Miscreants of ’71, who?
Ghulam Azam’s son answers to prosecution
Ghulam Azam’s son yesterday told the International Crimes Tribunal-1 that his father termed miscreants the armed forces working against a united Pakistan during the Liberation War.
Brig Gen (dismissed) Abdullahil Aman Azmi, son of former Jamaat chief and war crimes accused Ghulam Azam, said this when prosecutor Syed Haidar Ali was cross-examining him.
Ghulam Azam apparently wanted the so-called miscreants killed.
On April 8, 1971, Ghulam Azam issued a joint statement with other Jamaat leaders. A book comprising an account of the killers and collaborators titled Genocide ’71 quotes the statement: “India is interfering in the internal affairs of East Pakistan. Wherever patriotic Pakistanis see Indian agents or anti-Pakistan elements and infiltrators, they will destroy them.”
Haidar Ali yesterday asked whether Azmi had any specific knowledge about the activities of the Peace Committee during the Liberation War in 1971.
Azmi said the Peace Committee had functioned at all administrative levels like union, thana, sub-division and district.
“But I’ve no idea whether the Central Peace Committee used to maintain a chain of command over the committees,” he said.
On November 23, 1971, then Pakistan president Yahya Khan declared a state of emergency.
Ghulam Azam welcomed this announcement, according to prosecution documents. He told the press in Lahore, “The best way to defend ourselves is striking at our enemies.” He stressed the need for restoring peace in East Pakistan for which each patriotic citizen, each member of the Peace Committees, Razakar, Al-Badr, and Al-Shams must be armed with modern, automatic weapons.
Azmi yesterday said Ghulam Azam met top authorities of Pakistan on April 4, 1971, and he learnt about it later. He claimed that no one knew what they had discussed in that meeting.
While reading out the formal charges on February 20, 2012, prosecutor Zead Al Malum said Ghulam Azam at the meeting termed the freedom fighters “armed intruders”, proposed the formation of a Peace Committee, and promised all-out assistance to the Pakistani army to maintain “law and order”.
The prosecutor yesterday asked Azmi how many times his father flew to Pakistan.
Azmi said his father went to Pakistan several times during the Liberation War in 1971 since the office of central Majlis-e-Shura, Jamaat’s policymaking body, was in Lahore and its meeting was held every three months.
He, however, said he did not know how many times his father went to Pakistan.
Ghulam Azam was ameer of East Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami before the Liberation War. Holding the same position, he campaigned across Bangladesh and even in Pakistan (the then West Pakistan) to foil the liberation of Bangladesh, according to prosecution documents.
In reply to a question Azmi said his father went to Saudi Arabia on December 4, 1971. He claimed that Ghulam Azam had to go to Sri Lanka and then on to Saudi Arabia as his flight from West Pakistan to East Pakistan failed to land in Dhaka due to a technical problem.
Ghulam Azam stayed in Saudi Arabia for several days and then went to Pakistan with his Pakistani passport, Azmi added.
The book Genocide ’71 reads: Soon after Ghulam Azam with a few of his followers went to Saudi Arabia, an advertisement, in the name of a false organisation, appeared in several Middle Eastern papers. This advertisement proclaimed that “mosques are being burnt in East Pakistan,” Hindus are killing Muslims and destroying their property.” On the plea that Islam had to be saved, the advertisement appealed for contributions.
The book also said Ghulam Azam, in order to collect funds and to continue his campaign against the birth of Bangladesh, visited several countries of the region at this time, including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Beirut. After completing his tour of these areas, he left for London in April, 1973.
Haidar Ali asked Azmi whether he believed in his father’s political philosophy.
“I’m not bound to respond to this question,” Azmi said.
He claimed that he was dismissed without any allegations. The government exercised its constitutional power to dismiss him.
The three-member tribunal led by Justice ATM Fazle Kabir adjourned the proceeding of the case until February 10. Azmi’s cross-examination would continue then.
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Son has no choice over a Father’s past.. Brig. Asmi was a reputed army and he was dismissed due to his fathers past. Anything happens in Bangladesh but I feel sorry for him that he will always be known as Ghulam Azam’s son..
: Sunny J
There are too many evidences against Golam Azam’s direct involvements with the Pakistani army in committing genocide against the Bangladeshi people in 1971. His son ‘s retirement was right and appropriate, because being the son of a notorious Razaker and a Pakistani Collaborator and a Pakistani citizen, who opted to stay in Pakistan after 1971 and his son serving in the Bangladesh army was not safe and secured for the Armed Foces of the Independent Bangladesh.
: Kazi Salim
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