Zia involved in Mujib killing: PM

Mahamudul Hasan

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Friday iterated that BNP founder Ziaur Rahman was involved in the conspiracy cooked up by Awami League leader Khondaker Mostaq Ahmed for the assassination of the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
‘None but Awami League’s black sheep Khondakar Mostaque was the ring leader in the conspiracy for killing Bangabandhu. But, who had helped and encouraged Mostaq and who were involved in executing the conspiracy?’ she asked.
Speaking at a discussion marking
the 65th founding anniversary of Awami League at Suhrawardy Udayan, Hasina said that Mostaq had declared himself the president in violation of the constitution after the killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and made Ziaur Rahman chief of army staff out of his first choice.
‘If Ziaur Rahman was not involved in the killing how he became the first choice of Mostaque for becoming the army chief,’ she said, adding that self-confessed killer Syed Farooq Rahman had told BBC that Ziaur Rahman had extended his support to the killing.
Referring to the BNP’s politics after January 5 general elections, Hasina said that the BNP was now talking nonsense and seeking help from foreigners after failing to foil the polls.
‘I can read their [BNP] mind… They wanted to resist the elections but failed as their decisions were wrong. Now they are seeking help from foreigners,’ she said asking the BNP chairperson to stop killing people and shedding tears before foreigners as it would not work.
Responding to Khaleda’s allegation that Hasina might have been behind Zia’s killing, the prime minister posed counter question ‘Why would we kill him [Zia] when you [Khaleda] were there?’
Hasina said when Zia was killed she and her party leaders and family members were on way to Dhaka after visiting shrines in Sylhet.
‘I would ask you [Khlaeda] a question: after the killing of Zia, how Ershad dared to capture power? If you had not patronised and extended cooperation to him, Ershad would not have dared to capture power,’ she said.
In a scathing attack on her arch political rival, Sheikh Hasina said that Khaleda had taken all benefits from Ershad who also did his best to take care of his ‘Bhabi’ (sister-in-law) after Zia’s killing.
‘My hands are not stained with blood…Rather, you [Khlaeda] and your entire family are the killers. People know it well that your husband was a killer and your son is a killer. You are in the habit of killing…You have tried many times over to kill me and many people were killed at your instruction before the January 5 elections,’ she said.
Referring to the recent data of Swiss National Bank that showed the deposits by Bangladeshi citizens were increasing in various Swiss banks, the prime minister said her government had taken initiatives to find out who had deposited how much money from Bangladesh to Swiss banks.
‘Who knows, Khaleda Zia’s account might also have been detected in the Swiss banks.’
‘We are trying to get the list of the people who have deposited money to Swiss banks. Her [Khaleda] name might also be on the list of the depositors,’ she told the discussion amid claps from the audience.
As for the dialogue with BNP, the prime minister said that she had invited the BNP chief to sit for dialogue many times before January 5 elections but Khalada did not respond to her call.
‘Instead of responding to my call, she chose the path of destruction and killing to foil the polls and now she is talking about dialogue…,’ the prime minister said.
Recalling her memories involving the Awami League and her father, Hasina said many attempts were made to split the party but it became stronger when such attempts were made.
She asked the AL leaders and activists to make the party and its associate bodies well-organised for the interest of the nation as the people believed that Awami League would work for them.
Hasina said all achievements made by Bangladesh were the achievements of Awami League.
Awami League advisory council members Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed and Suranjit Sengupta, presidium members Matia Chowdhury and Sahara Khatun and general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam addressed the discussion.

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