ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s National Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution condemning the execution of Jamat-e-Islami Bangladesh leader Abdul Qadir Mollah for alleged war crimes.
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s National Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution condemning the execution of Jamat-e-Islami Bangladesh leader Abdul Qadir Mollah for alleged war crimes.
Pakistan’s National Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution condemning the execution of Jamat-e-Islami Bangladesh leader Abdul Qadir Mollah for alleged war crimes.
The lower house of the parliament adopted the resolution presented by Jamat-e-Islami Pakistan’s parliamentarian Sher Akbar Khan with a majority rather than with unanimity.
The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) whose founder, and a prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is also held responsible for dismemberment of Pakistan in 1971 by blockading the transfer of power to majority Bengali party in the wake of 1970 general elections, opposed the resolution. Another party, Muttehida Quami Movement (MQM), that enjoys strongholds in southern port city of Karachi, too opposed the resolution.
However, the majority members of the parliament supported the resolution demanding Bangladeshi Prime Minister Hasina Wajid, the daughter of the country’s father of nation, Shaikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, to withdraw cases against Jamat leaders and refrain from resurrecting the issues of 1971.
“We respect the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh but there should be a policy of forget and forgive,” Interior Minister Chaudry Nisar Ali Khan said while supporting the JI’s resolution.
“Abdul Qadir Mollah’s execution is a judicial murder, which is very unfortunate,” he added.
Opposing the resolution, Abdul Sattar Bachani, a PPP parliamentarian, said that Bangladesh is an independent country therefore “we should not object to the decision”.
He raised the question as to whether Mollah was involved in murder of thousands of people.
Interestingly, the PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto too had been sent to gallows as a result of his controversial conviction by the Supreme Court in a murder case in 1979 by then military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq,
The PPP dubs the execution of its leader as “judicial murder”.
Formerly known as East Pakistan, Bangladesh came into being on December 16, 1971 following a war between Pakistan and India. Bangladesh declares the 1971 battle as war of independence.
Jamat-e-Islami had supported Pakistan army in the war and formed a volunteer group consisting of pro-Pakistani youths to defend the non-Bengali population of the country. However, the Bangladesh government blames the volunteer group namely “Al-badr” for human rights violations and killing of several Bengali intellectuals and writers at the behest of Pakistan army.
Some 100,000 people were arrested after separation of Bangladesh in 1972, of them 37,000 were charged for war crimes. However, war crime cases were registered only over 2,800 suspects, of them 785 were convicted by courts. Those 785 people were also released and cases were withdrawn under an amnesty act issued by the then Prime Minister Shaikh Mujeeb-ur-Rehman in 1973.
But, the incumbent Bangladeshi government reopened cases against Jamat leaders, including its 91-year old former chief Professor Ghulam Azam for alleged war crimes last year. Mr. Azam and five other senior Jamat leader including the current chief Muti-ur-Rehman Nizami have been handed down punishments ranging from death penalty to life imprisonment by controversial war crimes tribunals sparking widespread violence and fears of a civil war in the country.