On November 1, 2018, Awami League held a dialogue with Jatiya Oikya Front at Ganobhaban. It also could not bring any result in the final stage. Now again on November 4, the Election Commission has organized a discussion with 44 parties. If BNP wants to come to the elections, then they can give their advice to the Election Commission to improve the electoral environment – After the 2014 elections, Brigadier Khaled Musharraf’s daughter was elected as a Member of Parliament in the reserved seat for women in the National Parliament. Then a scholar told me, Khaled Musharraf’s role in the November 1975 conspiracy is not clear. I then sent him the gazette notification of the Judicial Inquiry Commission on Jail Murder dated 5th November 1975 signed by the murderer Mushtaq. Justice Ahsanuddin Chowdhury (affiliate division) was made the chairman of that inquiry commission and Justice KM Sobhan and Justice Syed Mohammad Hossain (High Court division) as members. By looking at this gazette notification, it can be understood that Khaled Musharraf forced the commission of inquiry by pressuring the murderer Mushtaq and after November 7, Ziaur Rahman came to power and canceled the commission of inquiry. November is the month of murder and conspiracy. It can be clearly said that in the history of the last 52 years, those who have come to power, except Awami League, have come to power through the continuation of politics of murder and conspiracy. If one dispassionately reviews history, this truth will emerge. After Bangabandhu’s assassination, we were very young, studying in school. We have been given a lot of strange information then. One of my school-friend’s father once told us that Sheikh Mujib was smuggling all the country’s goods to India. The price of goods has increased because of this. Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmad, Mansoor Ali, Kamaruzzaman were killed by soldiers in November, three months after Sheikh Mujib’s death, as they again started plotting for India. Look no further, prices of goods have started to rise again. A little older, I learned that the gentleman was a member of the peace committee during the 1971 liberation war. When I learned to understand little by little, I understood that all those statements were fabricated and purposeful. An important book was published in March 2020 from ‘Prthma Prakashan’. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s First Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Professor Nurul Islam has given the reader many important information. I am extracting several important facts from published books. By June 1975, the country’s economy began to experience a fairly stable effect… Currency supply declined from Tk 937.76 crore in December 1974 to Tk 814.33 crore in June 1975 and during the same period foreign exchange reserves 111 .49 crores increased to 350.80 crores. A downward trend has been observed in the price of rice as the stock of foodgrains has improved. Prices of some other essential commodities also came under control. By June, the price of rice has come down from Tk 8 to Tk 5.50 per shilling in January, long cloth from Tk 13 to Tk 11.50 per shilling, mustard oil from Tk 41.68 to Tk 30.37 a shilling, potato from Tk 2.05 to Tk 1.50 a shilling. In rupee terms, roe fish fell to Tk 10 from Tk 14.14 and kerosene fell to Tk 1.20 from Tk 1.40. In this, the effect of improvement in the cost of living is also observed. The cost of living index for the middle class in Dhaka city decreased from 458.5 in January to 416.9 in April and the food price index decreased from 546.3 to 459.0 in the same period. The development of the situation alarmed the conspirators. They killed Bangabandhu on August 15, 1975 without delay. In November 1974, the situation turned favorable. At that time, on May 27, 1974, an unexpected bad news came through the US ambassador. The United States has learned that Bangladesh is selling bags of chaat to Cuba and that countries that trade with Cuba cannot receive that food aid, according to the United States Food Aid Act (PL 480). The explanation I (Professor Nurul Islam) gave in response was as follows—Bangladesh Jute Corporation actually sold 4 million bags for 5 million USD, it was just a one-off sale. Cuba does not have a long-term commercial agreement with Bangladesh to sell bags of chaat and selling bags of chaat in Cuba is not a regular business for Bangladesh. [অধ্যাপক নুরুল ইসলামের লেখা ‘বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান কাছে থেকে দেখা’]
Economist Musharraf Hossain, a member of the first Planning Commission of Bangladesh, went to Karachi in January 1975 to attend the meeting of the Third World Forum. His uncle was the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. One of the prominent Pakistani citizens who talked to him at his house asked if Bangladesh will be a province of Pakistan again. In response, Musharraf Hossain said, Bangladesh is now an independent country. Then that person brought up the topic of Bangabandhu and said, ‘He will be killed in a few days.’ [আগস্ট স্মৃতি]
Two. The fact that General Ziaur Rahman was aware of the Bangabandhu assassination plot was probably first officially published or broadcast in 1976 in the World in Action program of the ITV channel in Bilet, given to journalist Anthony Mascarenhas. Colonel (Retd.) Syed Farooq Rahman and Lieut. Through an interview with Colonel (retd) Khandaker Abdur Rashid. In this interview Farooq-Rashid claimed that they informed Zia long before August 15 about the Bangabandhu assassination plot. Farooq said, ‘On March 20, 1975, he met Zia at 7:30 pm at Zia’s house and told him, The country required a change.’ Zia replied, ‘Yes, yes, let’s go outside and talk.’ Then Zia went outside to the lawn of the house with Farooq. There Farooq said again, ‘We have to have a change. We, the junior officers, have already worked it out. We want your support and leadership. Zia’s response was very clear. Zia said, ‘If you want to do something, you junior officers should do it yourself…’ [‘Anthony Mascarenhas, Bangladesh A Legacy of Blood’, page 54, Hodder and Stroughton, London, 1986]
We can certainly wonder or question, is it true just because Farooq-Rashid said it? It may also be that they want to put the blame on others to lessen their guilt. But the question is why Zia? Why not another senior officer? Did they say Zia’s name suddenly or randomly? Analysis shows that this is not the case at all. Evidence of this can be found in an interview given to Zia Mascarenhas in 1976. In the words of Mascarenhas: ‘In July 1976, While doing a TV program in London on the killing of Sheikh Mujib I confronted Zia with what Farook had said.’ Zia refrained from answering in this regard. His conversation with Farooq came as follows: ‘Zia did not deny it-nor did he confirm it’ [‘Anthony Mascarenhas, BangladeshÑA Legacy of Blood’, page 54, Hodder and Stroughton, London, 1986]
Further evidence of the truth came years later in 1997, when Farooq was in jail and Rashid was in Europe. American journalist Lawrence Lifschulz met Rashid in Europe in 1997. In the words of Lifschulz: ‘In 1997 I met Rashid for several hours in an European city… I went over with him exactly what he had told Mascarenhas about Zia’s involvement. Rashid confirmed to me the accuracy of his interview with Mascarenhas. Not only that, Rashid told Lifschulz many more details in this regard. Rashid emphatically says, ‘He (Rashid) had met General Zia numerous times prior to the coup and that Zia was fully in the picture’. [In conversation with Lawrence Lifschultz The Daily Star, December 4, 2014] The evidence of Farooq-Rashi’s meeting and discussion with Zia has been many times, Rashid’s wife Zobayda Rashid’s statement. He said, “One night Farooq Zia came back from his house and told my husband (Rashid) that if the government changes, Zia wants to become the president. Not only that. Zia also said: If it is a success then come to me. If it is a failure then do not involve me.’ [আসাদুজ্জামান, বস সবকিছুর ব্যবস্থা নিচ্ছেন, প্রথম আলো, ১৫ আগস্ট, ২০১৮]
Similarly, whether Zia was aware of the Bangabandhu assassination plot or not can be understood from the conversation between Colonel Shafayet Jamil and Zia a few hours after Bangabandhu’s assassination. But the matter must be understood from a psychological point of view. That morning Shafayet went to meet Jamil Zia and saw him shaving. Jamil said to Zia, ‘The President has been killed, Sir. What are your orders?’ In reply, Zia said, ‘If the President is no longer there, then the Vice President is there. Go to your headquarters and wait there.’ Then Zia looked very calm in Jamil’s eyes, ‘Evidently aware of what had happened’ [‘Anthony Mascarenhas, Bangladesh A Legacy of Blood’, page 76, 1986]
A few things are clear from the above analysis—Zia was already aware of the Bangabandhu assassination plot; No legal action was taken against the conspirators; Rather encouraged the conspirators and also wished to exploit the impending situation for personal gain. From these facts and analysis, it can be said beyond doubt that Zia had full support for the assassination of Bangabandhu and the illegal overthrow of an elected government. The results of Lifschulz’s research and analysis in this regard are clear: ‘Had he (Zia) been against the coup, as Deputy Chief of the Army, Zia could have stopped it.’
On August 15, 2019, Prothom Alo editor Motiur Rahman wrote a special report under his own name. The headline was – ‘Zia, Ershad and Khaleda government protect the murderous gang.’ He specifically mentioned, ‘The BNP government once again blocked the way to implement the verdict of the Bangabandhu murder trial. In 2007, the judicial process resumed under the caretaker government and one of the convicted was brought back from the United States. Then again at the beginning of 2009, when the Awami League government came to power, the way to execute the killers of Bangabandhu was opened. Thus it can be seen, during the regime of President Zia, dictator Ershad and Khaleda Zia, the murder of Bangabandhu was not allowed to be prosecuted for more than three decades. Not only that, they have protected and cooperated with the murderous gang.’ Now in the field of politics, I see a kind of cry that dialogue is dialogue. There is a veneer of party neutrality. But as many dialogues have been held in Bangladesh so far, none of them could bring any result. Before the elections in 1979, Zia took the initiative of dialogue with Justice Sattar. Progressive parties including Awami League rejected this dialogue. Ershad spoke before the 1986 and 1988 elections. They also did not yield any results. Dialogue was held in 1994 at the embassy of the Commonwealth Secretary-General, America, but failed. A dialogue initiated by Jimmy Carter in 2001 also failed. The Jalil-Mannan dialogue in 2006 was also unsuccessful. In 2013, the dialogue was initiated by Oscar Fernandez Taranco. That also fails. On November 1, 2018, Awami League held a dialogue with Jatiya Oikya Front at Ganobhaban. It also could not bring any result in the final stage. Now again on November 4, the Election Commission has organized a discussion with 44 parties. If BNP wants to come to the election, then they can give their advice to the Election Commission to improve the electoral environment.
Author: political analyst; Former Vice President- Bangladesh Pharmacy Council, Chief Editor- Weekly Bangla Bichitra and ABnews24.com.