IT'S an utterly haunting recollection of my lost son Shaheed Colonel Quadrat Elahi Rahman Shafique, ndc, psc. From his very childhood he appeared to be extremely sharp and meritorious. He was known as one of the most brilliant officers in the Bangladesh Army.
Finishing his studies at Jhenaidah Cadet College he joined the Bangladesh Military Academy (BMA) and commissioned on 10th June 1983. While undergoing his military training in Bhatiary he stood first in B.Sc. from Chittagong University. Then he continued his career as an officer of 3 East Bengal.
He went to the UN Peace Keeping Mission in Bosnia for one year. Soon after his return he was posted as Brigade Major (BM) in 69 Infantry Brigade in Bandarban just for a few months. Meanwhile, he appeared for the examination for Defense Services Command & Staff College (DSCSC) for PSC. For his outstanding result in DSCSC, he was sent to Malaysia for doing his second staff course for a year.
He was one of three officers who went to the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) under University of Dhaka qualifying through its competitive intake examination. In the two-year regular course Elahi stood first in MBA (Marketing) bringing glory to the Bangladesh Army. Later, Elahi was posted to MIST as an Instructor for the MBA course. He was promoted to Full Colonel in 2007 and posted as Senior Instructor (SI) in the Staff College.
A few months later he was sent to Sudan in the UN Peace Keeping Mission as Sector Commander for one year. While in Sudan, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon decorated him with the Medal of Gallantry which only a few officers of the UN Peace Mission have received.
He successfully completed his NDC in December 2008. While doing his NDC course he completed M.Phil from Dhaka University aiming to do his Ph.D at a suitable time.
On 11th of January 2009, as a full Colonel he joined as Sector Commander of BDR in Dinajpur Sector (being there for only 1 month and 10 days). He came to Dhaka for the BDR Annual Conference on 21st February 2009. As ill-luck would have it, the hellish BDR carnage occurred on February 25 in Pilkhana, Dhaka. Among others he was also a hostage in the Darbar Hall, shot in his head and left this world forever.
Around 9.30 am on Feb 25, hearing about some trouble in BDR, I frantically tried to contact him on his mobile but to no avail. He had such an unflinching affection for his family that he would always make a telephone call or send messages to us wherever he was. But on this tragic day, he did not make a single call or send any message to any one of us realising that we would worry unnecessarily. It simply shows how considerate a child, father and husband he was!
As usual, the Promotion Board sat in July- 2009 and Elahi was top on the list to be a Brigadier General – a pity he left this world in the prime of his Career without a Star (Brigadier) although he proved himself a bright star in the Bangladesh Army.
Albeit so many moons and monsoons have passed by, the question remains unanswered: Why were 57 brilliant unarmed officers so brutally murdered? Was it a conspiracy, national or international, to weaken the Bangladesh Army? Will the truth ever come out?
As I write the above lines in memory of my son, my eyes are getting moist, tears are blurring my vision, my heart is bleeding, I cannot write any more!
May Allah grant Elahi and all his fellow shaheed colleagues Jannatul Ferdous.
The writer is father of Shaheed Col. Quadrat Elahi Rahman Shafique, ndc, psc