The National Assembly on Monday passed a resolution voicing its concerns over the hanging of Bangladesh Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) leader Abdul Quader Mollah. But the political parties were seen divided on the pro-JI leader resolution in the Lower House of the Parliament. While Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) strongly opposed it, Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Awami National Party (ANP) did not support the resolution.
The resolution was moved by Sher Akbar Khan of JI in the House, which was adopted with a majority votes. According to the resolution, “The House expressed condolences with family members of Abdul Qauder Mollah. This House expressed grief and sorrow with the bereaved family and demanded to avoid reviving the wounds of 1971 and amicably resolve cases against Bangladeshi leaders of Jamaat-i-Islami. The House demanded of the Bangladesh government not to resurrect the issues of 1971 and end all cases against leaders of JI Bangladesh through a spirit of understanding.”
Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on a point of order said that 42 years ago the people of Pakistan witnessed the tragedy of the “Fall of Dhaka”, but “unfortunately we have not learnt any lesson from it.” According to him, we still react in a violent manner‚ do not respect others and despite claims about democracy our attitudes are not democratic.
The Interior Minister said it is an occasion to carry out the self-analysis as to what the country achieved and lost in 42 years. He said Jamaat-i-Islami wanted to bring a resolution on the issue and the government would support it. He described the capital punishment of Bangladesh JI leader Abdul Quader Mollah as a “judicial murder”. He said that Mollah “was hanged for supporting a United Pakistan in 1971”.
The Minister said Mollah remained patriotic to pre-1971 Pakistan and his hanging had once again reminded Pakistanis of the wounds of secession of East Pakistan. He said the government fully supported the resolution prepared by the JI, “as this incident is an eye opener for the Pakistani nation and leadership.”
The Minister, however, clarified that Pakistan respected the sovereignty of Bangladesh, but the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah was on the basis of charges levelled against him to support a united Pakistan. Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said Bangladesh Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) leader Abdul Quader Mollah was innocent and charges against him were false and frivolous.
Khan said lawyer of an international human rights organisation Reprieve‚ which was defending the case of Mollah‚ told him that the JI leader was innocent and had nothing to do with the charges against him. He said the Fall of Dhaka gave us a lesson that issues should be handled democratically and not through military operations.
While opposing the resolution, Abdul Sattar Bachani of PPP said the issue pertained to an independent and sovereign country and “we therefore should not interfere in the internal affairs of Bangladesh.” He raised the question as to whether Mollah was not responsible for the killing of thousands of Bengalis. MQM leader Abdul Waseem said the Pakistani nation should learn from the tragedy of 1971 and that “we should find the reasons behind the Fall of Dhaka.”
He said Bengalis were also patriotic Pakistanis, but they were meted out a discriminatory treatment. It would have been better if we discussed the report of the Hamood-ur-Rehman Commission in the House instead Mollah’s hanging. Makhdoom Javed Hashmi of PTI‚ Awami League leader Sheikh Rashid Ahmad‚ Raza Hayat Hiraj of PML(Q) and Maulana Ameer Zaman of JUI(F) said JI leader was eliminated because of his loyalty to Pakistan.
Author: Naveed Butt