Major (Retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed, a veteran freedom fighter and BNP Vice Chairman, has said that the ideals and spirit of 1971 War of Liberation are yet to be achieved in its true perspectives.
"However, I am not completely
frustrated as the people who fought to liberate the country will again
fight for implementing the spirit of the Independence and will make the
country rich and powerful," he told the Daily Observer in an interview.
Hafiz , a former MP for sixth terms and minister twice , was a
great freedom fighter who fought many prominent frontal wars against
Pakistani occupation forces. He was decorated with the gallantry award
of Bir Bikram for his contribution in the battle field.
the December '71, the BNP leader said, "People fought Liberation War
with an earnest hope to attain a country where there would be no
deprivation, hunger or exploitation. Establish-ing democratic rights
and fundamental freedom of the people were the other objectives of
waging war against the Pakistani occupation forces", he said, lamenting
that most of those objectives are yet to be established in the social
and national life.
"There is no security of people's lives. The
people, who have money, are being freed after committing hundreds of
offences. But nobody is punished. Under the circumstances, we are
attaining bad names for our nation," an unhappy Hafiz said. "Surely we
had not fought liberation war for this", he added.
Hafiz urged the government to respect the opinion of the people and to bring back democracy in the country.
recollecting memories of those critical days of the nation when
Pakistani occupation forces cracked down on the innocent unarmed people,
Major (retd) Hafiz said, " I was at Jagdishpur in Jessore border
district as part of a Pakistan military training but was barred from all
types of communication. As such, I had no idea of Operation Searchlight
by the Pakistan Army and the declaration of independence of
Bangladesh".When he returned to the Jessore Cantonment on March 29, he
came to know that there was an order for the Baloch Regiment to disarm
the East Bengal Regiment, and that 25 Baloch Regiment and 3 Frontier
Force had taken up positions in front of the cantonment.
had been broken by East Bengal non-commissioned officers and soldiers
in retaliation. Hafiz joined the Bangladesh Liberation War and asked his
commanding officer, Colonel Jalil, to join the war. But Jalil, who
maintained contact with MAG Osmani of the Bangladesh Awami League,
refused to join the Liberation War.
During the subsequent battle,
Hafiz fought with his troops, but realized that the ammunition they had
with them would not be adequate to last for more than three hours. So,
he started thinking about an exit plan. After fighting relentlessly for
almost two hours, he finally escaped from the cantonment with 200
Later Hafiz crossed the Radcliffe Line, the border
between India and the then Pakistan, and reached India. He asked for
ammunition from India and learned that almost every unit of the East
Bengal Regiment had defected from the Pakistan Army. He also learnt that
all such former Pakistan Army units were under the command of General
Later Hafiz, under continuous attack from the Pakistani
occupation army , maintained a free zone at Jessore, including Benapole
BOP, from April to mid-May.
During the second week of May, 1971,
Hafiz was ordered to move to Tura in Meghalaya to join the Z Force. He
was nominated as a company commander of 1st East Bengal Regiment in
He was injured during the Battle of Kamalpur, one of the
most significant battles fought by Bangladesh forces in 1971. Later he
attacked Dholoi BOP and liberated Sylhet from the Pakistan Army.
former minister said that the dreams for which they fought against
Pakistani Army are yet to be realised due to criminalisation of politics
in the country.
"The main objectives of the Liberation War--
democracy, rule of law and the voting rights--have to be ensured.
Instead of remaining in power, bringing welfare of the people should be
the cardinal motto of our politics", he added.