For survival, it must apologise for 1971 role
Different politicians and analysts said Jamaat should apologise to the nation as advised by Abdur Razzaq who resigned from the party yesterday.
Welcoming Razzaq's resignation from Jamaat in protest of its reluctance to offer apology for its role in 1971, they also said the party should shun religion-based politics and amend its charter that says the party aims to establish the rule of Islam.
“I think it's a positive move from Razzaq. He felt repentance for the party's anti-liberation role in 1971,” BNP standing committee member Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman told The Daily Star.
“If Jamaat formally apologise as a party, the people may forgive it,” he said, adding that the party's survival depended on the issue.
Besides, such a move would make it easier for the BNP to alley with Jamaat, he hoped.
Besides the issue of apologies, Razzaq, who was Jamaat's assistant secretary general, mentioned in his resignation letter that Jamaat's failure to reform its ideologies in light of the 21st century was another reason behind his decision.
The letter was addressed to the party's Ameer Maqbul Ahmad.
Several BNP leaders said they have been closely watching the situation and they would “wait and see” what position Jamaat takes.
Jamaat leaders had not informed them anything about the recent dissident voices in the party, they said.
A standing committee member of the BNP wishing not to be named said it was a good sign that some Jamaat leaders had started to realise that they must apologise.
“It is a logical step. But it took 47 years,” he said.
Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon, also a leader in the Awami League-led 14-party alliance, said he welcomed Razzaq's decision.
“Jamaat has the right to do politics. But the party should not have that right until and unless it formally apologises,” said the chief of parliamentary standing committee on social welfare.
However, Communist Party Bangladesh President Mujahidul Islam Selim said an apology would not suffice. The party must shun politics in the name of religion and amend its charter.
“Jamaat's charter contradicts the spirit of Liberation War and the country's constitution,” he added.
M Hafizuddin Khan, former adviser to a caretaker government, said he had been urging Jamaat to apologise for a long time.
“Besides, the controversial Jamaat leaders involved in crimes against humanity should be removed from the party,” he said.
He also urged Jamaat to amend its charter.
Badiul Alam Majumder, secretary of Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik, echoed Hafizuddin.