Malaysia type political ‘earthquake’ awaits for Bangladesh

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by M A Hossain       25/6/2018

As per the advice of the policymakers of Delhi’s south block, the current autocratic and corruption-plagued government in Bangladesh are determined in holding another fraudulent election with the active collaboration of its loyalist election commission, law enforcing and security agencies as well as some of the opportunist senior officials of Bangladesh Armed Forces. Under this agenda, the ruling party is exerting full influence on the judiciary in keeping Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson and former three times prime minister Khaleda Zia in prison by creating numerous legal obstructions. The ruling party even are denying proper medical treatment to an ailing Khaleda Zia in prison.

Mrs. Zia is the wife of the former chief of the army and a veteran freedom fighter Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman. Gen Zia was assassinated in 1981 in Chittagong in a mysterious coup. Former military dictator Hussein Muhammad Ershad is believed to have hands behind the tragic assassination of Maj Gen Zaiur Rahman and subsequent murder of Maj Gen Manjur (paternal uncle of The Daily Star editor Mahfuz Anam). Gen Ershad’s Jatiya Party are part of the current illegitimate government along with some anti-West socialists like Hasanul Haq Inu. Hussein Muhammad Ershad is the ‘Special Envoy’ to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the status of a cabinet minister. While his wife is the chief of the so-called opposition in the parliament.

Most of the Western nations, including the United States, did not recognize the so-called general election held on 05 January 2014. Only India, China and Russia (and Iran) had not only recognized this election but had vowed to work with the illegitimate government. Of course, United States could play a vital role in pressing Sheikh Hasina in either ensuring free, fair and transparent election or at least go for another real election weeks after the January 05, 2014 general election; but due to bankrupt diplomacy and foreign policies of Barack Obama, Washington failed in doing so. Before the January 5th election, Sheikh Hasina told both the United States and United Nations that holding that election was a ‘constitutional obligation’ and she would immediately declare a fresh election immediately after the controversial and fake polls, which would be participated by all the political parties, including the most significant opposition – BNP. But, ultimately by breaching her commitment (repeatedly in public), she not only fooled the international community and the people of Bangladesh but, once again, proved herself as betrayer and deception.

As another general election is almost at the doorstep (December 2018), this time, Sheikh Hasina has adopted a newer strategy. Her government has filed thousands of political charges false cases against her political rivals, had imprisoned journalists critical of corruption, nepotism, and wrongdoing of her government imprisoned many offices of Bangladesh Armed Forces [through false and dubious charges ] by exerting her full influence on the lower courts as well as apex courts. Party loyalists are being planted into the post of judges while exposed corrupt lawyers are appointed as public prosecutors. This nexus of politically biased judges and corrupt federal prosecutors had not only tarnished the very image of the judiciary of the country but had screwed the rule of law thus transforming courts of justice into kangaroo courts.

State of the rule of law, human rights, freedom of the press, freedom of expression, rights to religion in today’s Bangladesh are no better than Cambodia or any of the authoritarian or autocratic regimes.

A leading English newspaper in Bangladesh, The Daily Star on 15 June 2018 at its front page published a commentary titled- “BNP’s challenges bigger this time,” saying the party finds itself in the more adverse situation than ahead of 2014 [fake and questioned] polls.

The entire commentary aimed at making BNP leaders, supporters and anti- Awami League bloc extremely frustrated. It wanted to give a clear signal of ‘easy’ continuation of the third consecutive terms for Sheikh Hasina and her illegitimate and autocratic government.

Anyone having minimal knowledge or experience on this daily – know with indeed – behind most of their ‘homemade’ or ‘desk made’ commentaries, there certainly are some mysteries. Though I at least do not know the motive behind this prominently published ‘desk-made’ commentary, I always can smell a rat in it. Through this, The Daily Star, well in advance had told the world- a free, fair and participatory election in December 2018 in Bangladesh, is a mission impossible. It may even instigate and inspire the international community in increasing pressure on Sheikh Hasina in abandoning her agenda of remaining in power by hook or crook. It also may prominently bring the Bangladesh issue to the attention of the Trump administration. We all know – President Trump and his administration are committedly against any autocratic rule in the world.

Although the political future in Bangladesh is gloomy enough, political analysts are seeing a ‘political earthquake’ in the country much ahead of the December 2018 general election. In their views, during any political vacuum, something extraordinary always takes place in every country. In Malaysia, for example, an imprisoned Anwar Ibrahim played the key- factor with the mesmeric pre-polls campaign of 93-years – old former dictator Mahathir Mohammad and successfully defeated the crook, greedy and corruption-plagued government of Najib Razak. Hypothetically, even if we compare an imprisoned Khaleda Zia with Anwar Ibrahim, we still don’t find a ‘Mahathir Mohammad’ in this country. Some people feel entertained in seeing a ‘Mahathir’ in former dictator Hussein Muhammad Ershad. Here I would delightedly disagree. Mahathir Mohammad might have been an autocrat or dictator, but he is not a liar, hypocrite, deception, pretender, or a corrupt. It is true; he had abused power by wrongly influencing the judiciary in falsely convicting his political rival Anwar Ibrahim. But, hopefully, he had realized this sinful act. That is why, during his election campaigns, Mahathir Mohammad publicly spoke in defense of Anwar Ibrahim.

Now the billion-dollar question is; what political ‘earthquake’ may take place in Bangladesh and who is going to emerge as the savior of this unfortunate nation. Before 11 January 2007, no one in Bangladesh even could imagine in their wildest dream, the realities we already had witnessed- something similar to that or maybe something even beyond our political calculation would take place – all of a sudden. As before, 11 January 2007, Khaleda Zia herself even could not imagine – her enemies (like Gen Moeen U Ahmed, Gen Masud, Brig Gen Bari, Amin and others) were just within her inner circle – it won’t be unlikely – the conspirators, who are waiting for the appropriate opportunity of another political ‘earthquake’ in Bangladesh, very much are within the very inner- circle of Sheikh Hasina. Let us not forget the history. Nawab Sirajud-Dowla was not ousted and assassinated by anyone from outside – but by his very own, highly trusted [and even a relative] – Mir Jafar Ali Khan! Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated by the individuals, who were considered by him as his children. Mikhail Gorbachev was ousted by few of his most trusted military and security officials.

As I know, people do not take a lesson from the history, so the much anticipated ‘political earthquake’ in Bangladesh gradually is becoming imminent. May Allah protect this nation!