Mohammad Ali Sattar
Begum Khaleda Zia has been shut off in her Gulshan office since January 3 this year. She went there to attend a party meeting and as she was about to go on to visit her ailing colleague Rizvi at BNP head office at Naya Paltan she was prevented by the law enforcing men who stood guard at the main entrance of her office.
Well that was it. She was unofficially interned from here on. The call for country wide blockade came from her on January 5, marking the controversial national polls held in January 2014. The ongoing movement actually began from there.
Ever since she found herself in such a situation her political strategies began to take twists and turns with each passing day. The declaration of continuous blockade and later hartals were added as auxiliary arm to reinforce the antigovernment movement.
Gradually the whole country felt the tremor of the call. The BNP and allies went on to agitate and create whatever ferocity they could in the districts. Connecting highways of the country turned risky as the prime targets are always the transports on the highways. Party activists went on fighting the law enforcers in almost all the small and big cities, even in the rural areas there were reports of agitation and fighting.
This was the reaction of the call by Khaleda Zia. She thought there was no alternative than calling for this agitation.
It has been over 60 days now that the country is in grip of blockade programs and breathtaking incidents. On the one hand petrol bombs are taking lives of the common man and on the other people are being killed or maimed by law enforcing members. So the common man is bearing all the brunt.
However normal we would like to see things, we have to admit that our inter district trade is thinner, schools are closed. And we live in a great deal of uncertainty.
Amidst all these, it is only one name that is being repeatedly uttered and cursed, that of Begum Khaleda Zia. No leader in our political history has been so much discussed, condemned or praised.
She has been looked down as a ‘queen of militants’. Despite heading a big and popular party she has been termed an ally of anti- liberation forces, she has been smeared with the tag of being a pro Pakistan individual. The stinging remarks against her are a regular affair.
She came under attack for every other incident that has been taking place in the country. She was not allowed to come out of the house in 2013 just before the polls of 2014. How she was cordoned off tightly, the country has witnessed.
Zia is allover
Even she was not spared after her son passed away. Apart of from flinging obnoxious languages at her, cases were instituted against her to keep her subdued. The law will take its course, but many question the motive of reopening the cases against her. They say, these are being done only to pester her politically.
So Khaleda Zia is all over. In the TV talk shows not one show is without talking about her and condemning her to the lowest by the rivals.
Her meetings with the diplomats were also looked upon as her ploy to engage outsiders to meditate for a political solution. We should not forget that meeting the diplomats has been an age old practice of this country. All the parties had done this in the past.
The parliament is also abuzz with her appellation, all terming her to be militant, anti-liberation, ally of the extremists and so on.
The common man out in the field is also talking about Khaleda Zia politics, her personal conditions and her future.
Right now, many senior leaders have either decided not to risk their health and time for her, some went into hiding, many in jail, and few trying to carry on the movement, that too under cover. But these leaders are being hunted down and put behind bars.
Truth is, Khaleda Zia wields an influence in the party, over a large section of people and the politics of the country. For now this influence might bring about more misery for her. As the PM says, she might be taken into custody anytime for her ‘misdeeds’.
How far her image and sway works in the future remains to be seen.
Source: Weekly Holiday