Gen Zia let Jamaat in politics
Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday accused late president Gen Ziaur Rahman, the founder of BNP, of dissecting the basic structure of the constitution by reviving religion-based political parties through martial law proclamation.
Secularism, one of the four state principles, was deleted along with the Article 38 that prohibited religion-based politics by the martial law proclamation.
"As a result, outlawed Jamaat-e-Islami which had opposed Bangladesh's international recognition, returned to politics," he told a seminar titled "Freedom of expression: Conflicting rights in Bangladesh and in some other countries."
Centre for Practical Multimedia Studies (CPMS) organised it at Dhaka University (DU) senate bhaban conference hall yesterday.
Dr Fahmidul Huq, associate professor of mass communication and journalism department of DU, chaired the seminar while Kristin Skre Orgeret, associate professor of Oslo University, Norway, presented the keynote paper.
The law minister alleged that Gen Zia had given scope to the rise of militancy as well by changing the constitution.
Those who enjoyed the state power after the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August 1975 had changed the constitution in an unconstitutional way through martial law proclamations, he said.
Shafique said there is no provision of martial law in the constitution. As the lawmakers do not posses the power to promulgate martial law, then how an individual makes changes in the constitution through martial law orders and proclamations, he asked.
He said Supreme Court, as a guardian of the constitution, has declared illegal the 5th amendment that had ratified all martial law actions done during the rule of Gen Zia.
The seminar was also addressed by former minister Barrister Nazmul Huda, DU Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Harun-or-Rashid, Dhaka University Teachers' Association (DUTA) President Prof Anwar Hossain, Economist Prof Bazlul Huq, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh General Secretary Prof Mahfuza Khanam, Prof Sheikh Abdus Salam, and Dr AJM Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan.