Begum Khaleda Zia, the "uncompromising" leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has finally come off her ego and appears to give up on her mission to force the government out through violence.
On Sunday she
went back to her residence in Gulshan leaving her temporary home and
'command post' in a party office nearby, where she holed herself up for
three months overseeing a countrywide mayhem she had stoked up in the
name of democratic movement.
It claimed the lives of over 130
innocent people as BNP and its militant allies were trying to enforce
the violent but widely discarded "non-stop" blockade and hartal as part
of an anti-government movement Khaleda thought would usher her to power
bypassing all constitutional and traditional norms.
But Khaleda Zia
has failed in her heinous mission though her supporters succeeded in
burning and killing people with firebombs lobbed at passenger buses and
goods trucks. The victims, including hundreds injured, had in no way
been linked to politics or any party but they were made to pay dearly
for no fault of their own. They became the "collateral damage" (once
claimed by a BNP-minded 'intellectual' in a TV talk show) in her lust
This earned Khaleda a bigger infamy and a new title as
"vulture" which watch deep down from the sky for corpses to satiate
their hunger and they zoom down on the earth whenever they sight a dead
human or animal on the ground. Khaleda Zia is no different as she was
the one who "chaired" the mission of deaths since January till the end
Later Khaleda probably realized that she could earn
nothing but people's hatred and things will be same even if she spent
her entire life in the Gulshan office. On Sunday afternoon she returned
to her residence.
But she did it only after surrendering to a Dhaka
court - ending her long defiance to do so - which is trying Khaleda and
her London-exiled elder son Tarique Rahman, for corruption cases
involving Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust which were named
after her late husband former military dictator General Ziaur Rahman,
founder of BNP.
Khaleda and her insolent son squandered the funds of
both Trusts. The trial court granted bail to the BNP chief when she
surrendered on Sunday. This may be recalled that that the two graft
cases were filed by not Sheikh Hasina's government by by the army-backed
caretaker government in 2008.
Since Khaleda Zia launched the
blockade, accompanied by frequent hartals, in early January, her mission
had been mired in vengeful perpetration of killing and attacking
innocent people across the country. She wanted to make windfall
political gains out of people's blood and flesh. But most of the
Bangladeshi people rejected her evil designs and ignored her party's
programmes. However, political unrest at the behest of Khaleda Zia has
cost the country's economy badly and hit the poor below their belt.
Khaleda Zia is not satisfied. She surrendered with an ulterior motive
in mind - to find an excuse to come out of her shell and assist her
party contenders in the April 28 City Corporation elections in Dhaka and
Chittagong. But the elections will likely reflect her party's
The Election Commission has pledged to make
the city polls free and fair - and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also
assured her political rivals that government would make no interference
or influence on the vote as it was done in the five Mayor elections in
2013 where the ruling party lost in all the polls.
. The EC is an
independent constitutional body with sweeping powers to hold elections
and it should use its full authority while discharging duties. This
polls on April 28 is going to be another test for the EC and the
government to demonstrate that elections can be fair even without a
With Khaleda Zia back home, BNP senior leaders,
policymakers and advisers are putting their heads together to list
BNP's "achievements" during the lengthy blockade and hartal. They
privately agree that they had no achievement at all except claiming
lives and denting the economy in their attempt to destabilize the
country. The violence unleashed by BNP-Jamaat movement also tarnished
the country's image abroad.
However, many would not say it publicly
for fear of revenge by Khaleda Zia and her crooked and militant
disciples. During the blockade and hartal, Bangladesh has seen a rise in
extremism and terrorism that severely penetrated into the country.
Taking advantage of the political turmoil, radical Islamists and
jihadists from abroad also spread their net in Bangladesh, initially
targeting and killing bloggers for their freedom of ideas and free
thinking. BNP and its staunch ally Jamaat-e-Islami, a party studded
with 1971 war criminals, must take responsibility for all those unwanted
horrendous deaths. The people must put them on dock for their crimes
against the nation and the country
On January 24 Khaleda's younger
son Arafat Rahman Koko died in exile in Malaysia. He was convicted by a
court in corruption case. His body was brought to Dhaka and Khaleda saw
him off from her 'self-confinement' in Gulshan party office and she did
not come out of her office to visit the grave of her son Koko.
Khaleda also skipped visiting the Shaheed Minar in the capital on
February 21 and the National Memorial for Independence War heroes at
Savar on March 26, something that have earned her widespread
condemnation from all walks of people including the rank and file of her
own party. She even didn't show the courtesy to receive Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina when she went to the Gulshan office to convey her
condolence as a mother at the sudden death of Koko.
Chairperson yesterday visited her son Koko's grave after 72 days of his
burial. Will she also visit the graves of the people killed by her party
activists and allied militants during the three months of violence,
arson and petrol bomb incidents?
BNP-Jamaat have stripped many
families of their only earning member, left scores maimed and still they
have no remorse or repentance. Will Khaleda Zia apologise to the
nation and pay compensation to the affected families.
does it she will have no right to claim herself as a people's leader.
She has already blackened her face by persistently trying to save war
criminals from gallows and latey by presiding over deaths and
destructions in the name of politics.
Her dream to force the
government out by violence will never be realized as people have
rejected her movement that killed people, destroyed economy and caused
immense sufferings to citizens. The government also holds enough power
under its sleeves to counter vandalism and terrorism.
democratic country, power changes through people's mandate and therefore
Khaleda Zia should go back to the people seeking their mandate in the
Meanwhile, she must stop calling anymore programmes
like blockade and hartal to give the country a respite from violence
and leave the economy to grow normally and recover the colossal damage
caused by her violent movement.