Have Bangladesh's War Crimes Tribunals fanned terrorism in the country?

04:58 PM | 12 May, 2016
Have Bangladesh's War Crimes Tribunals fanned terrorism in the country?
On April 9, 1974, Minister for foreign affairs Bangladesh Dr.Kamal Hussain, Pakistani state minister for foreign affairs Aziz Ahmed, and minister for foreign affairs India signed a trilateral agreement

Under this agreement Pakistan and Bangladesh agreed to bring back and rehabilitate their respective stranded nationals.

It was also decided that Bangladesh will move on and not pursue case against 195 Pakistani soldiers in war crime tribunal and the tribunal formulated in 1973 for the said purpose will be abrogated

The then prime minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujeeb said that he wished people could forget the bitterness of the past and start a new era, adding that People of Bangladesh knew how to forgive.

Therefore, the agreement paved the way for return of 195 prisoners of war. It was also ascertained that if the principle accused in war crimes have been pardoned then this amnesty must also be valid for local facilitators who were termed “Pro Pakistan”. These included volunteers from Jamat e Islami and other organizations including Al Badar, Al Shams and Military supported local organization Ansar. Bangladesh used the term 'collaborators' for them.

Jamat e Islami and it’s subsidiary organizations were banned immediately after Bangladesh came into existence and Jamaat Leaders Professor Ghulam Azam, Matee Ur Rehman Nizami, and top leadership fled the country.

General Zia Ur Rehman led Government in 1979 restored Jamat e Islami and so its leadership gradually started to participate in mainstream politics. Eventually, Awami Leauge of Sheikh Haseena Wajid, Khalida Zia led Bangladesh party and other parties of leftist and rightist ideology including Jamaat e Islami started a combined movement against the dictatorial rule of General Muhammad Hussain Irshad in 1980.

After the cessation of General Irshad rule, the then Secretary General of Jamaat e Islami, Mati Ur Rehman, contested general elections of 1991 against a candidate of Awami League and bagged 57% votes. He remained member of parliament for five years.

Awami Leauge, after a gap of twenty years, came to power for the second time in 1996 after combating Khalida Zia and her allied parties but Awami League didn’t have the war crimes of 1971 on its agenda back then. Maybe the reason for this was that the Awami League did not have 2/3rd majority in the parliament and faced a powerful opposition.

Mati Ur Rehamn Nizami replaced Professor Ghulam Azam as Ameer when he retired due to old age in 2001.

A four party alliance under the leadership of Bangladesh National Party won once again in 2001 local elections. Matee Ur Rehamn Nizami was made a Minister of Agriculture and then Minister for Industries under this government. The 2006 interim setup raised the slogan of accountability and eradication of corruption with the help of the Army.

The interim stint completed its term in 2009 and Awami League won with a two third majority. During this election campaign Sheikh Haseena started talking about accountability of 1971 war criminals for the first time.

Through an amendment, Sheikh Haseena Wajid revived the laws of War Crime Tribunals which were discontinued since the trilateral agreement of 1974. At first, these tribunals were welcomed but after sensing an attitude of vengeance obvious deviations from international standards of justice, organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International started raising questions about these tribunals.

Although Awami League grabbed two third majority in the 2014 local elections, the victory became dubious due to collective boycott of elections by the major opposition parties.

Since 2013, the controversial war crimes tribunal has awarded the death penalty to 13 prominent opposition leaders including Muhammad Qaisar and Salah Ud Din Chaudhery of  Bangladesh Nationalist party, General secretary Jamaat e Islami Ali Ahsan Muhamamd Mujahid, Deputy Chief Qamar Uz Zaman, Mir Qasim Ali, Deputy Secretary General Azhar Ul Islam and the Jamat Chief Mati ur Rehman Nizami.

Dilawar Hussain Syedi is the only leader whose death penalty was converted to life imprisonment while former chief Professor Ghulam Azam was sentenced to 90 years of imprisonment.He died in jail at the age of 91 in October 2014.

Now the question is that after 45 years of independence when the third generation of Bangladeshis is coming of age and Bangladesh has completely changed, will these punishments unite or divide the society?

Jamaat e Islami was banned again in 2013. During the last 5 years, new extremist groups have emerged in Bangladesh. Most of these groups are influenced by ISIS and Al Qaida and, instead of the political process, they only believe in violence.

Most prominent among these are Ansar Ullah Bangla Team and Jamaat ul Mujahideen whose supporters have killed 9 writers, bloggers, journalists and teachers in last 14 months. Worship places of Shia community were attacked for the first time and several bomb attacks were carried out.

The vacuum created as a result of squashing Jamaat e Islami from peaceful mainstream politics was filled by extremist groups instead of leftist parties. Hundreds of disillusioned young men from Jamaat e Islami will prove to be a goldmine of manpower for these extremists groups.

On top of all that, the freedom of media is not only threatened by extremist groups but also by strict government laws.

According to the report of Freedom House, an organization that keeps an eye on international standard of journalistic freedom, media in Bangladesh was demoted from “Partly Free” in 2015 to “Not Free” in 2016.


Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 10 Dec 2023

Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against the US dollar, and other currencies in the open market on Sunday.

Dollar Rate in Pakistan Today

On Sunday, the US dollar was being quoted at 283.4 for buying and 285.95 for selling.

Euro comes down to 307 for buying and 310 for selling. British Pound rate remains unchanged at 358.5 for buying, and 362 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED witnessed slight drop and new rate stands at 77.2 whereas the Saudi Riyal remained stable at 76.

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 283.4 285.95
Euro EUR 307 310
UK Pound Sterling GBP 358.5 362
U.A.E Dirham AED 77.2 78
Saudi Riyal SAR 76 76.8
Australian Dollar AUD 187.2 189
Bahrain Dinar BHD 755.82 763.82
Canadian Dollar CAD 209 211
China Yuan CNY 39.82 40.22
Danish Krone DKK 41.14 41.54
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 36.37 36.72
Indian Rupee INR 3.41 3.52
Japanese Yen JPY 1.39 1.45
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 922.14 931.14
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 60.82 61.42
New Zealand Dollar NZD 175.33 177.33
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.12 26.42
Omani Riyal OMR 738.71 741.76
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 78.07 78.77
Singapore Dollar SGD 211 213
Swedish Korona SEK 27.32 27.62
Swiss Franc CHF 324.5 327
Thai Bhat THB 8.08 8.23

Gold price drops in Pakistan; Check out today gold rates here

Gold prices decreased in local markets in line with the trend in the international market.

Gold Rates in Pakistan Today - 10 December 2023

On Sunday, the price of a single tola of 24-karat gold stands at Rs216,300, and 10 grams of 24k gold costs Rs185,450.

Single tola of 22 Karat Gold price costs Rs198,274, 21 karat rate per tola costs Rs189,263 and 18k gold rate is Rs162,225 for each tola.

In the global market, gold prices hovers around $2,004 per ounce, after drop of $23.35 on Sunday.

Today Gold Rate in Pakistan

City Gold Silver
Lahore PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Karachi PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Islamabad PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Peshawar PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Quetta PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Sialkot PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Attock PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Gujranwala PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Jehlum PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Multan PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Bahawalpur PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Gujrat PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Nawabshah PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Chakwal PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Hyderabad PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Nowshehra PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Sargodha PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Faisalabad PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486
Mirpur PKR 216,300 PKR 2,486


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