Soon after the Simla Agreement, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh Prime Minister, realized that the War Criminals might escape justice. He advised the former Foreign Minister and Law Minister Dr. Kamal Hossain to draft a law which would facilitate the setting up of a War Crimes (International) Tribunal which will meet the existing international standard. He understood that this will be first Tribunal since the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. He advised the concerned Ministries in making sure that both the alleged Pakistani criminals as well as the auxiliary forces supporting the Pakistani Army could be brought under the ambit of justice.
Bangabandhu had the International Crimes (Tribunal) Act completed with the assistance of two Prosecutors of Nuremberg Trial – Professor Ottovon Triffterer and Professor Jescheck who worked with the chief Prosecutor of Nuremberg Trial, Justice Jackson. The writer had the rare privilege of assisting the process under the personal instruction of the Father of the Nation.
After Bangabandhu, his eldest daughter Hon’ble Sheikh Hasina was elected President of Awami League. It was not easy. Opportunists were all around including those picked up by Bangabandhu from stink hole! To better understand the shaping up of Awami league under the visionary leadership of Sheikh Hasina, the inquisitive readers may go the days of “The French Revolution: A History” (1837), written by Thomas Carlyle. It is a “Drama or a prose epic rather than a history”. Condorcet, though a Girondist, would have liked Awami League philosophy – how it grew and matured ready to fight for an Independent country.
Bangabandhu, the poet of politics, gave us an independent sovereign Bangladesh. The politicians and pundits thought it was impossible but he made it possible. His daughter Hon’ble Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh is now finishing the unfinished job of Bangabandhu.
and democratic norms. She is the spiritual daughter of democracy. But her political career was not smooth. The pain of losing loved ones in his life has become a constant companion. She was imprisoned and detained through conspiracy by unelected government. Plot to overthrow her several times did not succeed because the people of Bangladesh stood by her. She defied the threats and conspiracies more than 18 times to kill her by dark forces of anti-liberation coteries.
Her uncompromising attitude, devotion in democracy establishment, patience, struggle, and sacrifice made her unique leader in her own country and worldwide. She has been working continuously with responsibility in leading the country, for security, happiness and prosperity of the people and to build Sonar Bangla – the dream of Bangabandhu.
Under her leadership, Bangladesh has become a role model for development, attaining steady economic growth and becoming self-sufficient in food. The country also achieved noticeable progress in various fields such as women's empowerment, agriculture, education, health, infrastructure, communication, energy and power, trade and commerce, ICT and the SMEs.
Recently, The UN-sponsored Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has conferred Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with "SDG Progress Award" for Bangladesh's steady course in responding to the universal call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all.
Director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Jeffrey D Sachs has highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her leadership in securing "tremendous" gains on different development and human indicators set out under SDGs.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has given us an independent Bangladesh. And the Hon'ble Prime Minister has created a modern and developed Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina’s leadership is essential for the country, the region and the world as well.
The writer is a former Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs