May 26, 2024

BSS, DHAKA: Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the history of proclamation of independence in 1971 by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was distorted after his assassination in 1975.

“Bangabandhu’s independence proclamation was spread through wireless and his party men reached it elsewhere of the country. But after his assassination, the history was distorted,” she said.

The premier made this remark while chairing a discussion at AL office in city’s Tejgaon area, organised by her party on the occasion of the Great Independence Day-2024.

“In the distorted history, it was said one Major standing on a drum blew the whistle and Bangladesh got independence. But, any country can’t attain independence this way. If it happened, then Bangladesh’s history would have been written differently,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina, however, questioned about Ziaur Rahman’s loyalty on Bangladesh during the War of Liberation in 1971.

She said: “There is a question that if his loyalty was for Bangladesh or for Pakistan as Pakistani army officer Mirza Aslam Beg wrote a letter to Zia for his satisfactory activities”.

She also said, “(Mirza) Aslam Beg (who was an army officer at that time in Bangladesh) wrote a letter to Ziaur Rahman during the Liberation War expressing satisfaction of his activities.”

In that letter, the premier mentioned that Mirza Beg also said that the wife and sons of Ziaur Rahman were fine in Dhaka Cantonment.

“The question is that why the Pakistanis took care of the wife and sons of that person who proclaimed the independence in cantonment, and wrote a letter stating satisfaction over his job,” she added.

General Mirza Aslam Beg served as the Pakistan Army Chief from 1988 until his retirement in 1991. His appointment came when his predecessor, President General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, died in an air crash on August 17, 1988.

Sheikh Hasina said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman betting his own life waited for the moment as he knew that Pakistanis might attack the Bangalee people.

“When they (Pakistanis) attacked first on Rajarbag police lines on the dark night of March 25, (early hours of March 26) the message of proclamation of independence of Bangladesh by Bangabandhu was spread through the wireless,” she said.

She said when Subedar Major Shawkat Ali of EPR (now BGB) along with his other associates were spreading the Proclamation of Independence of Bangabandhu, the Pakistani forces attacked the EPR and Dhaka University and came to attack Bangabandhu’s residence.

Subedar Major Shawkat Ali and his associates were killed by the Pakistanis due to transmitting the Proclamation of Independence of Bangabandhu, she continued.

The premier went on saying: “The message of proclamation was also conveyed to the leaders of Sangram Parishad which was formed through the directive of Bangabandhu in the historic 7 March speech of Bangabandhu”.

Sheikh Hasina said that the message was also circulated through the wireless of police as well as telegram and other mediums.

Besides, leaders and activists of Bangladesh Awami League also forwarded the proclamation message of independence of Bangabandhu from that day to every nook and corner of the country extensively, she added.

About the role of Ziaur Rahman, the ruling Awami League chief said Ziaur Rahman was in-charge of the Sector-11 during the country’s Liberation War and most of the Freedom Fighters were killed in that sector.

“The most casualties were there,” she said.

She said that Ziaur Rahman used to keep himself in a safe place during any action pushing the Freedom Fighters in the battlefield which caused huge casualties as he couldn’t take decisions based on ground reality.

“The casualties happened due to the lack of proper leadership of him (Ziaur Rahman),” she said.

Sheikh Hasina mentioned that the successful operation in any war means attaining desired goal through less casualties. “Zia couldn’t do that, as a result Aslam Baig expressed satisfaction,” she said.

She said that nowadays BNP leaders are searching for democracy, and one BNP leader claimed that on March 25 Awami League leaders fled away from Bangladesh. But, then who fought the war and who brought the victory, she wanted to know.

Sheikh Hasina said that the elected public representatives of the 1970 elections formed the first ever government of independent Bangladesh with making Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the President and vice-president- Syed Nazrul Islam, and prime minister-Tajuddin Ahmed.

After formation of this government on April 17, 1971, they took oath at Meherpur and conducted the War of Liberation, she said.

The premier said that Ziaur Rahman was a sector commander of that government as a salaried person under the Awami League government.

“They (BNP leaders) must not forget this fact. They must not forget that after the Independence Ziaur Rahman was promoted from Major to Major General tank,” she said, adding that these ungrateful persons forget that also.

Sheikh Hasina ridiculed one BNP leader’s move to burn Indian items by throwing his cloth sheet on fire.

She asked BNP leaders to search the Indian sarees under the possession of their wives and burn those and also stop using Indian spices in their kitchen.

The preimer said that people rejected the BNP for their arson terrorism, killing people and setting fire.

“Those who were rejected by people, who couldn’t win elections in democratic system, now they are searching for democracy,” she said.

AL Advisory Council Member Amir Hossain Amu, Presidium Members Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Dr Abdur Razzaque, and Shajahan Khan, party’s Health Affairs Secretary and State Minister for Health Dr Rokeya Sultana, AL Dhaka District President Benzir Ahmed, Dhaka City South General Secretary Humayun Kabir, and Dhaka City North General Secretary SM Mannan Kochi spoke on the occasion.

AL publicity and publication secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap and his deputy Syed Abdul Awal Shameem moderated the discussion.

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