Amir Mateen

ISLAMABAD: It definitely touched a few raw nerves when Jamaat-i-Islami attempted to get a resolution passed in the National Assembly, condemning the execution of Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah in Dhaka on the charges of war crimes.


This was one issue that had the potential to scratch old wounds. Jamaat’s Sahibzada Tariqullah made a passionate appeal for what he called a benign resolution to commemorate “a friend of Pakistan who was brutally executed in Dhaka.”


Sahibzada went to the extent of comparing Mollah with Nelson Mandela. “If we can grieve for Mandela why not for Mollah who too was a freedom fighter,” he said passionately. Preposterous, isn’t it. There is a huge difference, Sahibzada. For a start, Mollah was a perpetrator who was accused of war crimes whereas Mandela was the victim of such crimes.


We may have come a long way in re-evaluating our deeds in 1971. We only have to read the account of our own Major General Khadim Hussain Raja, A Stranger in My Own Country: East Pakistan, 1969-1971. The book is posthumously published largely because we did not have the stomach to accept our deeds in earlier decades. By the way as General Officer Commanding 14 Division in East Pakistan he should know whatever happened there.


The details of what Jamaat militias, Alshams and Albadr, did in the then East Pakistan are hair-raising. Anybody who reads that might want the Pakistani State to finally apologise for our deeds. And here it was that the Jamaat member wanted Parliament to condemn Bangladesh for what is its internal matter now.


Sahibzada was wrong to assume that everybody in the assembly was on board. The government surely kept a distance and postponed the discussion conveniently. Sahibzada wanted Pakistan to ask the Bangladesh government to stop their inquiry and let the accused go.


Not so easy, my friend. If we follow the same logic, how can we refuse Washington when it asks us to let Dr Shakeel Afridi go. Pakistan is not handing over the accused in Mumbai blasts because, we say, we have to first try them here in our courts.


How can we ask Bangladesh to stop its judicial process because our three members of Jamaat in a House of 343 want it?Jamaat-i-Islami thinks itself to be the custodian of Muslims zealots from Algeria to Cairo. It still retains its proxies in Afghanistan. But time may have come for us to first settle our own problems and bid farewell to this Pan-Islamic notion, aptly said MNA Dostain Domki in the corridors.


Meantime, Parliament continued with its lackluster debate on the law and order. Tail Piece: ANP’s Haji Adeel moved a privilege motion in the Senate because the parliamentarians were stopped from leaving their lodges because of VVIP movement. Chairman Nayyar Bokhari was quick to summon Islamabad IG to explain. We the commoners endure this in and around Islamabad almost daily. Why should this become an issue when the honorable parliamentarians have to suffer it? Is there any honour in this?

The News

December 14, 2013