It's not me, but Captain Hafiz went to arrest Zia: Maj Hafiz | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 05, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 05, 2007

It's not me, but Captain Hafiz went to arrest Zia: Maj Hafiz

Acting Secretary General of Saifur Rahman-led BNP faction Major (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed yesterday said he will quit politics if anyone can prove his involvement with the arrest of Ziaur Rahman on November 3, 1975.
"It was not me, but Captain Hafiz of the 46th Brigade who went to Zia's house to arrest him," he told reporters at a press briefing at his Banani house.
Asked about the allegation brought against him by Lt Gen (retd) Mir Shawkat Ali and Brig Gen (retd) ASM Hannan Shah, Hafiz said Gen Shawkat mistook him for Captain Hafiz who went to arrest Zia on orders of the then army chief Khaled Musharraf.
Hafiz said he was the brigade major of the 46th Brigade at that time.
"I also accept Khaleda Zia and Captain Mohiuddin as witnesses of that incident and I will quit politics if they say I was involved with the arrest of Ziaur Rahman," he said, urging reporters to talk to top army officials of that time to divulge the truth.
Heated debate over the arrest of Zia in 1975 and his killing in 1981 continued yesterday between the two factions of BNP led by former finance minister Saifur Rahman and Khaleda Zia-appointed Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain.
BNP chairperson's Adviser Hannan Shah earlier denied his alleged involvement in Zia's killing. He also said he will quit politics if anybody can prove his link with the incident.
On Saturday, former BNP vice chairman Mir Shawkat Ali endorsed Hannan Shah's allegation against Hafiz, saying he also heard that Maj Hafiz went to arrest Zia at his residence on November 3, 1975.
Shawkat also rejected Hafiz's allegation against Hannan that he negotiated with Gen Ershad on behalf of Zia's killer Gen Manjur after the killing in 1981.
Hafiz yesterday said, "I respect Mir Shawkat as he is my senior but I joined the BNP in 1992 at the request of Khaleda Zia after winning a seat in parliament in 1991."
Terming the statement of 122 former lawmakers published in newspapers yesterday "false", he said nobody except two former lawmakers are with Delwar.
Hafiz claimed that Lutfur Rahman Khan Azad, Kalimuddin Milan and Nurul Islam Moni, who is now in Singapore for treatment, told him over telephone that they are surprised to see their names in yesterday's media reports.
"Many other former lawmakers talked to me and said they did not sign any statement in favour of Delwar Hossain," he said, adding, "I do not think the party needs to be divided despite such efforts of some persons."
He also blamed the media for publishing "confusing" reports regarding BNP affairs.
Meanwhile, Hannan Shah yesterday said, "There is a lot of evidence to suggest that Maj (retd) Hafiz went to arrest Zia." He read out excerpts from a book written by Lt Col (retd) MA Hamid on three army coups.
Asked about Hafiz's claim that it was actually "Captain Hafiz of the 46th Brigade" who went to arrest Zia, Hannan said, "Captain Hafiz was killed with Ziaur Rahman as he was not a betrayer."
Asked about the authenticity of Khaleda's direction to party men from jail, Hannan said detained political leaders all over the world usually give directions to their party leaders regarding party affairs.

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