AL has no alternative to Hasina: Quader

War crimes trial to continue even if Jamaat seeks apology

Staff Correspondent

17 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader said on Saturday his party has no alternative to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina if she decides to retire from politics.

“The reality is that there is no alternative to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in our party. There is no alternative to her in the wider contemporary political field too,” he said.

Quader, also the minister for road transport and bridges, said this while addressing at a press conference at Awami League president Sheikh Hasina’s political office at Dhanmondi in the capital.

He was referring to an interview that the prime minister gave abroad stating

 that she would retire from politics to bring a new leadership in her party.

 The minister said that the premier at the AL’s 20th council also expressed her desire for retirement.

“But she had to change the decision in face of pressure from the party councillors, leaders and activists. I am not certain whether our leaders and activists will allow her to retire from politics,” he said.

The AL general secretary requested the premier to continue as party chief for another term.

While referring to resignation of Jamaat assistant secretary general Barrister Abdur Razzaq, he said that the war crimes trial would continue even if Jamaat-e-Islami seeks apology for its crimes against humanity during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

“The ongoing trial of war criminals won’t be stopped even if Jamaat seeks mercy for their crimes against humanity during our Liberation War,” he said.

Razzaq resigned from the party as his party lost its registration as a political party to compete in the election race.

However, the minister termed the latest development in Jamaat as a ‘political strategy.’

“It’s not clear yet why the matter of seeking mercy by Jamaat has appeared after 47 years of independence. It might be their political strategy. Moreover, they have not said anything officially yet over the matter,” he said.

“Seeking mercy by Razzaq is a personal matter and their intention is not clear as yet,” he added.

Replying to another question, Quader said, “What would be the big difference if Jamaat changes its name… it is like old wine in a new bottle. It is all the same if there remains the same old ideology in the new name.”

Responding to BNP leader Abdul Moyeen Khan, who claimed that Bangladesh had become a dictatorship ruled by the AL, he said, “A terrible fiasco both in their protest movement and the election has made them reckless. They are severely frustrated.”

The minister also condemned the acts of militancy in India that left at least 40 paramilitary police killed in a bomb attack on their convoy in the Indian-administered Kashmir.

AL leaders BM Mozammel Haque, Afzal Husain, Abdus Sabur, Sujit Roy Nandi, SM Kamal Hossain and Anwar Hossain, among others, were present at the press briefing.