Shishu Bhai arrived Bangkok
A few days after arrived Gen. Nurul Islam Shishu, our dear Shishu Bhai. With him Ambassador Khajwa Kaisar, an astute diplomat of Pakistan time, a class fellow and close friend of my father. Due to his outstanding diplomacy the secret visit of Henry Kisinger, the Secretary of State of USA to China was arranged by the President Gen. Ayub Khan. First we thought has he been sent as a spy by Gen. Zia along with Shishu Bhai! But not that. He was on his way back to his post at Rangoon in Burma. Next morning he would be flying out. At night we all had the supper together. While having dinner he enquired our welfare and said
Whatever Allah will be doing He does it for good. After dinner he handed an envelop to me and said
This has been given by Shamsu, your father for you and Nimmi. All back home are keeping well but worried about you. After reaching Rangoon I shall let Shamsu that you all are well and nothing to be worried about. Next morning Shishu Bhai after seeing off his Ambassador shifted from hotel Sheraton to our place. All of us were happy at the arrival of Shishu Bhai after a long time. The ladies were littile unhappy charging him why he did vot Tony Bhabi along? Shishu Bhai explained, it is an official trip that is why Tony could not accompany though she very much wanted to come.
We took Shishu Bhai to a small Burmese Restaurant run by a family. All of the family members could understand and speak Bangla. They used to cook very effectionately fish, dal and vegitable in Bangladeshi style for us so, we developed intimacy and had became more like family friends than customers. As we introduced our august guest they all warmly welcomed Shishu Bhai. Feeling the warmth Shishu Bhai said
Where ever you go you manage to create good company!
What else we can do? Once we were thick and thin but now being disowned and forced to exile so, we have taken them as close ones. Every one was smiling listning to what was said. Shahriar in his tipical humorous way said
Shishu Bhai it seems from now, we have to find some close ones like this family every where abroad.
Why? Have you all decided not to reurn back to the country?
Not that, but do we have the scope to return at our will now?
Watching Shishu Bhai was feeling little uneasy at what shariar had said, Nur changed the topic
Home styled Fish, Dal and Bhat have been served so, let’s start.
We all started relishing the food. After filling our stomach we returned to our hotel. The ladies after serving Paan and Masalas chatted for a while then went away beging leave from Shishu Bhhai. Then the real discussion started.
Shishu Bhai on our way did I not tell you at the Rangoon airport that remain ready the call will come. But at that time you perhaps did not believe that is in’t it?
Yes, but tell me how all these happened!
Still, you have not been able to find that out, this is just unbelievable as you are now one of the powerfulls. Any way, now tell us how should our conversation should proceed, as Zia’s representative or our good old Shishu Bhai? Whatever reputation you might have earned in the country now, we shall consider our Shishu Bhai more trustworthy.
Then I shall also feel more comfortable to talk freely.
Great dear old Shishu Bhai, now, speak what you have got to say.
Gen. Zia is unable to restore complete stability in the armed forces therefore, we wants your help.
Why is he unable? It is presumed that after 15th August President Mushtaq was forced to appoint Gen. Zia as the Army Chief due to his charisma and popularity. He is trying to sell that to every foreign Embassy. In this case where is the problem that I am failing to understand. So, please elaborate on this little more. Nur, the man of few words was tashing tobacco in his pipe while talking.
I am aware, though you are away from the country you know the situation back home if not more no less than me. That is why I asked Zia instead of talking to them directly why are you sending me? But Zia in reply insisted and said you shall have to go. Therefore having no alternative I had to come. I would like to clear one thing. I have not come to plead Zia’s case. I shall say what he told me to convey and I shall be saying exactly what you would like me to convey. Besides, whatever we discuss between us that would remain confined only within us. Then Shishu Bhai replied Nur’s question
Zia’s hunch is the revolutionary officers and soldiers of the units under Sena Parisad are feeling that he has betrayed with the August revolution.
After a while Pasha started
It is not unknown to the countrymen after 15th August who had installed Gen. Zia in the post of army chief through President Mushtaq removing Gen. Shafiullah. Wasn’t Mushtaq the choice of Sena Parisad to be the President? Those revolutionaries had spearheaded the successful revolution of 7th November and overthrew Khaled and Co and had freed Zia from custody and reinstalled him again as the Chief staking their lives, frustrated all the conspiracies of Col. Taher to kill him and kept him alive, the strength with which he could take care of Col. Taher and the members of his Biplobi Shoinik Shangstha later after Col. Taher’s anarchic moves that was Sena Parisad. Knowing that fully well how is he propagating that he has no relation with Sena Parisad? During the war after knowing our aim, ideals and political programe he willingly became one of the member of our covert organization after taking oath touching the Holy Quran. Only then we accepted him as the rallying figure and went ahead. After independence on that foundation we formed Sena Parisad within the armed forces. After having such a long associastion if any trust deficit has evolved between us and him then there must be some valid reason for that isn’t it?
Then what could be the reason you think?
All right I am telling. The reason is Munafikat meaning betrayal.
Nur opened up again as Pasha finished.
Do you know, that immediately after he was freed and brought to 2nd Field Artillery Regiment by the revolutionaries, what he was asked to do?
No, I am not aware of that.
Well, then you must know, he was asked to call and talk to us. He complied and Sir, had a talk with him. He was told to invite Khandakar Mushtaq Ahmed to take the office of the President which he refused.
So, if General Zia seriously wants any help then he must think seriously how should he remove the stigma that he himself has stamped on him of a betrayer. And the only way he can do so by taking us back forthwith. But I am sure, that even you do not know definitely when Zia is going to get us back or he would ever be interested to take us back at all to remove the stigma. Should he consider that the suspicion is not justified then he must take us back forthwith or else he has no right to seek any help from anyone particularly from those who consider him to be a traitor! Lastly, I think after all what he has done so far might prove him as a betrayer to our cause which he also believed and voluntarily decided to work together under oath.
The discussion was taking a serious turn. Meanwhile, Tea, coffee snacks were being served by the wetresses as saked for. To make the situation lighter I took the initiative with a smile
Shishu Bhai, we know, it is not possible for you toanswer these questions. Each one present here is edalt only you are an infant. All including Shishu Bhai himself busrt out in laughter thus making the atmosphere more congenial. Now, Shishu Bhai you tell us when Zia is adamant not to get us back on the spot how could it be possible for us to help him? We all are honestly unable to dig out the inner meaning of his such funny request!
I don’t know and have no answer to that. I shall only reveal what Zia has asked me to convey. Zia wants that you don’t return to the country at this point of time. He thinks, should you return then there would be an upheaval in the armed forces which would be harmful in the greater interest of the country and the people. India has already deployed its troops all around Bangladesh and just waiting for an opportunity to move in. If you all return there would certainly errupt a devastating power struggle within armed forces and that opportunity would certainly give India the opportunity to move in Bangladesh so, Zia desires that you all should stay abroad for some time.
When the present fluid situation would be more stable and further consolidated then shall Zia would consider taking you back. He however, thinks your stay in Bangkok is unsafe. Therefore, through the mediation of a brotherly country (Pakistan) on Zia’s request Col. Gaddafi of Libya has agreed to take you all as State Guests. Now, should you all agree to that then all arrangement would be made accordingly. This is the crux of the matter Shishu Bhai has come to convey on behalf of Zia.
Let me be very candid, even now I am least interested to serve in the army and I had spelled that out to Zia in no uncertain words. I had put up a condition before accepting the responsibility that he bestowed on me that the day immigration papers to States would be in my hand that very day he shall have to release me which he agreed.
May I on behalf of all present here take the liberty to ask you what assignment Zia had given you?
He asked me to help to organize his political party.
There you are, isn’t it a proof that Zia is up to a long haul?
Yes, you are correct.
Thanks for your frank appreciation.
Guys’ attention please, tonight is very special for all of us as our dear Shishu Bhai is with us so, let’s take him to Pat Pong to enjoy Bangkok by night, what do you say?
Everybody juvilently spoke aloud
What do you say Shishu Bhai?
Absolutely fantastic idea indeed!
After hearing Shishu Bhai the ladies lamented
What about us?
Sorry madams’ men only. So, allow me to say on our behalf a very good night and sleep tight.
At my reply, the ladies left the room with mistchivious smile saying good night to all of us.
Next day afternoon Shishu Bhai would be leaving Bangkok for Dhaka that’s why I made the propossal. Rashid & Faruk were not close to Shishu Bhai so their behavior was not that heart warming through out his visit.
After seeing him off at the Airport we assembled ourseleves to analize the visit of Shishu Bhai and the messege he carried from Gen. Zia. At the very beginning Rashid tauntingly said
Could you ever imagine that Gen. Zia your chosen Chief could be so treacherous? Your closeness with Col. Taher also provednot very paletable either. I have written at leanth about our relation with Col. Taher in my published book ‘Ja ekhechi Ja Bujhechi Ja korechi’.
Both the Brother In Laws had no idea what so ever about Sena Porisad and its activities. About our special relation with Gen. Zia in particular and the contacts of the top leaders of Sena Parisad with the leaders of different like minded political leaders and activists of groups countrywide. Till 15th August they even did not know that Khandakar Mushtaq Ahmed was a friend of my father since their student life.
At the fag end of the war Rashid came on leave from West Pakistan and crossed the border to join the freedom struggle and Faruk while posted at Kwyet on deputation left his post and joined HQ of Mukti fauj at 8 Theatre road in the month of December. Therefore, our relation was not that close during the liberation war. But both were selfless nationalists. After independence on their proposal Sena parisad decided to unite with them on the basis of a minimal programe to stage the 15th August successful uprising. They were totally unaware about the political philosophy and program of Sena Parisad.
Before 15th August uprising in a meeting we clearly told them
Should the uprising becomes successful then Sena parisad would not mind to accept Khandakar Mushtaq as the President but Gen. Zia would be the Army Chief, Naval and Air Chief would be Admiral M A Khan and Air Commodore Bashar. Both Rashid and Faruk demanded instead of Bashar Group Capt Tawab should be the Air Chief. Their demand was accepted after due deliberation.
I and Nur had planned to escape from Quetta together with Col. Taher. Readers may read the details of this plan from my earlier published book or website.
There was no difference of opinion among us that to ensure rights of the deprived vast majority in the newly independent Bangladesh a just equitable progressive state and socio economic system has to be ingrained. By upholding own self identity and heritage against the treath of the expansionist power next door a self reliant, peaceful happy and prosperous Bangladesh has to be built in light of the spirit of liberation war step by step that was the resolve and commitment of the Sena Parisad. We also did not have any difference about the main spirit of liberation war and aspiration of hundreds and thousands of martyrs and sacrificing vast majority of the countrymen over coming all hurdles in between. The difference was in political philosophy and course to be adopted to achieve this goal. However, this difference could not affect our personal relationship and mutual trust till the last. Taher and Jalil suddenly became attracted to the JSD’s ‘Scientific Socialism’. Sena Parisad’s political ideology was Bangladeshi Nationalism in light of moral and religious values.
Against this back drop when Col. Taher proposed that he and his Biplobi Shoinik Sangstha in the greater interest of the country and the people would like to join hands with Sena Parisad in any attempt to up root Brig. Khaled and his cohorts, the pawns in the hands of Indian Chanakays. On his sincere approach the top leadership of Sena Parisad chaliked out and finalized a plan to over throw staging another uprising in a closed door meeting with Col. Taher at the Banga Bhaban. As a part of that plan it was decided that for tactical reason the top exposed leaders of Sena Parisad would leave the country temporarily and would be stationed at Bangkok. On the basis of that plan the historic successful ‘Shipahi janatar Biplob (Soldiers and People’s Revolution)’ of 7th November 1975 was jointly organized by Sena Parisad and biplobi Shoinik Sangstha.
Due to some reckless moves taken by Col. Taher after the revolution out of wrong beleif and path Col. taher had to pay heavily sacrificing his life being hanged after a trial held by Gen. Zia which remains controvercial.
Even then the writer has no hesitation to say that Col. Taher was a selfless freedom fighter, a dedicated nationalist brave soldier and a comited genuine non compromizing revolutionary to the cause of the deprived vast majority down trodden people. In what ever way he is judged in the history, as a human none of us is above vertues and vices. Accepting this truth, I salute and pay my heart felt respect to closely known Colonel on crutch Taher, Maj. jalil, Comrade Shiraj Shikdar and Col. ziauddin. All of them were rare jewels and true pro people patriots. It was decided earlier that I shall have to be the spoke person in the discourse with Rashid and Faruk.
In today’s agenda we have three points to dwel on
- After Zia’s betrayal and denial any relation with Sena Parisad would it be prudent to go back to the country responding to the call of the revolutionaries defying Zia’s will.
- Would it be right to reveal to the Media right away the difference that has been developed between us and Gen. Zia after the successful revolution of 7th November.
Whether we should accept Zia’s arrangement and go to Libiya or refusing his offer it would be logical to seek political asylum in any 3ed country.
On first point both Rashid and Faruk held the view
Still Zia has not been able to consolidate his position within the army. Therefore, if we all return back to the country we can easily oust Zia from the post of Chief Of staff, the centre of power. By removing him we can chose sone one as the new Chief who would be sincerely believing in our philosophy and goal. Thus, we shall be able to proceed smootrhly to implement our agenda. Their proposition was not accepted being not realistic. The reason given from our side was
There is a gulf of difference between Zia of to day and Zia before 15th August uprising. Presentlt Zia is not only popular among the armed forces but to the people as well. How and which power brought him to this position that is not known to the ordinary members of the armed forces as well as the common people. They don’t have any clue whatsoever. After being reinstalled in the centre of power by the revolutionaries he very srewedly and gradually distant himself from the Sena Parisad and the revolutionaries and initiated his own political game for political power. This is not also not known to any one. In such a situation possibility of Indian aggretion or not, should we get into any armed confrontation that would definitely create confusion among the members of the armed forces and the people as till now they think Zia is one of us. Although this is true but now Zia is trying to disprove it. Your supposition has got waight that still wehave more streanth than Zia and can very easily get rid of him from the centre of power but if India decides again to establish a provisional government in exile of the Bakshalites like 1971 and then invade Bangladesh with full force responsing to the call of that government under the 25 years mujib Indira Treaty shall we be able to counter them with divided armed forces and people? Even more needs to ponder. As a result, if the country turns into a occupuied or client state and people are enslaved then it would be only we who would be blamed and held responsible. We would be known as anti state eliments and national traitors. We would even be more hated than khaled and Taher. Is this what we want that the countrymen and soldiers stigmatize us as highly ambitious bunch of power hungry lunatics? For the sake of argument let us consider that we successfully replace zia with some one but how could anyone be absolutely sure or take it for guaranted that the new replacement will not betray at an oppurtunate moment in future after entrenching himself into centre of power if Zia could betray even after taking an oath touching the holy Quran at his own will after due deliberation accepting our political philosophy and aim to work with Sena parisad as one of us? Besides, if we decide to take power then all senior officers above us have to be sent home on compulsory retirement. Is it practical at this crucial juncture? Some one of us like Moammar Gaddafi of Libiya at late twentys has to be the Chief, is it possible in the context of Bangladesh? It was possible for Gaddafi because of the all out support and assistance of most powerful Jamal Naser of neibhouring Egypt. It is not known to us if we have any Jamal naser to provide that kind of support against any adversary. Therefore, any such armed conflict would be self deafiting and a complete disasture.
Still more to ponder, Why Zia even after taking oath touching the holy Quran is taking himself away from us? The answer is clear as water. He from his heart had never beleived in our idiology and aim. he just used us to fulfill his political ambition.
Though it is we who had created the wave for his country wide popularity he would be doing politics of Ayubi style compromising with India with the support and dependence of his old cronies not us. In view of the above we got to accept one reality that is fatefully it is not possible to encounter Zia now with arms it would also not be possible for us and Mushtaq to counter him politically. As this point in time Zia would not tolerate either us or Mushtaq as his opponant to please and serve India’s interests. But with time situation changes opening new oppurtunity. Totally banking on the All mighty Allah we sould wait patiently for such oppurtunity.
Now the second point. I started the conversation from our side. I said
At this point of time on the basis of all the information gathered from all sources suggest that we should quitely observe all developments staying away. Our main endevor should be to protect Sena Parisad and our followers in the armed forces. We must not be at any cost be provocated to take any unreasonable move to tarnish what ever respect and support we have earned so far. We must uphold the inquisitiveness, love, Dua and expectation of the people with wisdom and charecter traits.
It would be not correct at this stage to become history by losing whatever has been earned. Therefore, we have decided not to give any interview or issue any statement in the Media. By doing such we shall lose all the actraction and inquisitiveness what ever is there in the country and abroad. So, considering everything at present it would be prudent to remain silent remaining obscure. Every one present agreed with my submission but Rashid and Faruk maintained quire silence. There after I started my discourse on thired point.
Till now the Bangladesh government and army the centre of power in particular have been looking after us. In view of this we have no credence to seek political asylum any where. Besides, whatever information we are receiving from that it is reasonably understood that still now the intelligence institutions of USA, Britain, Soviet Union and India are frantically looking for the roots of 15th August and 7th November. We must therefore be extra caucious otherwise we might possibly have to face many perils. In such a situation if we expose ourselves revealing all the secrets and inner stories now that would be foolish indeed! If we do so then in future should we try to do anything to achieve our goal would impossible as we shall be forced to be the dancing puppets with strings into their hands. This can’t be acceptable. All the outside powers maintain their bilateral relation with any any country based on their self interest.
In the present erra of Neo- Colonialism the financial and all other kind of assisstance is given to the underdeveloped countries by the so called developed countries is not to make them self sufficient out of their control and domination but to make them dependent on them. To attain this aim they hound for their lackys everywhere to install them in the state power. Those lackys for their selfish vested interests sell off the nation at a very cheap price. While hounding for lackys they also try to find out any possible opposition and nip them in the bud. So, in view of this sturk reality it would be most wise not to sell off ourselves being political refugees to any outside power but to accept Zia’s propossal as a passing phase and at the same time dedicatedly try to contribute whatever possible for the greater interest of the people and the country. This was also accepted by all being a logical conclusion. This time also both the brother in laws remained quite. It was not clear why they remained quite. From their dubious silence it was not clear whether my submissions on all the three points were acceptable to both or not. As such doubt and suspission remained. After the meeting we conveyed our decission to Shishu Bhai as promissed. We decided to accept Gen. Zia’s offer to go to Libiya as state guests temporarily. In reply, Shishu Bhai said that all necessary arrangements would be made as soon as possible. The leaders of Sena Parisad back home had also agreed with our considered decision after being convinced with our logic and reasons.
At that point of time both the in laws created the most unexpected fiasco! After the meeting one day with out telling anyone anything both went to the American Embassy at Bangkok and foolishly sought political asylum! Duely their prayers were refused. Though they hided this shameful act but we came to know about this later from some source. Though we all were enraged with their such appoling initiative but remained calm to avoid mutual bitterness. Later on similarly while at Libiya both the in laws with out consulting any one in a live talk show of one of the TV channels in London appeared. This was organized by the British journalist Tony Mascarenhas. Both proudly but stupidly claimed in the talk show that they were the main leaders of 15th August Revolution. It was under their leadership Sheikh Mujib’s despotic BAKSL regime was toppled etc etc. We were just stunned at their such covert and nefarious action! However, we refrained to squabble on this matter this time as well.
One day the Ambassador rushed to our place.
Sir, I received the directive to make all arrangements for your travel to Libiya. I have been instructed to finalize your departure at your convinience after deu consultation. Whenever you decide please let me know and I shall arrange everything accordingly.
You may arrange everything with a week’s time.
I shall do so, left the Ambassador.