War crimes allegations not specific
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said the Jamaat-e-Islami leaders including Matiur Rahman Nizami must be tried only if there are specific allegations of war crimes against them.
No such allegations of war crimes like rape, arson, killing or looting against Nizami have been seen, he said, while addressing a press conference at the Naya Paltan central office in the morning.
His remarks came in response to query from journalists whether or not the arrested Jamaat leaders including Nizami and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed are war criminals.
When pressed for giving a 'yes' or 'no' answer, Fakhrul said he cannot say 'yes' or 'no' directly as he is engaged in politics.
Reiterating the party's stand, he said BNP wants the trial of crimes against humanity committed during the liberation war in 1971, but such trials should completely be free from any political motive.
He said the recent statements of the state minister for law indicate that as if he has been conducting the tribunal. “The entire trial process should be transparent, neutral and not politically motivated.”
A former state minister, Fakhrul, pointed out that those now in jail were arrested on different allegations, not on charges of crimes against humanity.
Asked whether BNP is patronising Jamaat, Fakhrul replied in the negative saying Jamaat is a component of the BNP-led four-party alliance.
He also criticised the prime minister's recent remarks blaming the former communications minister in the BNP government for doing corruption in the Padma Bridge project. “The World Bank has clearly mentioned the incumbent communications minister on the issue.”
He mentioned that the ADB and JICA also stated in public about the corruption in the mega project.
“The prime minister is trying to shift the blame of her wrongdoings to others to protect the communications minister. Doesn't it expose her weakness?”
He also termed the government press note over the Padma Bridge “unclear”.
The BNP leader was also critical of the prime minister's “undemocratic and indecent” remarks against the opposition leader during the ALPP meeting.
Asked about Khaleda Zia's threat of waging another war, he said the war she intended to wage will be to protect the country's independence, sovereignty and democracy.
Millions of people have expressed 'no confidence' on the government by spontaneously participating in the October 10-11 Dhaka-Sylhet and October 18-19 Dhaka-Rajshahi road march, he claimed.
“After the planned road march to Chittagong, Rangpur and Khulna, 16 crore people of the country will force the government to step down for holding free and fair elections under a non-party caretaker administration and establish people's government.”
He hoped that good sense would prevail upon the government and it would resign.
Regarding the death of Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi, Fakhrul said the way he was reportedly killed is a violation of human rights, though there were same charges against him.
BNP leaders Nazrul Islam Khan, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and Abdul Latif Jony were present at the press conference.