JUST when we were bouncing back to a normal rhythm of life and the wheels of the economy have started moving, comes abrasively Jamaat-e-Islami's call for countrywide hartal on Thursday. And for no better cause than protesting lower court's conviction of accused Jamaat leader Matiur Rahman Nizami in the 10-truck arms haul case. Since an appeal would likely be made in the higher court, the process isn't exhausted yet. Regardless, why hold people hostage in a matter that is juridical relating to one of the most heinously designed big arms trafficking case known in our history?
The BNP-led alliance of which Jamaat remains a part reading the pulse of the people had settled for peaceful methods of political articulation. We welcomed it. But now Jamaat plans to revert to its discredited methods of destruction and violence in the name of hartal. How can one forget the terrorising tactic of Jamaat hurling petrol bombs and explosives to burn an entire bus-load of people just prior to hartal? And the least said about the shutdown day, the better!
We as a paper have been consistently opposed to hartal since our very inception. Now the reasons are far more powerful and the evidence telling to reject this discredited method on any pretext whatsoever.
We would, therefore, call upon Jamaat to withdraw the hartal, urge BNP to use its influence to that end, and counsel the people to quietly but vigorously ignore it.