Wednesday, December 16, 2015, Poush 2, 1422 BS, Rabi Al-Awwal 3, 1437 Hijri

A prouder Bangladesh
Published :Wednesday, 16 December, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 73

Victory Day
The month of Dece-mber is beautiful with winter breeze and all the celebrations for our great Victory Day.
One victory was in crushing the Pakistani army in 1971 and the other victory that we achieved this year is the punishment of war criminals.
We are indeed a prouder nation as we campaigned for the trial almost after losing out to the rule of military dictators and BNP-Jamaat who had systematically rehabilitated the war criminals as well as given them prize positions, while hundreds of freedom fighters were murdered in stage-managed courts.  
Although there are several others on trial and two others have been hanged earlier, but the executions of Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, a former minister and leader of the BNP, and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, also a former minister and top leader of the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami party hold special significance.
They were men who had no remorse, and never stood for Bangladesh even after 1971 despite enjoying all the benefits an independent country gave them. They remained slaves to their masters for whom they carried out the 1971 genocide in Bangladesh.
It is time to remember Jahanara Imam, the leader of the Ekkaturer Ghatok Dalala Nirmul Committee, who showed many of us the path to seek justice for the genocide committed in the erstwhile East Pakistan.
Three million people, mostly innocent and unarmed, were killed, and 250,000 women were raped.
Jahanara Imam, the mother of a brave martyred freedom fighter, drew me and my mother, late Hasna Hena Qadir, to her campaign. Neither she nor my mother is present with us physically today. But they are in heaven, and I know, they are having their own jubilation party.
Not many Bangladeshis believed that the two, with all their connections to powerful quarters around the world, would be executed. The two war criminals laughed when they were arrested on war crimes charges and Chowdhury rubbished the International Crimes Tribunal. He always misbehaved with the judges and the prosecution.
Mojaheed, on his part, was sure that his party, the Jamaat and its militant student wing Islami Chatra Shibir, would ensure he could not be hanged.
But all their assumptions and presumptions were proved wrong when they had to seek mercy for life from the President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid through admitting their crimes. It did not save them and after the president rejected their mercy petitions, they were hanged on 22 November 2015 at the Dhaka Central Jail.
The two most notorious collaborators of the Pakistani Army had to surrender to the reality that they were defeated for the second time -- first, when Bangladesh emerged as an  independent country and second, when  justice sealed their fate.
In 1972, on our first Victory Day celebration my mother wept for her martyred husband as that day reminded her love for the one who was never to return, but had given his blood for the birth of Bangladesh. She told me that we had to be a proud nation to make such sacrifices meaningful. We are prouder today and I am sure my mother too, even though we still have a long way to go.
 As the nation celebrates Victory Day in 2015, Bangladesh salutes the lady who has stood for the cause of the people of this country and upheld the demand of the 99.9 per cent of Bangalees to execute the war criminals without showing any mercy.
Despite international pressure and indecent remarks by Pakistan, the patron of the war criminals, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stood firm for making an already proud Bangladesh even more proud.
She has given us all an extraordinary Victory Day. Thank you, Prime Minister.
Long Live Bangladesh. Long Live PM. Joy Bangla!
Nadeem Qadir is a reputed journalist and
currently Minister (Press) at the
Bangladesh High Commission in London

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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