Renewing her allegation that Khandaker Mostaque and Ziaur Rahman had their part in the conspiracy to kill Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday urged people to remain alert about those who want to push the country backward.“The killers executed the killing mission in a planned way and there was a big conspiracy behind that. Killer Mostaque and his cohort Ziaur Rahman were involved in that conspiracy as Mostaque declared himself President illegally and Zia Army Chief soon afterwards,” she said.
She continued, “We want to take the country forward, but still there’re some people who want to push it backward. The country’s people will have to remain alert about them.”
The Prime Minister was addressing a discussion organised by Awami League at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre marking the 42nd anniversary of martyrdom of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
With the passage of time, she said, Ziaur Rahman grabbed power illegally and held three posts — President, Chief Martial Law Administrator and the Army Chief – simultaneously.
Hasina said Zia then promulgated the Indemnity Ordinance blocking the path for holding trial of the killers of Bangabandhu apart from rehabilitating them through appointing them in various Bangladesh missions abroad. “Even Zia freed the convicted war criminals.”
The Prime Minister said Barrister Mainul Hosein then had formed a progressive political party with killers Huda and Shahriar while Zia had made Bangabandhu’s killers prime minister, ministers and even his advisers, Ershad had formed Freedom Party with killers Rashid and Huda and Khaleda Zia had made killers Rashid and Huda opposition MPs through the controversial and voter-less February 15 election in 1996.
Mentioning that nowadays all become vocal when a killing takes place, she said but no one questions why those who remained in power after 1975 rewarded the Bangabandhu killers, Hasina said.
She alleged that after that heinous killing, she could not seek justice as that right was snatched through the Indemnity Ordinance. “Even Ziaur Rahman didn’t allow my younger sister Sheikh Rehana to renew her passport,” she said.
Hasina said Rehana first joined a rally in Sweden in 1979 in protest against the Bangabandhu killing. Later, an inquiry commission was constituted in 1980 in London comprising Nobel laureate Sharon Bright and British parliament member Sir Tomas William to investigate the killing. “But Ziaur Rahman didn’t allow them to come to Bangladesh,” she said adding had not Zia been involved in the killing he would have let the Investigation Commission to conduct their investigation.”
Posing a question, the Prime Minister said why BNP enforced a hartal on the day when the judge was set to give the verdict in the Bangabandhu murder case.
About criticism of the national election by a section, she said a political party has to pay the price when its leader makes a mistake. “But, why should the democratic process of a country be destroyed for that? The country has been witnessing massive socio-economic development since there has been a democratic process.”
Without naming anyone, Hasina advised the man to listen to the speech of Yeahia Khan delivered on March 26 where he had solely held Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman responsible, saying the order of death sentence was issued by Pakistan only against Bangabandhu during that time. “Now we hear many things, but time has not come to respond to all of those. However, time will come one day.”
The Prime Minister also recalled the martyrs of the August 15 killing with a heavy heart.
She also sought the blessings of all so that no one can play ‘ducks and drakes’ with people’s fate and so that no one can snatch the possibility of enjoying a better life.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Health Minister Mohammad Nasim, Dhaka University Professor Dr Syed Anwar Hossain, eminent cultural personality Ataur Rahman, noted journalist Abed Khan and Simin Hossain Rimi, MP, also spoke at the programme.
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor and Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman recited poems remembering the martyrs of August 15 massacre.
Earlier, a one-minute silence was observed in memory of the martyrs.