A meaningful dialogue need for Bangladesh
Last 26th March, Bangladesh has observed the 28th Independence Day of the country. After 27 years of independence a ten-member former Indian army officer’s team led by Lieutenant-General (retired) J.F.R. Jacob came to Bangladesh and joined in many events organised by the government and other socio-cultural organisations including the Independence Day Parade.
In 1971, at the early hours of 26th March Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had declared the Independence of Bangladesh. Just before the declaration, Pakistani Army started ‘Operation Search Light’ against the Bangalee Nation. They committed genocide in Dhaka University, Pil Khana-the HQ of East Pakistan Rifles (today’s Bangladesh Rifles), Razar Bagh Police Line and other part of Dhaka City. Hundreds of thousands of Bangalees were killed through this massacre.
Within a month this massacre was stretched to all over Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan). After a nine month long war, finally which was fought by a joint force constituted by the freedom fighters of Bangladesh known as Mukti Bahini or liberation forces and the Indian Military, on Dec 16, 1971, Bangladesh emerged as a totally enemy free Independent Nation-state in the map of the world.
Former Indian General Jacob was the war time commander of the Eastern Command of Indian Army. Lt. Gen. Jacob gained prominence in his homeland as well as in Bangladesh who spearheaded the entire operation that led thousands of Pakistani soldiers to surrender and made ways for Dhaka to gain freedom from repression.
Few days ago the Chief of Staff of Bangladesh has visited India and got a high profile reception in Delhi. After that visit, Dhaka visit of General Jacobs’s team is a significant indication of the development of bi-lateral relations between Bangladesh and India. Obviously it is a good sign in the progress of stronger regional cooperation among the members of SAARC.
February-the month of language movement, March- the month of independence and December- the month of victory have very significant influence in the political life of Bangladeshi people. The language movement of February 1952 is the most powerful inspiration for the citizen of Bangladesh to fight out all evils from the national life. Independence was declared on March. December is the month of victory. Victory of struggle for democracy against the military regime of General Earshad was appeared on December of 1990.
Presently, in Bangladesh a state of emergency is going on which was declared on Dec 11 of 2007 that popularly known as One/Eleven. Though the authorities concern to election and administration have a road map for holding elections of local bodies and the parliament and committed to establish a stronger democracy, political parties are coming up with programs on several issues.
Both factions of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have already been observed a human chain program through their women wing in front of a special jail where the leader of BNP Begume Khaleda Zia is detained. Awami League (AL) leader Sheikh Hasina also detained in the same compound. Hasina needs proper treatment for her ailment of ear, eyes, heart and other complicacies. Personal physicians of Sheik Hasina recommended that she need treatment of her complicacies abroad, especially in USA as she was under regular observation of US doctors. The party has also demanded unconditional release of Sheik Hasina and is organising public opinion in favour of their demand.
Moreover major political parties of Bangladesh are demanding the immediate withdrawal of emergency, holding national election as soon as possible and ensuring the civil rights. Journalists, lawyers, teachers, intellectuals and civil society repetitive are also talking about the situation of civil rights and they are also in favour quick getting back of normalcy in governance.
In view re-establishing of normal democratic governance, Election Commission (EC) talked twice with the political parties. Parties are also expressed their opinion to EC. Major demand of politicians were immediate withdrawal of state of emergency, holding national election by this year, enacting laws for baring war criminals in elections and few issues relating to election process. Political issues are remaining to be resolved.
To resolve the political issues interim government is also thinking about to hold a dialogue with the political parties. Observers anticipating that major agenda of dialogue will be National Security Council, Upper Chamber of Parliament, important changes in public administration, governance of local government system, formation system of constitutional bodies and commissions, modernisation of legal system and smooth exit of military backed interim government.
Socio-political analysts too say that government and the politicians should develop a way of smooth exit of the interim government. There is no way to skip the issue. Failure of government-politician dialogue could be led the country to a political instability. As major political parties are preparing for limited political programs government should take initiative of a meaningful dialog soon, which could be a success story of the politics of Bangladesh.
E-Mail author:The author of this article, Kazi Mohoshin Al Abbas, is a Bangladesh based senior journalist writes on issues related to socio-political developments in Bangladesh.
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