Govt bound to hold trial of war criminals | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 18, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 18, 2009

Govt bound to hold trial of war criminals

Speaker in his ruling tells JS of unanimous resolution

Speaker Abdul Hamid in a ruling yesterday said the government must implement the resolution on holding trial of the war criminals, which was unanimously adopted by the House calling the executive to hold the trial.
"The government is bound to hold the trial of war criminals. It has no alternative since the resolution was passed unanimously. So, it must be executed," the speaker said replying to the lawmakers' demand for ruling condemning the visiting Pakistan president's special envoy's remark on the issue.
Pakistan envoy Zia Ispahani on Monday said his country has apologised for the atrocities during the Liberation War. He added it is not the right time to initiate the war criminals' trial involving the Pakistan army, as there are many other issues of cooperation between the two countries.
As the lawmakers demanded statement of the foreign minister on the issue, Foreign Affairs Minister Dipu Moni said, "I want to say without any second meaning that the trial of war criminals must be held in the soil of Bangladesh."
On the Pakistan's envoy's remark, the foreign minister said she thinks the envoy's remarks were based on the war crimes committed by the Pakistan occupation army in 1971.
Taking floor on point of orders, the lawmakers also demanded that the Pakistan envoy seek apology for his remark.
Workers Party lawmaker Rashed Khan Menon raised the issue of Pakistan envoy saying his remark is tantamount to contempt of the House as it unanimously passed the resolution to hold the trial.
"His remark was unwarranted. Jamaat leader Abdur Razzak echoed the view of the Pakistan envoy and said they will challenge the trial if held under the International Crimes Tribunal Act," Menon said.
Maj (retd) Rafiqul Islam, a veteran war hero and a sector commander, also said the Pakistan envoy must seek apology for his audacious remarks.
The war hero also asked the foreign minister to enquire the issue of former foreign adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, who earlier claimed that he raised the issue of holding the trial before the UN secretary general.
"But during his visit to Dhaka the UN secretary general denied receiving any such proposal from the then foreign adviser. And he told lies, he must be brought to book for it," Rafiqul Islam added.
AL presidium member Tofail Ahmed said the Pakistan envoy has drawn hatred by making an unnecessary remark.
"We rejected his remark with hatred. He cannot make such a remark since he is a representative of that Pakistan which operated mass killing in 1971," Tofail said.
"Whatever he said, no controversy will be able to create obstacles to holding trial of the war criminals. The government will immediately take steps to begin the trial," Tofail asserted.
The lone opposition lawmaker of Liberal Democratic Party, Oli Ahmed, also a war hero, also blasted the visiting Pakistan envoy and hoped that he would say sorry for his comment before leaving Bangladesh.
Taking floor on point of order, AL lawmaker Advocate Fazle Rabbi appreciated the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act, 1973 and demanded setting up tribunals immediately to hold trial of war criminals.

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