2018 election, he shocked everyone by winning the Lakshmipur-2 seat in parliament. While he was a Member of Parliament, he was arrested in Kuwait on charges of human trafficking, visa fraud, and money laundering by the Kuwaiti law enforcement agencies. The Kuwaiti investigation agency proved in court that Shahid had laundered 53 million Kuwaiti dinars (1,400 crore taka). In a four-year sentence, Shahid has been punished and is now in jail in Kuwait. His position as a member of parliament has been revoked, but there is no visible progress in recovering the smuggled money. In 2020, the news of a Bangladeshi housewife's huge wealth created a buzz in the global media. Shamima Sultana Jannati, the wife of a member of parliament, bought a house in Canada for CAD 14.56 million and sold it off. Jannati is not the only one involved in money laundering in Canada. The list of Bangladeshi money launderers in Canada is so long that the entire 'Bangladesh Pratidin' newspaper will not be enough to list them all. In Canada, notorious money launderer Prashant Kumar Halder was recently arrested in India. Despite facing arrests in Bangladesh, Halder managed to flee to Canada. The Anti-Corruption Commission had stated that Prashant Kumar Halder had laundered Tk 5,000 crore. However, after being caught in India, he claimed that the amount laundered from Bangladesh was around Tk 10,000 crore. Prashant told Indian investigators, 'This money is not mine, I am only a carrier. The owner of the money is well known. He is outside the country. Dr. AK Abdul Momen, the Foreign Minister, provided the most volatile information on money laundering in Canada and the issue of Bangladeshi homes in Begum Para. The Foreign Minister talk about it without any discrimination, without any cover-up. In November 2020, at an event, Dr. Momen said, "There is some truth to the allegations of money laundering from Bangladesh to Canada. And according to preliminary information, the number of government officials involved in money laundering is more." The Foreign Minister said, "I thought there would be more politicians involved. But it turns out that there are only four politicians. The number of government officials is more. Apart from this, there are some businessmen." That is, the government knows all the necessary information about money launderers in Canada. No action has been taken against them. The story of two infamous student leaders from Faridpur, Barkat and Rubel, is no longer a secret. They used to form student groups before. After Mosharraf Hossain became established as a "landlord" in Faridpur, Barkat and Rubel became part of the student league. Then the reign of looting in Faridpur began. In Faridpur, Rubel-Barkat were arrested after Engineer Mosharraf Hossain's tenure ended. According to the CID, the two have smuggled almost BDT 200 billion abroad. CID have arrested several people of the Mosharraf gang on allegations of money smuggling. However, no progress has been made in recovering the money. To prevent money smuggling, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of Bangladesh Bank has been formed. The FIU's annual report (2021-22) states that prices of certain goods have been raised by 20% to 200%. This means that goods that were imported for $100 are being sold for $200. Although it is difficult to estimate the amount of money that has been smuggled, it can be assumed that some amount has been smuggled. According to a report by the Washington-based International organization Global Financial Integrity (GFI), Bangladesh has lost BDT 4,965 crore or $4 billion in the past 14 years due to international trade. According to the information of the GFI, more than $12 billion has been smuggled through international trade fraud. Abdur Rauf Talukder, the Governor of Bangladesh Bank, has taken responsibility to prevent over-invoicing in imports and under-invoicing in exports. Now, proposed import items are verified against international market prices before being allowed to be imported. After examination and inspection, permission is granted for the import of goods. Before the arrival of the new governor, abnormal prices of various imported goods had to be accepted. For example, the import price of 1 kg of strawberries was shown to be $1,000! Imports of oranges and lemons were done at a cost of $800 per kg. It is understood that these exorbitant price increases were done solely for the purpose of money laundering. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. About $10 billion worth of imports have been made in just one year. What is the result? Only over-invoicing? No, under-invoicing has also been done through the medium of hundi to smuggle money. Through illegal means, Bangladeshis have been investing in Malaysia, buying second homes in Canada, and investing in many countries in North and South America, Europe, Eastern Asia, Central Asia, and even the island of Afsar. Those involved in businesses such as garment and fruit trade know how much money has been smuggled and where it has been hidden. The government is not unaware of this. It was reported internationally that a businessman in Singapore had purchased a five-star hotel. Was the money from Bangladesh transferred to Singaporean accounts? Some people in Thailand have built a huge empire by smuggling money from Bangladesh. Not only through imports and exports, but also through financial fraud in mobile transactions, money is being smuggled out of Bangladesh. According to the information of the CID, Bangladesh has lost 7.8 billion dollars through this type of fraud. Many looters keep the money they have stolen in Switzerland. Many consider Swiss banks to be a safe haven for depositing money. In 2021, Bangladeshis had deposited 82.76 billion taka in Swiss banks. In 2020, it was 53.48 billion taka. In just one year, smuggled money deposited in Swiss banks has increased by 30 billion taka. Who is involved in this smuggling?

Many have opened companies in the island nations known as 'tax havens' or 'paradise papers' by smuggling money from the country. The names of 84 people, including the influential leader of the BNP Abdul Awal Mintoo and his wife and son, were published in that list by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) on their website a long time ago. The Anti-Corruption Commission's lawyer said that an investigation is underway against them. However, no one knows the progress of that investigation. Many of those who smuggle money are loyal to the government. Their behavior is visible around the government. Many of them were once loyal to the BNP and the Hawa Bhaban. Now they have changed color and become loyal to the Awami League. It is heard that they also give a share to a prominent leader of the BNP from the money they smuggle to London. They do not see the country's interests. They are busy presenting themselves cruelly. They keep their feet on two boats to avoid future concerns.

Just as a terrible disease, the business of loan defaulters is another malady in our economy. A few days ago, President M. Abdul Hamid said in a speech, "Many take bank loans just to embezzle the money. They become willful defaulters." The President was right, in the past few years, the menace of loan default has thrown some deep crises into the banking system. According to Bangladesh Bank's accounts, the amount of defaulted loans at the end of the last fiscal year was Tk. 125 billion. Companies with no assets or identity have taken hundreds of crores of Taka in loans. Clearly, influential groups with no government control have opened companies and looted banks with the help of their cronies. Some people have cheated the banks by taking loans and fleeing abroad. The money of Hallmark's scam has not been recovered. They have embezzled the banks' money and are enjoying a luxurious life abroad under the name of the Bismillah Group. Six banks took a loan of 12,000 crore (120 billion) taka by showing fake documents. Now the owners of this group are living a luxurious life abroad with the borrowed money. While the people of Bangladesh are suffering. The owners have formed a syndicate controlling almost all private banks under the influence of a few individuals. They are now part of the ruling Awami League. But in the language of Bangabandhu, they are 'thieves'.

The Finance Minister in 2018 had said that not a single penny of bad debt would increase. However, in the last four years, bad debts have doubled. There is no possibility of recovering more than half of these debts. The Finance Minister's efforts have not been effective in stopping financial corruption either. In the budget speech, the Finance Minister announced a general amnesty for smugglers. But in the first eight months of the fiscal year, not a single penny of smuggled money has been recovered. No one wants to be recognized as a thief. Therefore, imposing a 7.5% tax on smuggled money to bring it back into the country is a feasible option. It will not be possible to forgive and forget, and we need to take a firm stance. Otherwise, the people of the country will be held responsible by smugglers and bad debtors. We need to organize a political movement against financial corruption, bad debt, and dishonesty. In this context, I can see a ray of hope. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has declared a strict stance on returning money to the country's financial sector. Despite the opposition of smugglers and loan defaulters, the Prime Minister has sent a message of strictness against them. Based on that message, the recent remarks of Awami League Joint General Secretary and popular leader AFM Bahauddin Nasim have created a stir in politics. Nasim said, "We have to fight against corruption, nepotism, looters, loan defaulters, and bank robbers. They are the enemies of the country and a big obstacle to Sheikh Hasina's development and prosperity." The statement of Bahauddin Nasim is in line with the wishes of Awami League President. Loan defaulters, smugglers, and corrupt people cannot be anyone's friend. They are the enemy of the nation. The Father of the Nation had two goals when he declared independence on March 7, 1971. One was political independence, and the other was economic freedom. The opponents of political independence were the Rajakars, Al-Badr, and war criminals. Similarly, obstacles to economic freedom were the corrupt, the profiteers, and loan sharks. They are the war criminals of this time. We must say 'no' to them. We must eliminate them. Otherwise, we will never achieve the dream of Bangabandhu's 'Golden Bengal'. The father of the nation had called for their eradication. It is his daughter who must end this war against them. Sheikh Hasina must be victorious in this war. After 1975, looters, black money holders, and thugs entered Bangladesh's politics. They seized control of politics by supporting military dictatorships. These corrupt and criminal elements act like sycophants under every government. They suck the blood of the nation. They seek opportunities to become close to the government. The Awami League has been in power for only 14 years. The looter gang is now clashing with the government and Awami League. Looking at their past, it can be seen that they looted during Ershad's time and made themselves wealthy by occupying the Hawa Bhaban. Now they have become bigger than Awami League! Because of them, the loyal and tested members of Awami League are being marginalized. They use the power of money to buy support or to get their preferred people elected. The looters use their money to get into the committees of the Awami League. They have robbed us and created a mountain of wealth abroad. If their theft is not stopped, the government's entire achievements will be lost. Let us take a tough stance against money launderers and loan defaulters of Awami League before the upcoming elections; this is the people's expectation. The people do not want to see any looters around the corridors of power. If we take action against them, it will create a wave of support for Awami League. The country will survive, and the economy will thrive if we take this tough stance. Only Sheikh Hasina can take this tough stance. Money launderers and bank looters are the cancer of Bangladesh. The disease has been identified and now it only needs the right treatment. 



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Editor's Mind

An example of treason of Tarique Zia

Publish: 10:00 AM, 04 Mar, 2023


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Sheikh Saadi says, "A monkey is enough to destroy a beautiful garden." If anyone analyzes the current situation in Bangladesh politics, you will see how true Sheikh Saadi's statement is. One party is corrupting politics under the dictatorships of a person. Putting the country in crisis. Trying to endanger democracy. We have passed 51 years of our independence. If we look back in the month of Independence, we will still see a lot of imperfections, disappointment, pain in our politics. If we ask the question in the month of Independence, do we want to see such politics in independent Bangladesh? I'm sure everyone will answer in response to 'No'. In an independent country, politics will be with the strategy of development, the system of changing the welfare and fate of the people. The parties who come to power after the vote in an independent country will not argue on the history of the War of Liberation, the Father of the Nation, Bangladesh. In an independent country, anti -independence power will not do politics. In the name of politics, no one will contradict state. The image of the state will not carry out the immorality of the waste. There will be mutual respect in politics. But unfortunately, after 51 years, in the name of politics, the state is publicly opposed. The criticism of the government is on a level that the state and the people are affected. Yet some want to make Bangladesh a Pakistan or Afghanistan again. Some make politics a tool of extortion and looting. They cherish the sick, ugly genre of politics. Every day, every moment, they scandal politics. One of them is Tarique Zia, acting chairman of BNP, absconding in London. This is now the biggest poison in Bangladesh politics. Because of this, politics has become polluted and poisonous.

Recently I was surprised to see Tarique Zia's picture with two mischiefs on YouTube. They are extortionists, fraudsters and anti -state criminals as journalists. They live abroad and blackmail people in the name of a YouTube channel. Questioning the character of the established and respected people of different levels of society in ugly, dirty language is their business. They are not journalists in any way. They are actually odorless drains. Some time ago, they were caught red handed while blackmailing one of the top industrial families in the country. They demanded six lakhs dollar to an employee of the industrial family. The record of their conversation is still available on YouTube. In that conversation, it is seen how low quality they are. After that conversation spread on social media, Hiccup fell at home and abroad. Everyone was shocked at their evil. Even the BNP-based social media activists, intellectuals and journalists in the country and abroad were shocked after this vicious incident. The BNPists who criticized the government abroad could not accept this inferior blackmailing. Everyone began to boycott the rogue extortionists. Even a BNP -backed journalist in the expat identified their misconduct as a punishable offense in the criminal law. The two later apologized. They swear not do such a heinous activity in the future. But there are some people who swear to be good by doing after a misdeed and quickly break the oath. There is an animal in this world whose tail never gets straight. Soon they also opened the mask of shame. They returned to the old profession of extortion and blackmailing. Announced to present news against various businessman. Like Bengali films, they bait with advertisements like 'Coming Soon'. Many people are afraid of such ugly, dirty propaganda. They fear of being socially disrespected. Fear of folklore and honor, they secretly traded money with the extortionist miscreants. Then the report against them is no longer publicized. And they continue to report against those who do not address these blackmailing. Not only do they take money from the businessmen, they are also spread nasty, dirty propaganda against many people for extortion. By changing the character of many people in society, they themselves have emerged as smellier than sewers. They are called trash on social media. As Gem knows a Gem, Tarique Zia also knows these corrupt low-level extortionists. The picture of this trio speaks volumes.


Several things were proved through this. First of all, the platform on which these two and their associates are spreading falsehoods and impersonations against the state, against the government, against various individuals and businesses, is actually under the control of Tarique Zia. Tarique is his owner and sponsor. These anti-national lies are going on under the instructions of Tarique. Tarique's interests include blackmail, extortion, and nefarious and nefarious activities of impersonation. The godfather of these miscreants is actually Tarique Zia. I don't know if Tarique Zia also gets a share of the money that these miscreants got by threatening different people and defamation. However, they have a strange similarity with Tarique Zia. Like the duo of Tarique-Mamun, these miscreants have committed crimes of extortion, fraud and intimidation abroad. Before the 2001 elections, Tarique Zia built Hawa Bhavan. Hawa Bhaban's main activity was extortion, collecting money through illegal means. The main mission of Hawa Bhavan was to bring the election results in their favor not by the people, but by institutional manipulation. For this purpose, they had already subdued the caretaker government led by Latifur Rahman. Made MA Saeed submissive and loyal to the Election Commission. He went to India and fought to come to power under any conditions. And the results of this collective effort were visible in the October 1, 2001 elections. Despite getting 42 percent of votes, Awami League got very less seats. Tarique Zia knew that he had not won more than two-thirds of the seats in the popular vote. Rather, this result is due to the 'systematic mechanism'. And so Tarique Zia started a brutal mission to wipe out Awami League and minorities from the night of the election. The ordeal started from the night of October 1. Awami League leaders and workers are subjected to medieval brutality throughout the country. Minority houses were burnt. Raped and tortured women Indiscriminately. The only reason for this was that the minorities were supporters of Awami League. And this planned terror was conducted under the guidance of Hawa Bhavan. After the October 2001 elections, the BNP-Jamaat alliance seized power. But the real power belonged to Tarique Zia’s Hawa Bhavan. Begum Zia was the prime minister but she was a puppet. Tarique Zia axed all powers. Tarique had his own minister of state in almost all the ministries in the cabinet. State ministers became more powerful than ministers. Business, tender, recruitment, transfer, promotion everything went under the control of Hawa Bhaban. Before doing any business, they had to pay Hawa Bhaban a large sum of money. Tarique's close friend Giasuddin Mamun controlled the government tenders. Be it BCS, police SI or school teacher, enrollment in Hawa Bhaban with money was mandatory. The list of employers used to go from Hawa Bhavan. A person enlisted in Hawa Bhaban whether he is qualified or not, whether he passes the written test or not, he has to be given the job. Otherwise, the employer would be in trouble. The big businessmen had to pay Hawa Bhaban and Tarique's partner Giasuddin Al Mamun used to fix the amount of money. VAT had to be paid to Hawa Bhaban every month from various ministries and departments. This VAT was collected by Harish Chowdhury, the Prime Minister's number one political secretary. Posts like chief forest officer, chairman of Rajuk were up for auction. Under the management of Harish Chowdhury, the person who offered the most money in the auction was appointed to that position. Everyone knows about the electricity pole project. Tarique-Mamun duo looted thousands of crores of money from the government treasury without producing one megawatt of electricity. These looted moneys went abroad. Money laundering in Bangladesh was institutionalized under the leadership of Tarique Zia. This son of corruption has smuggled crores of money to different countries of the world. With which he is living a royal life comfortably in London.

Tarique Zia wanted a permanent settlement of power. For this he first destroyed the caretaker government. The constitution was amended to make Justice KM Hasan the head of the caretaker government. After that, the BNP government turned the election commission into a den of clowns. A list of one and a half million fake voters was prepared from Hawa Bhaban and given to the Election Commission. Such a situation was created that it became impossible for any party except BNP to win the election. Even after doing all this, Tarique Zia could not be convinced. That is why the 'master plan' to eliminate Awami League leadership was adopted. On August 21, 2004, the worst grenade attack in political history of Bangladesh took place. Tarique Zia wanted to bid farewell to Sheikh Hasina by bombing. But the Awami League president miraculously survived. After that, one drama after another was arranged to cover up this incident.

Tarique Zia, like his father, wanted to make Bangladesh another Pakistan. That is why various militant organizations like Bangla Bhai emerged under his patronage. Tarique started sponsoring Indian separatists with the advice and help of Pakistan. The big proof of this is the incident of 10 truckloads of weapons. Evidence of Tarique's association with Indian separatists, extremists and various militant organizations has emerged in US secret documents. Those documents were leaked by WikiLeaks.

Desperate to stay in power forever, Tarique Zia destroyed all government institutions. Supreme Court judges are appointed by party cadres. The police force, the armed forces, the civil administration everywhere was the formation of Tarique's own forces. That is why General Moin U Ahmed was appointed as the army chief after dismissing seven seniors. A loyal, obedient, spineless person like Dr. Yazuddin was made the President. Most BNP leaders believe that one-eleven came because of Tarique Zia's rampant corruption, ill-conceived wrong political decisions. And that's why burnt leaders like late Saifur Rahman, Mannan Bhuiyan, Sadek Hossain Khoka, Tariqul Islam did not show so much sympathy towards Tarique. Still most of the renegade leaders and workers of BNP think that Begum Zia and Tarique Zia are solely responsible for the current fate of BNP. Begum Zia was blind about her son. She supported her son in all his misdeeds. Many leaders of BNP said that if Begum Zia had kept Tarique under minimum rule, then the party would not be in this predicament today. Tariq and his friend Giasuddin Mamun were arrested at one-eleven. Begum Zia's cry and pleas freed Tarique Zia with special considerations and he went to London. While leaving, he gave a written bond to the effect that he will not do politics again. Just like the two scumbags on social media. But like the tail of a special animal, Tarique Zia's character is impossible to change. Tarique Zia is in London since 2008 and he is still doing the same crime that he did from 2001 to 2006. Sitting in London, he is continuing extortion, doing committee trade. It is now an open secret in BNP that without money one cannot even enter the ward committee. In BNP, those oppressed proved leaders do not get a place in any committee. Each of the BNP's committee announcements led to protests and revolts. Who got which position with how much money is openly discussed. Let's take the 2018 election. BNP decided to participate in that election unconditionally. National Unity Front was formed under the leadership of Dr. Kamal Hossain on the instructions of Tarique. Evil people say Tarique needed money at the time. This is the reason to go to the election. It is heard that about 500 crore nomination trade was made in that election. In various constituencies, those deprived of nominations held public press conferences and said how many nominations were sold. Can a party win an election with two or more candidates in almost all seats?

Many people think that the main goal of BNP's movement is extortion. This is because of the experience of 2013, 14 and 15. At that time, the group committed arson, looting and vandalism under Tarique's orders. The violent movement of that time was conducted with the aim of extorting money by scaring the traders. This time also at the beginning of the movement, various businessmen were called. Tarique Zia or his nominee would call and they were intimidated. Many businessmen want to have a relationship on both sides. Many people close to Hawa Bhaban, one of Tarique's financiers, are now close and confidants of the Awami League government. They started secretly sending money to Tarique Zia out of fear or thinking that BNP might come back to power. BNP organized hospos festival in the name of mass gathering with that smuggled money. Accomplices in this extortion mission of Tarique Zia were two miscreants known as extortionists, fraudsters on social media. This one photo reveals Tarique's secret love affair with the extortionist gang. This picture is an authentic document of Tarique Zia's treason. Garbage filled so called channels are constantly airing offensive obscenities against the state. Since Tarique Zia is the patron of this Hospos Treasure, it is irrefutable proof that he is a traitor. It is now as clear as clear water that on his orders some perverts are talking against the country. BNP's self-proclaimed acting chairman on the run in London has been sentenced to life imprisonment in a case. The High Court sentenced him to seven years’ imprisonment in a money laundering case. According to an order of the High Court, any statement of Tarique Zia is banned from broadcasting in Bangladesh.

According to the law of Bangladesh, Tarique Zia is a warrantless convict. Most Wanted. Tarique is also known internationally as a mafia don or godfather. No one considers him as a politician. But we often see Tarique Zia joining online in various functions of BNP. Talk on video conference. It amounts to contempt of court.

I think, the law enforcement and His Highness Court should immediately take exemplary action in this regard. Also, the pictures of the two miscreants published with the most wanted Tarique Zia in the name of so-called interview, all their content needs to be banned in Bangladesh. The Hon'ble High Court has taken a number of landmark motivated decisions. In this case, it is necessary to stop these anti-national garbage, foul-smelling words in Bangladesh. Urgent intervention of His Excellency's Department of Justice is necessary in this regard. Otherwise, no one will be spared from their nasty game. Besides, the convicted Tarique Zia should be brought back to the country immediately. He should be brought under the law. For this, honest and brave people should be placed in related places including foreign missions. Because Tarique Zia's followers are still playing havoc in the government. Those who still dream of putting Tarique Zia in power are harmful to the state. Now is the high time to identify them.


Tarique Zia   Treason  


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Editor's Mind

Sophism over presidential election; frustration on the faces of 1/11 conspirators

Publish: 10:00 AM, 18 Feb, 2023


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Once Gopal Bhar was in a serious stress. Maharaj Krishnachandra askes, ‘Gopal, can you tell me whats the distance between truth and lie?’ After thinking for a while Gopal said, 'Your Majesty, their distance is very short.' 'What are you saying?' roared Krishnachandra. 'Are you out of your mind?' 'Forgive me your Majesty. The distance between truth and falsehood is not greater than the distance between God's eyes and ears. Most of what one hears is not true. What the eye sees is the truth.' Maharaj Krishnachandra was pleased with Gopal's answer and rewarded him. Fortunately, Gopal Bhar was not born at this time. Then he would see that sometimes most of what the eye can see is false. Not only in all social media including YouTube, Facebook, but also in some mainstream media, it is as if an exhibition of lies has been opened. The distance between truth and falsehood is not small, but they have become one. Wise scholars are also selling lies in the guise of truth. Let's take the new presidential election for example. Md Sahabuddin was elected the 22nd President unopposed on February 13. The Prime Minister has ensured strict confidentiality in finalizing his nomination. Even the top leaders of Awami League were also in the dark before submitting their nomination papers for the presidential election on February 12. All those who have been mentioned in the media as potential presidents have been attacked on social media. Many unrealistic, obscene and ugly comments have been spread about them. Apparently, some were waiting to make the new president controversial and questionable in order to rig the upcoming national parliamentary elections. A group wants to thwart the upcoming National Assembly elections. That is why all arrangements were made to stir up water with the new president.

That is why the newly elected President Md. Sahabuddin was kept at a safe distance from Goebbelsian propaganda and the calculation of the conspirators were turned upside down. The great civil servants kept searching for information in the dark. But our civil society is a rare breed of genius. They have great skill in turning the truth into a lie. Bigger wizard than Jewel Aich to dispute any normal decision. A new president was elected and the civils will not question him? That’s impossible. Like searching for pearls in the sea, they started trying to find out the flaws of the new president. One of One-Eleven's Kushilabs and a One-Eleven's spokesperson newspaper, succeeded in this attempt. Two reports were published on the same topic in one day. Both have the same subject matter. Since the newly elected President was previously the Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Section 9 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2004 will apply to him. Article 9 regarding the 'Commissioner's Incapacity' states that 'after termination of service no Commissioner shall be eligible for the appointment of any an office of profit in the affairs of the republic'. Based on this source, the civil scholar ignited the criticism of the presidential election with a distorted interpretation of various articles of the constitution. Immediately, mourning started on social media and began the constitutional debate on the presidential election. Of course, I want to call it a bad argument rather than a debate. Because arguing loudly about a settled issue is a bad argument. Section 9 of the Anti-Corruption Commission Act states that, 'he shall not be eligible to be appointed to any an office of profit'. Which means, the government cannot 'Appoint' him in any office of profit. The question is whether the president is appointed? Article 48 of the Constitution states that "Bangladesh shall have a President who shall be elected by the Members of Parliament in accordance with law." The President is elected, not appointed. The President is above all individuals. Head of state. Who will appoint him? Who will sign his appointment letter? Therefore Section 9 of the ACC Act will not apply in this case.

Now let’s see if the post-presidency is an office of profit or not. The matter is clarified in Article 147 (3) of the Constitution. Article 147(4) of the Constitution states that the office of President, Prime Minister, Speaker or Deputy Speaker shall not be considered as office of profit. Therefore, according to the constitution, the post of President is not office of profit.

According to 48(4) b of the constitution, if a person is not eligible to be a member of parliament, he will be ineligible for election as president. Article 66 of the Constitution deals with the eligibility and disqualification of the President. Article 66(3) states... 'No person shall be deemed to hold any office of profit in the affairs of the Republic merely by virtue of being the President, Prime Minister, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Minister, Minister of State or Deputy Minister.' In other words, the fact that the post of President is not office of profit is clearly mentioned in the constitution. There is no if or but. Even if there is any doubt, only The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has sole jurisdiction to interpret various ambiguities of the Constitution. In 1996, the Awami League government elected the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Md. Sahabuddin Ahmed as the President. Some claim that since Sahabuddin Ahmed was the Chief Justice, he cannot be the President. Because according to them the post of President is office of profit. Justice Sahabuddin Ahmed's assumption of office as President was challenged in the High Court with such arguments. In that case, the High Court ruled that the post of President is not office of profit. After that, there is no opportunity to raise new questions about it. But after all it’s the civils. They themselves speak of the rule of law, yet they are the ones who violate it the most. Our civil servants talk about the independence of the judiciary. But when a civil controlled government came to power, they wanted to make the judiciary subservient to them. Used the judiciary to legitimize illegal power grabs. The constitutional validity of the unelected government of one-eleven was questioned. The caretaker government had a constitutional obligation to hold elections within 90 days. But Dr. Fakhruddin's unelected government's desire to run the country forever became increasingly visible. To give permanent settlement to the unelected government, one civil servent went to the High Court and said, ‘There will be no violation of the constitution if there is a caretaker government until new elections are held.’ In fact, Dr. Fakhruddin's two years in power was unconstitutional and this time again, the same civil society misinterpreted the constitution in the same way. It was this Civil who gave the knowledge to the nation a few days ago that 'there will be no harm if there is an elected government for a few years'. It is clear in the constitution that the post of President is not office of profit. There is no loophole in the constitution in this regard. The person or persons who tried to create controversy about the presidential election are ignorant, but not uneducated, stupid and there is a motive behind it. This is part of an ongoing effort to bring about another one-eleven. For the past one year, the Kushilabas of 1-11 have been busy and active. They are trying to mislead people with various false and misleading information about the country's economic crisis. Bringing up many interesting issues like good governance, democracy, corruption, etc. for the donors. Seeking to repeal the current constitution by talking about a state reform framework. BNP and other political parties are inciting arson, violence. Their aim is to create panic and unrest among the people. Civili society want political violence. If an ex-bureaucrat, a weak-minded figure or a man favored by the civils became the president, then the conspiracy would have been easy for them. Some of the civilists hoped that the new president would secretly ally them. Surrender to them out of fear or will break under pressure. But the name of the new president was not in their diary. They did not even think that the Prime Minister would make such a surprise about the new presidential election. The Prime Minister has made President a man who will not bow down. Won't give in to temptation. The newly elected president cannot be turned into a toy of the civils. He will not sell his ideals even at gunpoint. Some may think that the presidency is now a rhetorical term. What is there to calculate so much? What can the president do to protect democracy? Democracy can only be affected through the President. One-eleven is the last example of that.

The new president will take office on April 24 this year. At a challenging time, he has to be anointed as the first citizen of the country. The new president is therefore very important for the country and the state. At this time certain qualifications of the new president are essential to protect democracy. Especially when it comes to conspiracies regarding elections. Attempt to bring in another unelected government.

There was a need for a president who rose from the grassroots. Especially after the prudent guardianship of Md. Abdul Hamid, this expectation only raised among people who wanted democracy. Awami League President and Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, has nominated a person as President, who has grown from the grassroots. He was the president of Pabna District Chhatra League. He also served as the President of the District Jubo League at a difficult time. One who is idealistic and has passed the test of adversity can bravely face difficult situations when he becomes President. Sheikh Hasina has chosen someone as President who has not only passed the test of ideals, but is exemplary. On August 15, 1975, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally murdered with his whole family. After that, most of the Awami League leaders and workers were confused. At that time, the few leaders across the country protested the killing of the father of the nation. Md Sahabuddin Chuppu is one of them. He was tortured while protesting. Imprisoned. He was not distracted by any post 75 crisis. He has walked on the right path forever, steadfastly.

The third expectation was for a president who could stand up with personality and a straight spine. Who is not afraid of threats. Sahabuddin Chuppu is one such personality. He has given proof of this while serving the Anti-Corruption Commission. At this time, the drama of the World Bank started with corruption in the Padma bridge. The Anti-Corruption Commission investigated the matter. When World Bank representatives visit Bangladesh and held meetings with the Anti-Corruption Commission. Commissioner Md. Sahabuddin Chuppu was the mediator of the discussion on behalf of the ACC. He was the first to officially announce that there was no corruption in the Padma Bridge. He did not bow down to pressure from the World Bank. In the past, war criminals, anti-independence or opportunists who served Pakistanis in the war of liberation have become heads of state. They have tarnished this highest post. Freedom fighters like Zillur Rahman, Md. Abdul Hamid gave dignity to the post of President. Everyone expected that a brave freedom fighter should be the guardian of the state. The new president fulfils all these expectations.

The President is above the party. He is the guardian of the state. Therefore, it is important to focus on the expectations of the common people in the presidential nomination. What kind of president did the common people want? How much has the newly elected president of the Awami League met the expectations of the common people?

Common people want as president, a person without controversy. There is no major controversy in his working life. Md. Sahabuddin Chuppu is such a person. His illustrious career as a judge is unblemished and uncontroversial. In his career, he has performed his duties there and he has excelled himself there. The second expectation of the people is that the President should be polite and elegant in speech. Md Sahabuddin has spoken on various topics during his career and retirement. His speech was always elegant and restrained. He never made a fuss by making irresponsible controversial comments. He is known as a person with neat taste. Md Sahabuddin is always known as a 'low profile' person.

Common people want a president who is acceptable to all, above party affiliation. He might believe in one political ideology; he may have his own opinion on any political issue. But he will be a person who will value everyone's opinion. Listen to all sides. Md. Sahabuddin Chuppu had to stay in such a position as a judge for a long time. During his career, he never showed radical expression of party ideology. He was a person who was accepted by everyone even though he was steadfast in his beliefs. The proof is found in the election of the Secretary General of the Judicial Service in 1995. So, when Sahabuddin Chuppur's name was officially announced as the president, people were surprised, not disappointed.

It will be understood only after assuming responsibility, how efficiently and impartially Md. Sahabuddin can perform his duties. But his past indicated that he will serve as a fearless guardian to protect democracy. Sheikh Hasina once again proved that she is a seasoned jeweler. Keeping everyone's expectations in mind, the way she chose the name of the new president took her to new heights. Sheikh Hasina appointed the new president after many calculations. In this, Kushilav's dice of 1-11 are overturned. They understood that the newly elected president would not be Iajuddin. The civils dream for another one-eleven is only getting blurred. Trying to create a debate whether their presidency is office of profit from the pain of frustration. The Civils thought that in the same way that they had given credibility to the propaganda about Bangladesh's human rights crisis, they would also oust the President with a heavy and rigid interpretation of the Constitution. Civilians know very well that another one-eleven is not possible if Md. Sahabuddin is the president like Abdul Hamid.

By adding Article 7(a) of the Constitution, the Prime Minister has permanently blocked the way to seize power unconstitutionally. And by showing surprise in the new presidential election, she closed the door of conspiracy in Bangabhaban.



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Editor's Mind

Why is Pakistan ahead of Bangladesh in the index made by civil society?

Publish: 11:15 AM, 04 Feb, 2023


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Pakistan is on the verge of bankruptcy. The country's foreign exchange reserves are now a little over three billion dollars. The country can meet only three weeks of import expenses with that. Pakistan's foreign debt is 274 billion dollars. Inflation is over 24 percent. In such an extreme situation, the country sought emergency loan assistance of 7.5 billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund. But the IMF has only agreed to lend up to $110 billion with several conditions. To fulfill these conditions Pakistan's economy is facing even more challenges. A joke has become quite popular in Pakistan amid this hardship. Journalists in Pakistan are saying, why take loan from IMF when they can take loan from Pervez Musharraf, Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari? According to Reuters, these three former governments of Pakistan have looted assets worth of 200 billion dollars from the head of state. Their looted money is lying idle in UK, UAE and Saudi Arabia. While there was a lot of criticism and discussion about this Pakistan, Transparency International brought good news for the country. On that day, Transparency International released the Corruption Perceptions Index Report 2022. In this list of 180 countries, Pakistan has been recognized as a less corrupt country than Bangladesh and Afghanistan. By getting 25 points, the position of Bangladesh is 147th in the list. Where, Pakistan has got two points (27) more than Bangladesh and is seven steps ahead (140th). The Pakistanis should have been very happy with this but istead they are quite surprised and shocked. An economist called Transparency International's report the best joke of the year on Dunia News' popular programme 'Duniya Kamran Khan Ke Saath'. He sarcastically said that, ‘Pakistan government surely sent some really valuable present so Pakistan is placed above Bangladesh. The economist said, 'The state-sponsored looting in Pakistan is unprecedented in the world. The corruption in Pakistan is uncomparable. If there is less corruption in Pakistan than Bangladesh, then why Bangladesh is so far ahead of Pakistan?’ Discussions over Bangladesh have taken a quite strong place among the people of Pakistan since last few days. There is now open self-criticism about Bangladesh's progress, development etc. While there is hymn of Bangladesh among the Pakistan's media workers, intellectuals, economists, some Pakistan lovers in Bangladesh continues to love Pakistan no matter what. They want caretaker government like Pakistan. Supreme Court like Pakistan. Want to oppose India, like Pakistan. A top leader of the main opposition political party said, the people of this country were better off under Pakistan’s military regime. They must be very happy with TI's Corruption Index report. Pakistan is a country where politicians and the army celebrate plunder together. A country where development of Rs 126,000 crore is on paper but not in reality. A country where tenders are given for the construction of 42 bridges in Sindh, money is allocated, construction of the bridge is completed on paper, the contractor takes the money but after 5 years they discover that no bridge has actually been built. The money went directly from the government treasury to the contractor and the contractor distributed the money among politicians, generals. The IMF said about Pakistan that, the country lacks minimum accountability. The US Congress has alleged that Pakistani government officials looted flood relief aid. What did Transparency International prove by showing Pakistan as a less corrupt country than Bangladesh? 

Not only Pakistan, according to TI report Sri Lanka's corruption situation is also much better than Bangladesh. The country is now bankrupt due to the unprecedented corruption of the Rajapaksa family. Inflation is 95 percent. The New York Times report said, "A Ruling Family on the Run as Sri Lanka Plunges into Economic Ruin." The Washington Post report was titled "A Country Ruined by the Greed of a Family." That Sri Lanka is 46 places ahead of Bangladesh (101st) in TI's corruption index. Sri Lanka points 36. Despite passing the corruption test, Sri Lanka is bankrupt. 'Sri Lanka' is a big question in the credibility and transparency of Transparency International's report. Earlier this Berlin-based anti-corruption organization identified Bangladesh as a more corrupt country than Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The Corruption Perceptions Index portrays Bangladesh as a country steeped in rampant corruption. Pakistan and Sri Lanka did not have this situation then. But the picture of corruption within the two countries did not come up in the previous reports of Transparency. The real reason for the economic crisis of the two countries is now being revealed. The unlimited corruption and open looting of the two countries is horrifying. The corruption of these two countries cannot be compared with any other country. The fact that the TI report is half-truth, fabricated and politically expedient is clear from the evaluation of these two countries. Recently, Indian industrial group Adani has been in the limelight around the world. The Adani empire is crumbling after the publication of a research report by the US research institute Hindenburg. Hindenburg claimed that, ‘They are looting the country under Indian flag’. The amount of fraud and corruption allegations leveled against one Adani industrial group is equivalent to one year's national budget of Bangladesh. But India's position is 87th in TI's concept index. The world's largest democracy has a score of 40. Is there so much difference between the corruption of India and Bangladesh?

Not only the concept of corruption index, in any index, a trend can be observed to show Bangladesh miserable and failed. Last year, Reports Without Borders released the Media Freedom Index. Bangladesh's position is 162 in this. According to the report, Pakistan (157), Afghanistan (156) and Russia (155) have more independent media than Bangladesh. Quite weird right? This indicator is ridiculous, fictitious and without any relevant data. I would like to refer to an AFP report about Pakistan's media. The report said, "Pakistan's media is crushed under the sole of the boot." The media there is as independent as the army wants. The International Press Institute (IPI) released a report on media freedom in Pakistan on January 12 this year. IPI identified 38 serious rights violations in Pakistan in this report over the period April to September 2022. Among them, the sedition case against three journalists in April was important. I do not want to say anything new about the state of media in Russia. According to a report by Freedom House, "Russian media were better off under communist rule than they are today." Russian media is fully controlled and subject to 100% censorship. A Reuters report on media freedom in Afghanistan said, "Afghanistan is the most difficult and inaccessible place for media in the world." How is Bangladesh placed behind these scary countries for media? India is the largest democratic country in the world. Recently, a one-hour documentary titled 'India: The Modi Question' was released on BBC. Soon after its release, India took a hard line on the documentary. The documentary was ordered to be taken down from all social media including YouTube. India prohibits all forms of exhibition of the documentary. It needs to be said that 'The Modi Question' is a biased documentary. The minimum standards of journalism were not followed. Anyone who sees the report will understand that there is a political motive behind it. Towards the end of the report, doubts and apprehensions are also expressed about media freedom in India. There are also allegations that opposition views are being suppressed. But still, in a free-thinking country like India, the banning of a documentary is definitely an uncomfortable event for the media. Compared to that, isn’t Bangladesh very liberal in terms of media freedom? Al-Jazeera also published a false baseless report titled 'All the Prime Minister's Men' against Bangladesh. But the Bangladesh government did not ban the report. This one sided, fabricated baseless report is still circulating freely on YouTube across all social media platforms. Not only that, YouTube, Facebook and social media are now running a hate festival. Some individuals are making baseless ugly attacks against the state, country, government and various individuals. People are freely watching these. Unbridled arbitrariness in social media is now a great disease. Not only on social media, but on television talk shows, the government is being torn apart and salted. A couple of mainstream media are spreading rumors in a planned way. The way in which two media outlets have been incompetent about Islami Bank is a form of treason. But the government has not imposed any censorship in this regard. There is no prohibition. Nobody was oppressed or intimidated because of this. People are enjoying freedom of expression freely. Media workers will certainly collect news from any source. Develop investigative journalism. But theft of government documents cannot be a means of gathering information. This is not only against journalistic principles but also against ethics. Theft is a punishable offence. However, some have been made heroes of media workers who stole government documents in Bangladesh. By awarding him various rewards, his true crime is being covered up. The attitude of some is that stealing documents is the real freedom. The country has Right to Information Act. Any media worker can seek information from any department of the government. If the information is not given, there is a system to complain to the commission in the law. But still why steal information? What is the purpose of condoning immoral acts? There is a lot of discussion about digital security laws. It is true that certain provisions of the Digital Security Act are objectionable. The journalist community has been demanding the cancellation of these clauses for a long time. The law minister has repeatedly assured that the inconsistencies in this law will be removed. But it has not been done so far. However, the misuse of this law has decreased in recent times and I refuse to accept that this law is the only barrier to independent journalism. Before this act, many journalists including Manik Chandra Saha (15 January 2004), Humayan Kabir Balu (27 June 2004) were killed while performing their professional duties. Their brutal murder stunned the media. What was the condition of media workers from 2001 to 2006? We are past that terrible time. Such cases are almost non-existent now. The government is being criticized freely in newspapers, electronic media, online media. Still, why Bangladesh is behind of Pakistan, Afghanistan and India in the Media Freedom Index? For the same reason that Bangladesh is more corrupt than Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the TI index, Bangladesh is behind Pakistan and Afghanistan in the media freedom index. To understand the reason for this, we first need to know how international organizations such as Transparency International, Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International create indexes. These organizations collect data for reports from Bangladesh. Take Transparency International for example. World Bank, IMF, ADB or various organizations conduct various surveys and researches on the financial issues of Bangladesh throughout the year and datas from these surveys and studies are the main data source for TI's Corruption Perceptions Index. This survey and research work is done by our civil intellectuals. They conduct surveys and research by talking to businessmen, various service users. Unfortunately, these civil servants of ours are evil in two ways. First, they think Bangladesh needs to be portrayed negatively in order to sustain their income. If all goes wellin Bangladesh, their value will decrease in the international intelligence market. Let's take the Rohingya problem of Bangladesh. If the Rohingyas go back to their country, then at the moment about 1000 small and big domestic and international development organizations will be closed or face financial crisis. So, it is their great responsibility to keep the Rohingya crisis alive at any cost. That is why they give various fabricated information on this issue. They incite the Rohingyas and make long arguments about their rights. Same goes for corruption. Corruption is decreasing in Bangladesh. Or that the government is trying to fight corruption - such a message would put many people's Pajero cars, air-conditioned offices at risk. As a result, it is important for their livelihood to inflate Bangladesh with corruption. No one will say that there is no corruption in Bangladesh. The rampant corruption by a group is engulfing the country's development. Money laundering is a deadly disease for Bangladesh. For generations to come, we must win the war against corruption to continue Bangladesh's development progress. There is no alternative. But no sane person will believe that Bangladesh is more corrupt than Pakistan, Sri Lanka. No country in the world can prevent corruption without citizen awareness. But a culture of scrutinizing and blaming will hide the corrupt.

Civil intellectuals in Bangladesh who conduct surveys and research on corruption, human rights and media have another problem. More specifically, they have a purpose. That is depoliticisation. A section of civil society in Bangladesh is anti-democratic. Every time an undemocratic force has seized power since 1975, this section of the civil society has been the beneficiary. They have prepared their own sugarcane under the undemocratic government. They are addicted to enjoying power without people's support. The aim of these leftist philanthropists is to endanger politics and the democratic process in any way possible. The last time they tasted power was on January 11, 2007. They have been hungry for a long time. Therefore, they want to injure democracy with words like corruption, human rights, good governance etc. That's why they conduct such surveys to reveal a faded image of Bangladesh. So that people distrust politics. Welcomes undemocratic rule. That's why these reports are given extra color. Bangladesh is shown to be much worse than the actual situation.

There is also another reason. There is also a reason. These white civil servants of ours are anti-Bangladesh and pro-Pakistan by descent. The love of Pakistan runs in their blood through their ancestors. They can't say it openly, but their hearts cry for Pakistan. So, they create data in such a way that it can be proven that Bangladesh is behind Pakistan. But this time, while showing love to Pakistan, their true face has come out. Making Bangladesh worse than Pakistan while making it look corrupt. Now, civil society should be ashamed. So what? This is how civil society continues. Even after all their predictions and projections are wrong, they continue to proudly say 'Bangladesh's future is bleak.' The more Bangladesh moves forward, the longer their sigh of despair grows.



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