BNP leader and eminent lawyer Moudud Ahmed passed away yesterday while undergoing treatment at a Singapore hospital.
He was 81.
Moudud breathed his last at 6:30pm at Mount Elizabeth Hospital where he had been undergoing treatment since February 2, said his colleague and BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He was suffering from various old-age related complications.
On December 30 last year, Moudud was admitted to Evercare Hospital in Dhaka as he had fallen ill due to low haemoglobin.
He also suffered a mild stroke while undergoing treatment at the hospital. On January 7, a permanent pacemaker was implanted in his heart.
Soon after his death news spread, people from various corners started expressing shock.
His political wisdom, books on country's politics and legal explanations will remain as reference in the country's political and judiciary landscape.
Barrister Moudud served as the prime minister, deputy prime minister, vice-president, and minister of the country.
His political career started when he worked as a lawyer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the Agartala Conspiracy Case trial.
But his political career ended up as one of the top BNP leaders. He was a standing committee member of the party.
The veteran parliamentarian assisted Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, BNP founder and late president Ziaur Rahman, and Jatiya Party chairman HM Ershad. He landed in jail several times.
The seasoned politician was elected lawmakers from Noakhali five times. He first became an MP in 1979.
Born in Noakhali on May 24, 1940, Moudud completed his BA and MA in political science from Dhaka University. In 1966, he was called to the English Bar at Lincoln's Inn. He was a fellow of Heidelberg University and Harvard University.
Apart from his political life, Moudud also penned a number of books on politics and legal matters.
He returned home after completing his bar at law and joined the legal team of Bangabandhu for the Agartala Conspiracy Case trial in 1968. He also accompanied Bangabandhu in the roundtable conference in Rawalpindi.
During the Liberation War, he took part in the provisional government of Bangladesh in Kolkata.
After the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975, Moudud changed his political party by joining as an adviser to General Ziaur Rahman-led government. He then became the deputy prime minister.
He saw politics of Bangladesh from almost all the angles. His books on the post-independence era of Bangladesh were said to be some of the best historical narratives.
The smiling Moudud spoke in a soft tone always.
He was criticised from various quarters for amending the constitution of extending the retirement age of the Supreme Court chief justice as this move allowed a former chief justice, who was close to the BNP government, to take over as the head of the next caretaker government.
After president Ziaur Rahman was murdered in 1981, Moudud joined newly formed Jatiya Party and became the prime minister in 1986 and then the vice-president of the country.
After the fall of autocratic ruler Ershad, he returned to the BNP.
When the BNP-led four-party alliance formed government in 2001, he was picked as the minister for law, justice and parliamentary affairs.
After the army-backed caretaker government took power in 2007, Moudud was arrested with other politicians. He was behind bars for over a year.
He married Hasna Moudud, the daughter of famous poet Jasimuddin.
The veteran politician left behind his wife, a daughter and a host of relatives to mourn his death.
President Abdul Hamid expressed deep shock at the death of Moudud.
Besides, political party leaders and eminent personalities offered their condolences over his demise.
BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman and Secretary General Fakhrul Islam, ruling Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader, Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, Law Minister Anisul Huq and Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader are among them.