Despite its widely documented role as collaborating with the Pakistani occupation forces in committing genocide during the Liberation War in 1971, a spokesperson of Jamaat-e-Islami has claimed that the party, since its formation, is “committed to democracy’.
Abu Bakar Molla, EU and UK spokesperson of Jamaat, was speaking on a TRT World current affairs programme, “The Newsmakers”, on December 21, 2022.
Jamaat-e-Islami actively opposed the creation of Bangladesh and helped Pakistani forces carry out genocide and crimes against humanity during the nine months of the Liberation War.
In its verdict against Ghulam Azam, the Jamaat ameer in 1971, the International Crimes Tribunal noted that Jamaat-e-Islami – under Ghulam Azam’s leadership – operated as a “criminal organisation” during the Liberation War.
Without naming any specific human rights organization, the Jamaat spokesperson said, “What about the international human rights community are saying… they are independent, they are neutral… international human rights community has given statements, saying that human rights are grossly violated in Bangladesh.”
Incidentally, Jamaat-e-Islami recently claimed that Indian forces were “behind the killings of intellectuals” at the end of the Liberation War. A claim The Daily Star reported as “yet another blatant attempt to distort history.”
During a virtual discussion on the occasion of Martyred Intellectuals Day, Jamaat leaders claimed that Bengali intellectuals were killed so that the country “could not stand without the support of a neighbouring country.”
On the TRT World program, Abu Bakar spoke about supporting Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in its call for restoring the caretaker government system and demand for resignation of the current government.
Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, standing committee member of BNP, reiterated his party’s call for national election only under a caretaker government.
Also on the show, Barrister Shah Ali Farhad, former special assistant to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said, “The (recent) protests are actually purely political party rallies of BNP. No evidence to suggest that they have any mass involvement. While rising costs of living are impacting citizens’ lives, they are well informed as to the global reasons behind the rise. Their confidence is on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to deliver results, as she has delivered over the last one decade… The government respects the freedoms of assembly and speech of BNP and their allies as long as no public security risk is involved. The fact that BNP organised rallies in all divisional cities is evidence of the government’s cooperation in this regard.”