AL govt once again pledges Jamaat’s trial
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League government will amend a relevant law to try Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party for crimes against humanity during the 1971 liberation war, law minister Anisul Huq said on Wednesday.
The AL government, in its earlier tenure, pledged time and again to try Jamaat as a political party which opposed creation of Bangladesh by supprting the Pakistan military regime in 1971.
A number of top leaders of Jamaat were convicted for crimes against humanity under the International Crimes Tribunal Act and executed earlier and the tribunal recommended trial of the Jamaat as a party.
Law minister Anisul Huq, who also held the same portfo between 2014 and 2018, told the media on Wednesday that the the International Crimes Tribunal Act would be amended to make it suitable for trying the Jamaat as a political party.
Jamaat, a key component of the BNP-led 29-party alliance, is a party which is de-registered from the election commission’s list.
The AL’s archrival Bangladesh Nationalist Party, complained many times that the AL camp has been doing politics by not banning the Jamaat to attain political gain despite the former’s criticism of it.
However, the new law minister said the current administratrion of premier Sheikh Hasina would make all the necessary arrangements to ensure that Jamaat is banned.
“As per the directive of prime minister Sheikh Hasina, the draft of the amended law will be sent to the cabinet division for placing it before the cabinet meeting,” Anisul said while talking to reporters at the secretariat.
The AL government reportedly took initiative to amend the law to ban Jamaat four and half years ago and Anisul too said on several occasions that the revised law will be placed in the cabinet meeting.
Jamaat’s registration with the election commission was declared illegal by the High Court on 1 August 2013 following a writ petition filed in 2009 by Bangladesh Tariqat Federation’s secretary general Rezaul Haque Chandpuri and 24 others.
Still the verdict was not enough to bar the party from carrying out its politics. A total of 22 Jamaat leaders participated in recently held 11th parliamentary elections, but under the umbrella of the BNP.
Jamaat, considered a major Islamist political organisation in the South Asian sub-continent, started its journey in 1941 under the leadership of Syed Abul A’la Moududi with the name Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
The party was banned in Pakistan in 1964 during General Ayub Khan’s regime.
Jamaat which opposed Bangladesh’s liberation in 1971, was banned again after independence.
The BNP’s founder Ziaur Rahman allowed Jamaat along with some other banned political parties to allow them to carry out politics and since then the party participated in most of the general elections, except the ones held in March 1988, February 1996 and January 2014.