Jamaat starts its ‘reform’ process

Mohammad Al Amin

16 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Jamaat-e-Islami has started its ‘transformation process’ to improve its image after facing bitter criticism over its anti-liberation role.

As part of the move, Jamaat, whose registration with the Election Commission has been cancelled for the party’s involvement in war crimes during Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, will be renamed, party insiders said.

They said top leaders are likely to quit Jamaat, making the beleaguered party dissolved.

They will join the new party, they added.

Some leaders said the party is going to be renamed as its high command wants to create their clean-cut image among people.

They, however, said the ideology and present organisational structure of the Islamist party are likely to remain the same.

In a major development, Jamaat Assistant Secretary General Barrister Abdur Razzaq has quit his post.

“Jamaat hasn’t sought apology for its acts against the country’s independence in 1971,” Razzaq cited as a reason for his resignation.

Jamaat’s failure to change its political ideology in the light of the 21st century is another reason for his resignation, sources also said.

Jamaat Secretary General Dr Shafiqur Rahman said, “We’ve worked with him [Razzaq] for a long time. We’re shocked at his resignation.”

“We hope our good relationship with him [Razzaq] will continue in the days to come,” Shafiqur said in a press release.

Recently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told parliament that the government can do nothing right now with the issue of banning Jamaat as a case in this regard is pending in the court.

She expressed the hope that Jamaat will be banned if the court gives verdict in favour of a ban.

Meanwhile, Jamaat has lost its registration with the Election Commission for failing to fulfill conditions for the registration renewal.

A party’s registration with the EC is a prerequisite for its participation in any election.

When asked, Jamaat Nayeb-e-Ameer Mia Ghulam Parwar told the Daily Sun on Wednesday, “Jamaat-e-Islami still exists. If we have any plan [for renaming the party], we will inform you about it.”

Sources inside Jamaat said its leaders are now divided into two groups over changing the party’s name — a group wants to leave the party’s old strategy and another group wants to change only its name.

After hanging of some top leaders for war crimes against humanity, the party has been carrying out its organisational activities secretly. Many of its leaders and activists have gone into hiding to avoid arrest.

The Jamaat central working committee held a meeting on February 7 and took a decision to reorganise the party.