Thursday, August 30, 2007

We didn't start the fire. Then who did it?

We didn't start the fire. Then who did it?
Sajjad Jahir

Remember Billy Joel's song, "We didn't start the fire"? Now a days, the moment I start to review the current happenings in Bangladesh, the lyrics of the famous song peck on the nerve center of my consciousness. Lately, the CEO of the current caretaker government of Bangladesh General Mueen U. Ahmed became a little bit feisty. I am calling him the Chief of the Government because Mr. Fakhruddin is conspicuously sidelined now and almost turned into a simple bystander. General Ahmed saw hands of conspiracy in the Dhaka University incident. I saw an amusing article on the said occurrence in a B'Deshi blog. The writer Rater Zonaki said from now on the audience in a game may never open up the umbrella in a Bangladeshi football match.

Sheikh Hasina was never known to be a good poker player. This time she lost big time when the shrewd Bangladeshi army junta with their Jamaati handlers got the full deck cards in their favor. Hasina's naiveté like "promising" to "ratify all the actions of the CTG" when she "gets into power" might have triggered a room full of outburst of laughter in Dhaka cantonment.

If we go back to the geneses of the militarization of the Third World countries, we see one common denominator. The aspiring rulers always wanted to portray they were the saviors of the nations. Ayub Khan in Pakistan came as a shining angel to rescue Pakistan from the anarchy of the civilian parliaments. Similarly, Bangladesh's General Ershad utilized a simple excuse of sheltering of Imdu (a party paid hooligan) in a state minister's house. Could Ayub really save the nation of Pakistan? Is it not the self proclaimed Field Marshall Ayub Khan, who was the main person responsible for starting a process of militarization process of Pakistan? Wasn't his son Gohar Ayub a direct beneficiary of his father's cleansing the "civilian political mess of Pakistan"? Gohar Ayub rose from the junior rank of a captain to be the proprietor of Gandhara Motors, and as per Dr. Franz Pick, a tycoon in the vicinity of US $4 million. He modestly estimated FM Ayub Khan and his family's wealth in the range of US $20 million. The great Khan had stepped in to eradicate the corrupt, "sharks and leeches". Sher Baz Mazari , a Baloch sirdar chronicled the grand corrupt practices of Pakistani army strongmen in his revealing book, "A Journey to Disillusionment". General Ziaul Huq, another long-time ruler of Pakistan, according to Mazari, at his death is said to have bequeathed a sum of US $250 million to his family, which according to his closest colleague, General Akhtar Abdur Rahman's son, Human Akhtar Khan, popularly known as Humayun Dollar Khan, was a mere peanut.

Nowadays we hear a lot about the torture in Gitmo of the interned suspected terrorists. We hear about the tough scrutiny of CIA for their alleged illegal application of forces on detainees. In USA, this is a hot topic indeed. Now, does anybody care what goes on behind the closed gates of the torture chambers of Dhaka Cantonment? Do we really give a hoot to know Third World academicians are subjected to brutality in the so-called interrogation chamber? The other day, Bangladesh's dreaded military intelligence DGFI picked up Dr. Anwar Hussain and Dr. Harunur Rashid from their respective homes in midnight. Dr. Anwar Hussain's son already wrote in appealing letter about the torture committed on his father. A knowledgeable source about the dirty deeds of DGFI gave a vivid example of the torture practices of the agency. The DGFI is well aware that the scars of the torture are simply a no no in this era of information age. What they do, according to the source, force the male detainee to undress totally. Their main focus goes to the testicles of the detainee; they first start to trifle and the intensity goes higher to a stage when the pain becomes intolerable. The DGFI torturers' may say, "This is the best medicine to apply on any prisoner to extract the truth". It is quite possible; Dr. Anwar Hussain has already undergone such treatment, which hardly leaves a noticeable mark on male anatomy.

Are there any human rights in Bangladesh ? Will the Bangladeshi law enforcers who behave brutally with the newsmen go unpunished forever? Do the free market economy lovers of the world care if the Bangladesh's so-called permanently interim government is more or less controlled by Ussama bin Laden's cronies of Bangladesh Jamaat?

1 comment:

Monsur Ibrahim said...

Mr. Sajjad Jahir,
Thank you for a nice article. You are right about our army. They are the most disciplined force in our country but if you look at the other side of the coin, you will be disturbed. e.g.
Our 1st air chief Air Vice Marshal Bashar was blown out in his helicopter at Dhaka airport right after independence. Our army killed two presidents - Mujib and Zia. They killed our top national leaders in the jail (Nov, 1975), During Japanese Red Army plane hijack, army killed each other and almost finished all of our air force officers. There were around 19 to 21 coups against Zia and each time army killed each other. Army did extra judicial killing in custody during operation 'clean heart'. Yet they blame civilians for paltan killing of Jamati armed cadres. If a civilized disciplined force kill each other like fanatics, how do they blame civil unrest? Also, that unrest was caused because they silently supported BNP-Jamat's plan to engineer election.
This country was ruled from cantonment for 26.5 years. After killing BB Mujib, army was virtually ISI's subcontractor. In an effort to bring back chain of command in army after 1975 killing, Khaled Musharraf arrested Zia for 3 days and was proceeding like a gentleman. But when Zia got the chance, he instantly killed freedom fighters like Khaled Musharraf and Haider. Since then, this army has eliminated freedom fighters one by one. This is a pure ISI backed army.

Speak about corruption? There are reports that Defense purchage (DGDP)is involved in smuggling. During Ershad period, a brave customs officer challanged some DGDP imports. Army people threatened him not to open the boxes but he did and found expensive watches inside. DGDP was smuggling those goods. Unfortunately, that brave customs officer was mysteriously shot dead by unknown killers! You want to see a similarity? Sk. Hasina's car was shot by similar unknown killers when she was being escorted by partymen to her jeep after the granade attack. Unfortunately her body guard (a retired army person) was took a bullet and died. The last one is an example of a good army but again killed by sniper bullet who are usually members of army!