Statement from Amaan Azmi
Not concerned about the tribunal’s verdict; we wait for the Divine verdict/justice from Allah: Son of Prof Ghulam Azam
“Whatever the anticipated verdict of the tribunal [in my father’s case] will be, we are not concerned about it at all. We instead wait for the Divine verdict/justice from almighty Allah,” says Mr Amaan Azmi, son of Prof Ghulam Azam who is awaiting the verdict in the case against him for war crimes.
In an exclusive interview with RTNN, the son of Prof Ghulam Azam and an ex-Brigadier general in the Bangladesh army, Abdullah Amaan Azmi has also said, “Those who vowed to my father’s feet in 1996 for the sake of coming into power are the same people now staging this drama to falsely portray him as a war criminal.”
He says, “Since my father has been opposing anti-Islamic activities and policies of this government for moral/ideological reasons, they are harassing him in his old age [for political motivation].”
Amaan Azmi stated that those who associate his father with crimes against humanity are morally sick people who are falsely accusing his father.
The case against Prof Gulam Azam has been listed for pending verdict, expected within the coming days after the court hearing was completed last week.
Mr Azmi has said relatives visited his father on Sunday. They will be able to visit him again in 2 weeks time.
Mr Azami says, “A man has been known for spotless innocent character throughout 91 years of his life. But he is being accused of committing these heinous crimes of the lowest character. How could such a man get so low during only this specific period of 9 months? Are these accusations at all believable?”
Mr Azami stressed, “My father was an ordinary member of the 40 member peace committee. He preferred a united Pakistan. Apart from this he never gave any provocative speech or statement. He was never involved with any [war] planning.”
“You can realise from responses of the investigation officer that this trial is being staged in order to destroy the good character and reputation of this spotless honest political personality. The investigation officer replied to a question that he has not investigated whether Prof Gulam Azam was involved with any [war] planning. Please, now you tell me how could the investigator submit his report against my father accusing him as a main planner of 1971 war crimes? Those who were the Chairman or Secretary of the peace committee were never put on trial, but instead my father is put on trial. How can you call it fair justice?”
The ex-army officer stated, “The state prosecution has alleged that my father wrote a letter to order the killing of Siru Miah. But they have not produced any family member of Siru Miah as witness. Only a statement claiming existence of such a letter was taken as evidence. Why was this letter never shown in the court [if it exists at all]?”
When asked about whether his father is satisfied with the trial process, Mr Azami says, “My father is not satisfied with the trial at all. He made this clear before arrest saying to the TV media that the verdict has already been decided even before the trial. This trial is only a show-trial.”
Mr Azami says about the verdict, “We do not know whether we will get the fair justice or not. We should not comment about the verdict before it is delivered. We will appeal if the verdict goes against us.
“We have submitted a list of 2,393 witnesses to the court but the tribunal allowed us only 12. Out of them, only I was able to give witness. We used to present more than 1 witness on hearing days but the tribunal was unable to hear them. Some of our witnesses were arrested and harassed. We reapplied for another 12 witness, but it was refused. Outsiders also threatened against anyone giving witness for us.”
Statement from Afifa Azam : If Justice is done Ghulam Azam will be proven not guilty
Wife of former Jamaat e Islami Ameer, Professor Gulam Azam, Mrs Afifa Azam said in a statement yesterday:
The Government of Awami League and its partners designed this International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) as a tool to persist in power forever. After proceeding through its different chapters, people are distress-fully waiting for the judgment chapter of this case.
Some flashback regarding this matter: India and Pakistan was divided at 1947. The non-Muslims leaders at that time were heavily opposed to creation of a separate Muslim state, and they continue to conspire against it. The Bengali people were subject to injustice, inequality, resistance and prejudice, which made them revolt in 1971.
Those who were already opposed to the conspiracy of India against Pakistan could not back this claim of independence due to three reasons. 1) India is historically against Muslim settlement. 2) India wanted to turn the west part i.e. Bangladesh now, into a subordinate state of theirs. 3) India intended to use Bangladesh as their economic market.
The past 42 years of independence has proven that those concerns were 100% true.
Post-independence, 195 army personnel of Pakistan were listed as war criminals. But after a tripartite agreement at Simla between Bangladesh-Pakistan-India on July 2 1972, those criminals were pardoned. Even the law for punishing local perpetrators, otherwise known as the ‘Dalal Law’, was also eliminated.
Today, after 4 decades, only for political purposes, “War criminal” issue has been dramatized in order to create instability and chaos. Under the leadership of Ghulam Azam, Awami League worked with Jamaat-e-Islami for about three decades. They even begged for their coalition by offering two ministerial positions and seven female members of parliament seats in the 90s. The president nominee personally met Ghulam Azam for blessing. During 90s the Awami League along with Jamaat protested demanding Caretaker Government. They were never blamed as War Criminals then. But now after their massive loss in the 2001 elections, in which Jamaat formed a coalition with BNP, Awami League is using the 1971 issue for pure political revenge to annihilate their opposition, Jamaat.
They amended the 1973 law against the army of Pakistan, transforming it into the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), where apart from its name, nothing is international. Many international organizations have criticized this tribunal. The “Skypegate” scandal where the chairman of the ICT, the prosecution, an expatriate lawyer and government minister were exposed as working in collusion has demeaned Bangladesh’s Judiciary worldwide.
The Shahbag drama added a new dimension to this injustice. Instead of taking witnesses and facts into account, the Prime Minister herself urged the court to take this so-called new generation’s hopes and wishes into account. Their aim is one: “we want hanging” (rather than justice). The public does not accept this tribunal to be clean, fair and acceptable. People’s conscious cannot be deceived for long.
On 17th April the Ghulam Azam case had its final hearing. We strongly believe, if the witnesses and proofs are taken into consideration, he will come out clean and with full dignity. We hope that, the respected judges will keep themselves above all influence, feelings and wishes, and deliver a judgment which will be fair and just.
Analysis of Professor Ghulam Azam’s case
Professor Ghulam Azam was not a lighthouse of a criminal campaign; rather he worked as a lighthouse for the Islamic and democratic movement in Bangladesh. The prosecution has utterly failed to produce any evidence required for conviction and punishment in a criminal proceeding. A judgment cannot be based on emotion but on the evidence. The case against Prof. Ghulam Azam on the charge of his alleged involvement in crimes against humanity is full of emotion and concocted stories but what it is missing is evidence.
Let’s now analyze the case of Prof Ghulam Azam.
Prof Ghulam Azam has been charged with the murder of police inspector Miru Mia on the basis of an alleged letter of Prof Ghulam Azam. However, the alleged letter has not been recorded as evidence in the Tribunal. None amongst the collector, conveyer or bearer or the addressee of the alleged letter has been called as witness to the Tribunal. This means that the prosecution has not been able to present any evidence. They have merely concocted baseless stories.
It is stated that Prof Ghulam Azam conspired with Tikka Khan. However, no witness has confirmed this. No documents have been submitted in support of this. A political party chief can surely meet an army general of the country at a discussion table. Nobody can deny that Sheikh Mujib also held meetings with Bhutto. What matters here is that no evidence was produced or no witness was brought in the Tribunal to prove what Prof Ghulam Azam discussed with Tikka Khan that should constitute conspiracy.
Prof Ghulam Azam has been charged with the murder of 38 freedom fighters in Brahminbaria jail at his written instruction. However, no evidence has been presented in the Tribunal as to who was the messenger of his written instruction, to whom it was addressed, what was written in that letter. Furthermore, no existence of any such letter has been established. Superior or command responsibility only applies to the military and not to civilians.
The Defence Counsel had presented a list of 2,939 witnesses in defence of Prof Azam. The prosecution protested the list, at which the court told the defence to present a fresh list of no more than 12 witnesses. No such arbitrary limit was placed on the prosecution, who presented 16 witnesses – 4 more than the defence. It is also interesting that with no limit placed on them, the prosecution was only able to present 16 witnesses against Prof Azam’s 2,939. It is clear how partial and unfair this court is in openly pandering to the prosecution and hindering the defence. Later the court forced the defence to conclude Prof Azam’s defence on a single witness.
None of the documents of the prosecution was prepared by the investigating officer, Matiur Rahman, but were created by Dr Ahmed Ziauddin. Dr Ahmed Ziauddin created them in connivance with the prosecution and submitted to the Tribunal in the name of the prosecution. This is fraud. Whatever Justice Nizamul Haque has issued in the Tribunal including the charge sheet and orders, nothing is his own deliberation. Everything is prepared by Dr Ahmed Ziauddin from abroad. Nevertheless, Justice Nizamul Haque later passed those as his own deliberation. By this he has committed fraud and misconduct. As such this trial is entirely discredited.
Five drafts of charge sheet against Prof Ghulam Azam came from Belgium resident Dr Ahmed Ziauddin. Furthermore, it is Ziauddin who from Belgium determined as to whom should be selected as witnesses and what statements should be solicited from the witnesses etc. On 12/05/2012, from Belgium Dr Ahmed Ziauddin sent the last draft of the charge sheet against Prof Ghulam Azam via email to Justice Nizamul Haque. Justice Nizamul Haque copied the same draft in verbatim and issued the charge sheet order against Prof. Ghulam Azam on 13/05/2012.
As such this tribunal has been heavily manipulated from abroad by a person with no official role in the court and whose role in the court was not made known and kept concealed until it was exposed by the Skypegate scandal. Following the scandal, the tribunal Chairman, Justice Nizamul Haque resigned, yet these fraudulent activities were not rejected and the trial continued as if nothing happened. Under such circumstances, the trial of Ghulam Azam cannot be considered credible or fair.
Cases concluded in Ghulam Azam’s case
The arguments of both the Prosecution and Defence in Prof Ghulam Azam’s (PGA) case are over. Today’s highlights:
1. Prosecution failed to give specific/ substantive evidence to prove any of the allegations brought against PGA.
2. Prosecution termed PGA as Lighthouse. Defence Lawyers agreed saying, “Yes, of course he is. He is the Lighthouse for re-establishing Democracy in this country, being the founder of Care Taker formula in the 80s. He is also a Lighthouse for all Islam loving people of this country”.
3. Defence Counsel said, “If PGA gets fair judgment, it is not possible for the court to sentence him for even ‘1’ minute. Rather, for bringing false allegation, Prosecution and Investigating Officer could be punished”.
Please pray for a fair judgment.
Message from Ghulam Azam’s son
A Message from Abdullahil Amaan Azmi, son of Ghulam Azam:
“TO ALL THOSE WHO ARE NOT AWARE ABOUT TRUTH:
With due respect to all those who post derogatory comments about Prof Ghulam Azam (PGA), my earnest request to you is to please READ the following CAREFULLY WITH AN OPEN MIND. If, even after that, you think what you posted is true, I can only say, “Sorry, LET US AGREE TO DISAGREE”. And, please remember that this is an academic forum, and it is desirable that no one uses indecent language here, because it will only speak ill of the person who uses filthy language.
Please use your HEAD (sense) and don’t be swayed by media propaganda. Try to know the fact/ truth and use your logic to come to conclusion. Combine HEAD & HEART, and not heart alone. That is what intelligent/ sensible people do. It is imprudent to decide/ conclude purely based on emotions, without using HEAD.
(1) PGA was NEVER in any govt position in his whole life, NOT even in 1971. How can he have formed and led those forces? Is there any document to support your claim? In the Tribunal, the Investigating Officer (IO), a police officer, after years of investigation, could not produce a single document to justify that he (Prof Azam) formed and led these forces. In fact, there are Gazettes issued by Pakistan Govt in 1971, decreed through the civil servants of that time, including the present Home Minister, which ordered formation of these forces and placement of these forces under Pak Army. How is it possible that a civilian, without any portfolio in any capacity, can have formed and led/ controlled/ directed those forces placed under command of army?
(2) Please be informed that, Mr Abdur Rahim, who was a DIG of Police in 1971, was the Director of Razakar in 1971. After independence, he was promoted as a Secretary to the Govt of Bangladesh. Great reward indeed. No allegation against him because he is not a political threat to the govt.
(3) All civil servants, police officers, university/ college/ school teachers and all other job holders, who continued to work under Pak Army in 1971 (including Muntassir Mamun’s father who worked directly under Pak Army in Chittagong Port, and his 2 uncles, the present Home Minister and a Dhaka University teacher) were absorbed in their respective positions after 16th December 1971. This includes those who were involved in ordering recruitment, organizing, arranging training, procurement, provisioning, payment of salaries, imposing punishments etc were absorbed by the Bangladesh govt soon after victory. Not only that- almost all of them were promoted to higher positions. And, these are documentary. None of them are charged with any offence committed by Razakars in 1971, whereas PGA is being alleged without any proof or document! Ridiculous!! How justified is it? Is there any answer to this?
The truth is, the people who are unable to face him ideologically and politically have been and still are using media to spread venom against him. I challenge any person on this God’s earth to come out with any proof s/he may have to justify the allegation of PGA’s possible involvement of any kind in organizing, recruiting, forming or leading any of these paramilitary/ auxiliary forces named. I bet my life, there isn’t any, because these are all lies. Had there been any such proof, it is quite natural that the IO would have submitted those in the tribunal, which he didn’t, because he couldn’t since these are false allegations. SO, IF NO ONE CAN GIVE ANY PROOF, I WOULD HUMBLY SUBMIT TO EVERYONE’S GOOD SENSE NOT TO BELIEVE OR SPREAD LIES.
(4) Talking about Peace Committee of 1971, please be informed that, its Central Committee had 140 members, in which he (PGA) was just simply a member, NOT even a small office bearer. How could a simple member of a committee do all the crimes, while people like Chairman, Vice Chairmen, Secretary, Joint Secretaries, Office Secretary, Treasure and other office bearers were all innocent? Is it logical? Is it acceptable? Any sensible person would not accept this argument. Does anyone even know who they (officials) were? Hardly few would know few other names other than PGA. Why then PGA is only under trial, and NO ONE else? The answer is simple – the govt is unable to face PGA ideologically and politically.
(5) PGA appealing (NOT apply) for not recognizing Bangladesh after its birth is an UTTER LIE. Does anyone have any proof that he even appealed for a single time, what to talk of 7 times? IMPOSSIBLE, because there isn’t any element of truth in this. Rather, it was he who tried to persuade Saudi govt, by personally meeting the Kings (King Faisal in 1972 and 1973, and later, King Khaled in 1975) several times, to recognize Bangladesh, and it was because of his untiring effort, personal influence and persuation that the Saudi Embassy was established in Bangladesh in 1977. The sad part of history is that, we know little, and are not interested to find out the truth, but are highly moved by the propaganda of the evil doers. Again, using heart without head!!
(6) If PGA is really a criminal, then WHY: (a) BAL did movement together in 1980s against President Ershad and in 1990s, against BNP? (b) BAL sought his party’s support to form govt in 1991by offering 2 ministries and 7 female MP seats? (c) BAL nominated President candidate, Justice Badrul Hayder, personally met PGA and sought his party’s support in 1971?
THERE ARE MANY OTHER QUESTIONS ON THIS ISSUE. THERE ARE ALSO MANY QUESTIONS REGARDING THE VALIDITY, NEUTRALITY AND TRANSPARENCY OF THE TRIBUNAL!!
I would conclude by requesting all concerned to know our true history before concluding/ judging/ jumping to conclusion. Please do not nourish/ nurture lies, because that only spreads venom and develops hate culture, which is detrimental to our progress and prosperity.
May Allah guide us all in the right path and help us to seek truth.
Thanks a lot for your patience (if you’ve been able to hold it till now!).”