Let us also know, dear leader
In the last few days the BNP chairperson and leader of the opposition in the parliament delivered two hard hitting speeches in two separate forums of her supporters. The language of both of her speeches reflected her desperation and contained a threatening phrase like "dire consequences" for the government leaders when they fall from power. She spelled out in clear term what her government will do in dealing with political opponents when, not if, she is voted to power.
There is no scope to take her threat as political rhetoric since the people, who do not suffer from memory lapse, remember how her supporters and her government treated her opponents and members of the religious minority right after her election victory of October 2001.
The current regime is not the perfect role model for upholding human rights and rule of law and the treatment of political opponents. However, its wrongdoings are not even comparable by any count to those crimes committed during the last BNP-Jamaat rule. However, the current piece is not intended to bring reminiscence of her rule, but to humbly request her to let the people know what she claims to know already.
She has categorically declared that "all activities of this government will be considered as illegal, once it bids bye." In line with her past repeated allegations she considers this government came through a stage-managed election and is, as such, illegal. In her words "foreigners have now divulged that it was a rigged election." This is new information, and the general people have no information who these foreigners are and how they revealed it to you.
In this era of open flow of information, people have not seen any such report in any credible international news media terming Bangladesh's last election as a rigged one. Quite to the contrary, the last general election was billed as the most transparent and fair one in the country's undulating democratic history. It is incumbent on you to share the information and its source with the people to add any element of credibility, whatsoever, to your allegations.
Alleging the widespread corruption of this government, she said" "We have all the information and proof in our possession of corruption, bribery and plundering by this government, sector by sector." Here again, it is the appropriate time, dear leader, to share this information with the people.
In spite of all the shortcomings, our media is free enough to publish all that information, especially when it comes from the leader of the official opposition. If she waits till she returns to power and then the corruption cases are initiated, it will be termed "politically motivated" by her opponents no matter how credible the accusations would be.
The corruption story of Arafat Rahman Koko has found a place in the World Bank publication named "Asset Recovery Handbook." This World Bank-UNODC publication mentioned the alleged embezzlement of several million dollars by her son as an example of stealing national assets.
Also, on January 3, the Strait Times of Singapore, under the heading "Fine for not reporting $3 million in transfer," reported that the managing director of a company providing corporate secretarial services failed to inform authorities in 2007 that he had been instructed by Arafat Rahman Koko to transfer and hold some $3,171,000 in his personal bank account.
The above two publications have nothing to do with the current government of Bangladesh and yet the opposition leader and her supporters are terming any accusation of corruption against Koko as "politically motivated."
The BNP leader wondered if foreign people had been inducted in the country's intelligence agencies. This is a serious allegation. Here again, if you hold any sort of corroboration in your possession, you must share it with the people. Also, you must demand an early investigation by the parliamentary defense committee since it involves the nucleus of our nation's sovereignty.
Referring to the "torture" on one of her party's standing committee members in custody, she said: "A Bangladeshi cannot torture a fellow countryman in such a manner." We beg to differ seriously with you, dear leader. You have probably not read any of the newspaper reports over the years about the torture cell in your member's Good's Hill residence and the tragic depictions of how he tortured his "fellow countrymen" in 1971. Some of them, albeit a small minority, who fortunately escaped death from his hand, have volunteered to testify about his crimes and cruelties when the trials begins.
The BNP chairperson asked the prime minister to begin trial of the war crimes at her home. She said" "Look at your home first; begin the process at your home and find out the war criminals hiding there." Here again, let us know who are the war criminals hiding in AL. The lists of alleged war criminals which have been published by different forums (not AL) do not apparently contain name of any nationally known AL leader.
As the leader of the opposition and former PM, you could help the prosecution team with the name of any alleged war criminal "hiding in PM's home" if you or your party possess credible evidence of his involvement in crimes against humanity in 1971. By doing so, you will be helping at the same time to expunge any apprehensions people have on your party's stand on trial of war criminals.