Ban on Jamaat after court verdict: PM

Special Correspondent

7 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said anti-liberation force Jamaat-e-Islami will be banned if the High Court gives verdict in favour of the banning.

“A case for banning Jamaat is pending with the High Court. We can’t do anything until delivery of the verdict. We hope the court will deliver verdict soon. Then Jamaat will be banned as a political party,” she said.

The premier made the remark in parliament while responding to a supplementary question from Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary, a lawmaker from an ally of the Awami League-led 14-party alliance.

Sheikh Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, said the Election Commission (EC) has already cancelled the registration of Jamaat-e-Islami.

“Yet, they (Jamaat) took part in the recently held national polls with ‘sheaf of paddy’ symbol under the banner of the BNP-dominated Jatiya Oikya Front. But people rejected them through ballots,” she said.

The day’s business began around 4:30pm with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

The premier told the House that her government has already tried some war criminals. “Yet, some are still hiding abroad. We’ve taken measures to bring them back home.“

Referring to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman government’s steps against the war criminals, the premier said Bangabandhu started trial of war criminals for committing crimes against humanity during the country’s War of Independence.

“But Ziaur Rahman by usurping power stopped the trial after the August 15 carnage and paved the way for Jamaat to do politics in the country,” Sheikh Hasina said.

“The Article 12 of the constitution was abolished and brought partial amendment to the Article 38 to pave the way for Jamaat to do politics. But, people have rejected Jamaat,” she added.

In response to another question, the premier explained why her party Awami League won landslide victory and BNP suffered humiliating defeat in the December 30 polls.  The Awami League-led grand alliance secured 288 seats while Oikya Front bagged only eight seats.

“The massive victory of the Awami League in the national polls was expected. Survey reports at home and abroad also showed such results,” the premier said. Sheikh Hasina said people of the country gained confidence in her government because of massive development activities carried out in the last 10 years.

She cited mega projects Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, Roopur Nuclear Power Plant, safety-net programme and massive election preparation as the reasons for the poll victory. The premier also said some seven reasons, including nomination business, nominating three to four candidates in each seat, fielding weak candidates and failing to name prime minister candidate are behind  BNP poll debacle.

“After all, the youths could not accept the nomination of war criminals and Jamaat men for contesting the polls with the symbol of ‘sheaf of paddy’. The youths never take side with the anti-liberation elements,” she said.

“Voters turned their back on BNP due to these reasons while mass people were in favour of Awami League. That’s why we have got massive victory. The victory is for the people,” she added.

In response to another question, the premier expressed the hope that work on Padma Bridge, being constructed with internal resources after World Bank’s withdrawal of its promised 1.2 billion loan on corruption charges, will be complete by December this year.

“There has been difficulty in piling work of the bridge due to soil condition. It has taken some time due to redesigning of piling work with the advice of local and foreign experts. Yet, efforts are on to complete work by December 2019,” she said. Some 62 per cent work of the bridge has already been completed, premier told the House.