Ghulam Azam family upset with BNP
Jamaat high-ups and family members of Ghulam Azam are very disappointed that the BNP gave them the cold shoulder over the Jamaat guru's demise and skipped his namaz-e-janaza, insiders of both parties said.
Abdullahil Amaan Azmi, fourth son of Ghulam Azam, in a facebook post on Wednesday said that the "whole nation" was disappointed with the BNP's silence about his father's death although the entire world was mourning.
"I'm not sure why," he wrote.
Throwing an "open challenge" to the BNP, he wrote that the BNP would do better if they remembered that they could never go to power again without Jamaat's support.
Talking to The Daily Star, Azmi confirmed the authenticity of his facebook account and of the post.
He also wrote: “I have no hesitation in saying that BNP could never form govt without Jamaat's support. Sadly enough, their silence on the death of the founder Ameer of the party, and spiritual Guru till his death, is utterly unexpected and unacceptable! How ungrateful they can be!!!”
A Jamaat central executive working council member said Ghulam Azam was their spiritual leader and the BNP's silence about his demise saddened them deeply.
Convicted war criminal Ghulam Azam died on October 23 and his funeral was held at the Baitul Mukarram complex on October 25 in the presence of a huge number of Jamaat leaders and activists from across the country.
In its verdict, the International Crimes Tribunal-1 said Azam deserved death but it sentenced him to 90 years in jail considering his old age and poor health.
Talking to The Daily Star, a number of the BNP's top and mid-level leaders said the party's high-ups decided against expressing any reaction over the convicted war criminals, the ICT verdicts and related issues following widespread criticism at home and abroad for backing the arrested Jamaat leaders and speaking against the ICT.
“As part of our strategy, we did not even offer our condolences to Ghulam Azam's family and did not take part in his namaz-e-janaza though he was a former chief of Jamaat,” a BNP standing committee member said.
He also said the world, including the USA and the EU, had accepted Bangladesh's move to try the accused in war crimes cases although some questions were raised from different quarters about the trial's transparency.
“We cannot go against the truth that a court has convicted top Jamaat leaders, including Ghulam Azam, of committing war crimes,” he said wishing anonymity.
Another leader, who too wished to remain anonymous, said the BNP did not express any reaction either after Jamaat leader Abdul Alim, who was awarded imprisonment till death by an ICT, died in jail.
Citing a recent interview of Khaleda Zia in the Times of India, he also said Khaleda clearly mentioned that the BNP's relation with Jamaat is nothing more than that of an electoral tie.
But sensing Jamaat's grievances, BNP chief Khaleda Zia took some immediate measures to please her key ally in the opposition alliance, said BNP insiders, adding she postponed her October 30 rally in Natore in solidarity with Jamaat's hartal on the day.