Bangladesh: Hard Times for Jamat-i-Islami
By Ali Sukhanver
We can never chain the wild passion of love; and same is the case with hatred. Love and hatred are not much different from blindness. Love compels us to ignore and overlook all flaws and demerits of the person we are in love with; while hatred makes us forgetful of all positive and constructive characteristics of the person we hate. The same story of love and hate we find at its best when we look at the relationship of Sheikh Hasina with Pakistan and India. She loves India; she hates Pakistan. This is the reason she ignores all that is good in Pakistan and all that is bad in India. A few days back I was listening to the speech of Mr. Narendra Modi delivered there in Dacca. He was proudly confessing that his country had a role in that war which created Bangladesh. He admitted that the establishment of Bangladesh and division of Pakistan was a desire of every Indian. Whatever thoughts Mr. Modi expressed in his speech were no doubt his personal thoughts and certainly his thoughts might be very much precious and valuable from Indian point of view but his statement brought back to my memories a disturbing video which was accessed by the media somewhere in the beginning of 2012. In that video a group of Indian BSF jawans was beating up a young Bangladeshi boy ruthlessly. The incident took place near the Bangladesh border. According to the details, the BSF jawans arrested that poor young Bangladeshi boy when he was driving his animals back to his home. Mistakenly one of his animals crossed the border and stepped into the Indian soil. The Indian BSF jawans asked him to bribe them but the young Bangladeshi refused to do so because he had nothing in his pocket. His refusal raged the BSF jawans a lot; they threw him to the ground with his hands and feet tied and the men in uniform started torturing him and stripping him naked. Certainly when Mr. Modi was expressing his marvelous and matchless love and affection for the people of Bangladesh in Dacca, that poor young boy of Murshidabad district in West Bengal might be recalling to the pain and agony he had been a victim to, three years back at the hands of brutal Indian soldiers of BSF. But all such brutalities have no value and importance for the Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh because she loves those who hate Pakistan and hates those who love Pakistan. In her desire of seeing Pakistan vanished from the world map, she has utterly neglected the fact that today’s Bangladesh once had been a part of Pakistan. The people of two countries had spent so many years together and they still have a very strong binding force, the force of Islam. She is so prejudiced in her disliking for Pakistan that she has started murdering her own people in the name of hatred for Pakistan. There is a long list of the leaders and workers of Jamat-e-Islami Bangladesh who are being sentenced to death just because they did not favour the division of Pakistan in 1971. According to media reports Bangladesh’s Supreme Court last week sustained the death sentence of Jamat-i-Islami’s Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid for war crimes and crimes against humanity during the so-called independence war against Pakistan in 1971. He was convicted of five charges including murder, abduction and torture in 2013. The 65-year-old Mohammad Mujahid will be hanged if the case is not reviewed by the same court or if he doesn’t get a presidential clemency. Earlier in April 2015, a sixty two years old Jamat-i-Islami leader Muhammad Qamar-u-Zaman was also sentenced to death for his war crimes during 1971. He was the second leader of Jamat-i-Islami who had to pass through that inhuman and unjust trial. It is something very remarkable that Sheikh Hasina paid no heed to last-minute pleas by the United Nations and ordered the jail authorities to go ahead with the execution. The European Union and various human rights organizations also requested the Bangladesh government to halt the hanging but all requests were flatly dismissed. After the execution, the UN said that the trial did not meet “fair international” standards. Before Muhammad Qamar-u-Zaman another prominent leader of Jamat-i-Islami Abdul Qadir Mulla was also hanged in December 2013 for the same ‘crime’.
It seems that Sheikh Hasina’s hateful thirst for the blood of those who tried to save Pakistan from division would never come to an end. Just to satisfy her thirst for a nameless and baseless revenge, Hasina established a war tribunal in 2010 to penalize those who opposed separation from Pakistan in 1971. The story of this brutality did not stop here. According to a report, on the direction of Sheikh Hasina, the security forces of Bangladesh killed hundreds of Jamat-i-Islami’s activists in 2013 when the party held a series of nationwide protests to halt the war crimes trials of its leaders, and tens of thousands were arrested. The situation is certainly painful and agonizing for all those who wish to see the Islamic world united but for Modi Sarkar, things are heading on in the right direction. And for Sheikh Hasina, it is an immaculately perfect scenario because she loves India, she loves Narendra Modi and loves everyone who hates Pakistan and she is among her loved ones. And we must know that all is fair in love and war.