On way to Libya
After all the needful arrangements one night we took off boarding an Al Italiya flight for Athens. The Ambassador saw us off at the air port along with the concerned Thai officials. From Athens we shall reach our destination Benghazi under special arrangement of a Libiyan Airways flight. Till then conspiratorial killing spree had not started in the armed forces against the revolutionaries. One DC-10 carring us on board took off on time for a long distance unknown destination. There is no doubt that Zia would feel more comfortable being able to send us far away from the country. The huge flying machine was moving ahead pearcing through the darkness of the night sky with a hisling sound. All the boarders after having dinner got busy in the preparation for a good sleep.
In the 1st class cabin we were the only boarders. Nimmi had fallen asleep next to me. The seat of the 1st class if reclined then it turns out to be a comfortable bed. Many incoherant issues were hovering in my head. I was thinking about the past, present and future. Pasha was sitting next to the Aile. Lizi was sleeping with her baby daughter Liza close to her chest. Radhid and Faruk’s family had occupied the seats in front. At the back the young bachalor officers sat around newly wed Shahriar couple in a jovial mood. They were gossiping, cracking jokes and laughing amusingly. They were enjoying every moment of the flight.
Nazmul were busy in their efforts to befriend the beutiful Air hostesses. Pasha came closer and said
Sir, I am not feeling sleepy. I have noticed you are engrossed in deep thinking for long. Why not we leave this noisy place and find a quiter corner at the back some where.
Okay, lets go.
Both of us got out of the 1st class and moved to an empty corner of the smoking cabin at the back. Pasha lighted a cigarate.
Sir, are you thinking the same that I am thinking of?
May be may not be. Infact, I had been thinking on some issues relevent to our past, present and future. What have you been thinking?
I am thinking that we have lost the game for the time being but that’s not a big deal! What is bothering me most is the treachery of Zia. How could Zia be so treacherous! This is beyond all my imagination and the biggest surprise of my life. I, somehow still can’t accept it. How could we all failed to know his innerself?
Truth is stranger than fiction! The spectrum of my thoughts were wide ranging but this was also one of the issues that I was thinking about as well.
Mostly the defeated ones are forced into exile but it is rare in history that the victors ever had to accept exile! We decided with all the sincerity to charter our political path keeping Zia in the fore front. In view of that, I find it a most stunning surprise as to why Zia had decided to go astray choosing a different path by severing all relation with us! However, know it for sure, end result of his decision would be horrifying.
He has to pay heavily for such betrayal. I am aware that he might have some ambiguity about Rashid and Faruk’s participation. But he knew fully well that the main force behind the 15th August was Sena Parisad and both of them had just joined hands after mutual agreement. We wanted to make him not only the leader of Sena Parisad but of the whole nation. Then what could be the real reason for his sudden voltaface change. I think he might have been fully aware that Sena Parisad would never compromise on its ideology and principles. In that case even after becoming the chief executive of the state it wouldn’t be possible for him to take any major decision unilaterally as democratic centralism is one of the fundamental principle of Sena Parisad. Another reason could be at an opportune moment taking himself away from us power hungry Zia is very shrewdly trying to give a message to the world that he has no relation with the ‘extremists’. He realized that to the Western powers and the Kings and Sheikhs of the oil reach Gulf the diehard nationalists and revolutionaries have no acceptance what so ever. Only those pseudo ‘patriots’ and ‘revolutionaries’ get acceptance who are launched by them to serve their vested interests. However, the matter which is of grave concern is that he is trying to prove that he is no way associated with Mujib’s demise to appease India. This means that in future surely he would be co-habiting with the Indian stooges Awami Bksalites. In that case it would be very difficult for us or Mushtaq to have any place in the political arena. Both sides, Zia and his opponents Awami Bksalites would have a tug of war to win over the so called Islamists. They also will do politics of compromise burgaining with each other remaining within the frame work of world perias. So, none would face any problem.
All the intilligence agencies of the world including India and America are totally in the dark about the revolutionary uprisings of 15th August and 7th november. Particularly, to all of them it is utterly surprising hat a handful of retired middle ranking officers could successfully stage those two events and the whole nation had rejoiced and welcome both the revolutions with spontenuous support. Those who are capable to execute such events over their noses can never be turned as their lakys. This is what has become a serious head ache for them. Such people are never ever considered by them trustworthy or acceptable being too risky. We shall always remain suspicious and unpredictable to them. Besides, all the major outside players shall keep an eye on each one of us to monitor our activities.
So brother, from now onwards we shall remain suspects in their eyes. Taking the advantage of our absence from the country the way Zia is knocking doors of all foreign embassy to certify himself pleading that by creed he is not a revolutionary but just a soldier with a democratic mind set having no connection with the events of 15th August and 7th November what so ever though ridiculous seems to have been fruitful to some extent. But to justify his claim he would have to do much more in future. Not in distant future he would be up to eliminate the revolutionaries within the armed forces as well as the members of Sena Parisad to consolidate his personal power. But most ominous sign which I am fore seeing is that should Zia think that he can’t remain in power without appeasing India and compromisingly rehabilitates once again the Awami Bkslites in the main stream of national politics that would be disastrous. In that case what to talk about materializing our dream in light of the true spirit of liberation war, the very national independence and sovereignty would be threaten and perilious with the passage of time. In other words you may say the unprotected independent Bangladesh would become a client or occupied state. Eight croes Muslim would become slaves in the hands of the Chanakkys just like what happened due to the betral of Mirjafar at Palasi in the past.
Your thinking is logical but I have a question to ask.
AfterAfter the fall of Mujib America, Peoples Republic of China, countries of the entire Muslim world including Saudi Arabia and Western world had expressed supportive welcome to the change, why was that?
The question is important but answer is very simple.
In by-polar world Bangladesh became an independent country and right from the begining it was strangulated into Indo-Soviet axis. In 1971 dismemberment of Pakistan with Indo-Soviet help was against the interest of the Western world including America, Muslim world even Peoples Republic of China. So, after the fall of Mujib when Mushtaq became the president all of them understood that Bangladesh would now try to get out from Indo-Soviet axis. To install Mushtaq as the President was a clear indication of that. Thereafter, appointment of Gen. Zia as Chief of Army Staff made their presumption became even more clear.
Had we chosen any one else other than Mushtaq as the President then it wouldn’t have been possible to get support and acceptance so easily and so quickly. The whole world saw that Mushtaq became the President and he appointed Zia as the Army Chief. At that point of time it was not possible for them to fathom behind the scene who played what role as all of us then were mere unexposed shadows. Not only that, the whole world and the nation saw that the revolutionaries pledged their complete loyality to President mushtaq and newly appointed Chief Gen. Zia. After the 7th November successful revolutionary uprising from the wel founed logical address to the nation of Mushtaq and reinstallation of Zia as the Chief again all the outside powers started looking to him to be the strongman at the coridoors of power. Everyone within and outside formed the idea that Mushtaq and Zia were at the root of the regime change. The common people and outside powers up till now do not have any clue about the role of Sena Parisad which remains to be a secrate and under ground organization. As you are aware that other than the members no one else even within the armed forces knows nothing about this organization. Though our future is uncertain but we have a moral obligation to let the nation and the world to know about Sena Parisad and its selfless arduous relentless strrugle and contribution for the greater interest of the country and the nation since the days of liberation war so that the Sena Parishad and dedicated revolutionary members of this organization can be correctly evaluated by the historians.
Col. Taher tried to raise an organization within armed forces called so called Biplobi Shoinik Shangstha as a corollary force of JSD which was well known in every relevant quarter. But result of his efforts was so marginal and limited that none took any serious notice, the military and civil intelligence agencies in particular.
There was a reason for his failure. After retirement his access within the armed forces was very limited. On the contrary, we sow the seed of a covert organization during the liberation war so it was easy for us being serving officers to raise Sena Parisad within the armed forces with the committed freedom fighters. As recruiting officers we could induct around 20000 tested and committed loyal freedom fighters in the army.
Besides, our political philosophy has much more acceptance than Cl. Taher’s ‘Scientific Socialism’. That is the reason why we were able to develop Sena Parisad as a broad based organization within a very short period of time. As our organization was a covert one and our failure to understand Zia are the reasons for our present plight. In the power play for the time being we deafited this is a hard reality we have to accept. I am saying ‘For the time being’ because our idiology and philosophy are correct. Bangladesh can move ahead towards progress and prosperity retaining its self independence only based on these. There is no other alternative what so ever. The countrymen shall not take much time to realize this. All the political players on ground are nothing but selfish lakys of the anti national foreign powers this truth would be proven by their activities. Therefore, it would not be right to think now that we lost all credence and have become absolutely irrelivant. Logically there is no scope to conclude that our popularity and usefullness have come to the end for ever. Our selfless patriotism, daring uncompromising struggle for the greater interest of the country and the people and sacrifice shall be deuly evaluated corectly in course of time. Truth shall prevail in its naural process. This is a historical phenomenon and there would be no exeption as far as we are concerned by the grace of Rabbul Alamin Inshallah. This is my firm conviction.
You know Pasha, no one can go too far placing feets on two boats. So, Zia has to decide on whom shall he be dependant for his politics. He is taking himself away from the Sena Parisad and the revolutionaries who installed him in the centre of power. On the other hand he is chosing the self seeking doves around him. By doing so he thinks he would be able to prove himself as a moderate middile path trodder strong man to the natrion and outsiders. Zia being strangulated in the vicious cobwabe of this lot of highly ambitious oppurtunists has no other choice now but to be completely dependant on them. But this will not save him. At the earliest oppurtunity all these chosen close confidants of his would dislodge him from power. After rehabilitation of Awami Bksalites under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina once again through Zia and deminishing the strenth of Sena Parisad and Khandakar Mushtaq removal of Zia from power would be on the card I apprehand.
Announcement has been made that we would be landing at the Bombay airport shortly so both me and Pasha returned to our seats. Few passangers got off loaded and some got on board. Again the plane took off. After taking some light snacks we returned to the same empty seats at the back. Most have rapped them with one or two blankets and sleeping making comfortable bed with three seats together. some even were snoring in deep sleep.
Sir, your words have been hovering in my mind. Could you please explain littile more on how has Zia already strangulated himself in the cob wave of conspiracy as the power game is yet to start.
To understand this clearly one must analyze the visit of Mr. Sadre Ispahani. He came as the emissary of Khandakar Mushtaq and I firmly believe from his talks that he did not meet Zia before coming.
Your belief is making the whole thing even more mysterious! Which statement of his indicated to form such a belief?
Out of the ill famous 22 families of Pakistan Ispahanis and Haroons are the two most rich ones. Mujib had close association with both the families. Both the families are very well known within corridors of power of American and British domain. Haroon family owns daily The Dawn. Besides, they are also at the top in the shipping, insurance. Their presence in Tobacco cultivation, cigarette, textile they are in dominating position that is well known. The Ispahanis have absolute domination in jute, tea and various other industrial sectors. From the very on set of Pakistan movement they had been nurturing Mujib financially. Being just a name sake employee Mujib used to be given monthly salary from Alfa Insurance co on regular basis. With their influence Ispahanis made Mujib became one of the member of the Tea Board of Pakistan. Virtually Mujib could establish himself in politics on their financial backing. Of course, Mujib returned their favors with interest once he later became the provincial Minister for commerce and industries. Mr. Ispahani came as Mushtaq’s emissary to confirm what we already knew after talking to Mushtaq.
But how could he be so sure that Zia would not be interested taking us back if he had not talked to Zia? He must be knowing if not fully that some kind of close relation exist between us and Zia.
As an well known person Sadre Ispahani has many dependable sources. May be he has gathered this information from American Ambassadior or British High Commissioner.
This is possible.
He has given us another important information. I don’t know if you could get that. He said, to earn the confidence of India he has already told them that he has nothing to do with Mujib’s murder what so ever. He would be quite prepared to make more compromises with India if required to prove his claim. His such statement points towards what? This means Zia’s sowrd would definitely befall on us and the Sena Parisad.
I strongly feel now, Zia had been highly ambitious person all through but never believed in pro-people politics. Mind set wise, he believes in politics of power only, compromising and sharing with the vested interested different groups. The war of independence could not bring any change in his mind set. He shall never do the politics for the majority downtrodden and persecuted lot who had been deprived from their rights since ages. He shall never take any revolutionary steps regarding the socio economic sectors to establish a just and fair Bangladesh, where every citizen would be treated equally and given equal opportunity, there shall be no fair distribution of resources as well. In short, his politics shall never be just politics for power sake like most of the despotic authoritarians of the 3ed world countries having legacy like vestiges of colonialism.
Why then Zia took oath touching the holy Quran that he would be one of us believing in our ideology and philosophy?
At the very initial stage he was cornered and taken out from the main stream of the liberation war and was dumped at Kolkata removing him from the position of the Sector Commander by the Indian and provisionary Bangladesh governments. At that time he had no way out to fulfill his ambition. After getting our offer he cunningly used us to reach up to the center of power. He accepted our ideology and philosophy just by utterances but not from the heart and had been buying time for the opportunity. We failed to understand his inner self. Meanwhile, the plane had a short haul at Dubai for refueling.
Against this back drop I have a hunch that in near future it would not be possible for Mushtaq or us to challenge Zia politically. I am also certain that Zia’s heavy hand would befall on Mushtaq and Sena Parisad to turn these two opponents powerless. Without doing so, he wouldn’t be able to usurp the state power and hold on to it that he has already realized. Therefore, from now onwards we have to keep watchful eyes on his every move and analyze its motive. Our future course of action would depend on that.
Sir, your analysis is very logical and deeply thought provoking. I think we must hold a meeting among us for detail deliberation on these vital issues.
Certainly, that shall be arranged in due course of time. Announcement could be heard that the plane is landing at Frankfurt airport in Germany. The day has dawned. The boarders were busy in refreshing themselves and taking their own seats. We also refreshed ourselves and took our seats and got relived of the tiring jet lag of the long flight to some extent. There after the plane shall land at Athens, our destination.
After about two hours the plane landed at Athens airport. After opening of the doors a short roundish fair gentleman entered the plane alongwith some Al Italiya ground staffs and some airport officials. from the cockpit names of Rashid and myself were announced requesting to reach at the door. We complied with. The other passangers were requested to remain sited.
As we approached the door the gentleman in suit introduced himself as to be Lt. Salem of Libiyan army and welcomed us in Arabiyan style with a green in his face. He came with a special plane to receive us on behalf of their leader Muammar Gaddafi. There after, we all were taken to the VIP lounge and got ourselves introduced to Salem. Within a short time our luggages were trandfered and the Boeing 727 brought by Lt. Salem took off with a roaring sound. the destination is Benghazi, the biggest city of Libya. Soft spoken Salem with a smiling face was taking account of our welfare. He was conversing in English. Taking off from Athens on one shore of the Mediterrinian sea the machanized crane was heading for Benghazi on the other shore across the sea competing with the floating clouds.
Eavry sea in the world has its own look. I was enjoying through the window the unique beauty of Mediterranean sea a mixture of blue and green with white rest of the waves.
Zia’s attitude and Khandakar Mushtaq’s decision have given birth of many questions. All of them are complecated. Even after thorough deliberation still we are in dilema to draw any conclusion whether Zia would be betraying us or not. Rashid and Faruk have already made up their mind that Zia had bitryed with the cause of August Revolution and so we must stand against him for upholding our spirit and fullfiling our dreams. With outbrushing aside their notion we tried to make them understand that before taking any firm decision on such a crucial matter we must wait for some more time. We had two good reasons for that
- Sena Parisad freed Zia from captivity after defeating Khaled & his cohorts. Zia learned after his release that the Sena Parisad was the vanguard and main force for staging the 7th November’s ‘Sipahi Janatar’ revolutionary uprising. Col. Taher’s Biplobi Shoinik Shangstha was a supportive force. He got convinced on this when because of Col. Taher’s unreasonable demands beyond the agreement the leaders of Sena Parisad took sturn measure requesting him to leave the cantonment and banned his entry.
Though Shishu Bhai was one of the close confidants of Gen. Zia but in view of his intimate relation with us it would be unfair to disbeleave him totally. He had said that our stay abroad would be short as Zia had asked for few days time only. whatever he said that was Zia’s version, there is no doubt about that.
- On 3ed November we decided tactically to leave the country with out any frontal confrontation with khaled after finalizing action plan against Khaled to deny any oppurtunity to India for physical intervension. Right at this stage if we decide to launch any armed confrontation against Zia we would be prioviding the same oppurtunity to India for armed intervention inside Bangladesh. We must understand that there is a every possibility that any such armed conflict will confuse and divide the nation as every one back home has the impression that Zia is one of us.
Though they failed to counter our arguments suspicion about Zia prevailed in their minds. That forced us to remain alert about their activities so that they can not venture any wrong lunatic move. While thinking I looked through the window outside. The plane has crossed the Mediterrinian and was flying over Sahara desert started from it’s shore. Sahara is like an ocean of sand. Due to the heat of bright Sun shine redish Sahara is streched beyond the sight. I could also see waves of not water but sand.
In between one could see built up big and small towns, stray habitats, cluster of villages and oasis around the sources of water. This largest desert of the world spreads over almost half of the African continent. While enjoying the wonderful sight outside I was thinking as the desert resembles the ocean that is why perhaps camel is known as the ship of the desert!
At that moment Pasha came and sat beside. The young ones were having a nice time with Lt. Salem. They were having gapshap in hilarious mood. Pasha begged excuse from them and came over. On the other side the ladies were chewing Paan(Bittle Leaf)and were bussy witrh the air hostesses. They were also in jovial mood. Strange are they! None is thinking about the uncertain future nor they are scared!
Sir, with your opermission I would like to light a cigarrate.
Pasha after taking a long puff said
What have you been watching outside?
Sea of sand. Now I wopuld seek your openion on a very triffle matter not very important either therefore, never discussed with any one before.
Sir, feel free and go ahead.
The event took place while we were at Banga Bhaban. One day the President had called me to see the draft of the ordinance to be issued concerning our reinstatement in the army. Gen. Osmani, Gen. Zia, Gen. Khalil were present. After seeing the draft and a short chat with the President I begged leave and was walking out at that time on the hall way Col. Amin got hold of me and said, Mr. M R Siddiqi was sitting in his room waiting to see me for long. The reason is not known to him. Meanwhile he has been appointed as the PR in the UN. I thought he might have something to discuss in this regard. So, I requested Amin
My friend beat it off. You know, Nimmi has issued sermon to have lunch at home today. If I don’t go in time she would not spare me as you know her quite well. Please understand and be considerate as I can’t visit home regularly and Nimmi does not like to visit Banga Bhaban. I can’t really understand why suddenly it has become so urgent for him to meet me and what does he want to talk about!
Not suddenly, he has been coming to my office for last couple of days with a request to arrange a meeting with you. I told him clearly that no one knows for sure when you come here and leave. Moreover, I also told him that you remain outside most of the time. It is hard to say where does he go and what he does. But today I apprised him that you are having a meeting with the President, Gen. Osmani and Gen. Zia the Army Chief. If he waits then perhaps he could meet you. Since then he is in waiting with great expectation.
In that case let’s go, we entered his office.
After exchange of pleasantries Mr. Siddiqi hesitantly said he wanted to say something in privet. Amin pointed the room next to him and we both entered that empty room.
I have been trying to meet you for a particular reason last few days.
What is the matter?
Nothing serious, the American Ambassador and his lady wife want to invite you and bhabi over dinner or a high tea whatever is convinient to you.
Is in’t it slightly off the normal protocall?
Right you are. But this invitation is totally informal, just a curtisy to get introduced to you nothing more than that.
I see, well if it is up to that only then I have no problem. Moreover, it wouldn’t be polite to refuse his invitation out rightly. Okay I thing I can make it at 5PM this afternoon for an hour or so. But, I don’t think Nimmi would be able to accompany me as I have to rush from there for another meeting.
I am going to fix up everything right now. Would you be coming yourself?
Where does he leave these days at Gulshan or Dhanmandi?
In that case, we shall be meeting in front of Sangshad Bhaban sharp at 4:15 Pm.
That would be fine.
In time I reached in front of the Sangshad Bhaban and from there we reached to the residence of the Ambassador Bostar in his car. The couple received us at the porch and escorted to the sitting room. Mr. Siddiqi introduced me to the Bostar couple. I humbly begged apology from them for Nimbi’s inability to accompany me for some unavoidable reason. Mrs. Bostar with a smile said
It is gratifying that you could find some time for coming in spite of the fact that you are a very busy person. Thus after our introduction and exchange of pleasantries Mrs. Bostar begged leave and went inside. This was my first and last meeting with him.
So, you are Maj. Dalim, renound countrywide? I did not reply to his inquisitiveness but was waiting for his next question.
When you had been announcing the news of Mujib’s downfall and his demise did you ever think what repurccation it could have triggered off?
With a smile I replied
Excellency, in reaction you had been running in sleeping suit on the street almost senselessly. My reaction was surely not of that kind. Your good self knows it very well that this kind of event only occurs after due deliberation on every possible aspect and consequences, isn’t it?
Listning my reply he looked at me with spearcing eyes for a while then said
Meanwhile, the waiter in uniform brought in snakes and tea in a serving trolly.
What is next?
Before answering it is imperative to understand the question well.
I mean, what are you plans here after?
We all shall be taking up assigned resposibilities compliying with the orders of the government and join the places of duty. The country would be administered by the President who has taken over according to the Constitution along with his Cabinet and Parliament. The honorable President had meanwhile already revealed clearly his government’s future course of action in his address to the nation regarding human rights, rule of law, freedom of speech, freeing the political prisoners from the captivity, freedom of the press, resumption of multy party democratic politics and national elections with a specific time frame. I am sure you are also aware of his address to the nation. People’s aspirations had been well reflected in his speach, what do you think Excellency?
Rightly said. I have heard his address to the nation, it is very encourraging indeed.
Our resposibility was to free the nation from suffocation under the tyranical one party dictatorship and regain human rights and democratic polity. This was certainly been the resposibility of all the democratic minded political oppossition parties but Your Exellency knows it better how ruthlessly the oppossition was crushed by the fascist government of Sheikh Mujib with state terrorism. We had successfully accomplished our aim. And so, there can’t be any other role for us to play in running the government. Before I finish, I must catagorically tell you something.
The spirit of independence and democracy flows in the vein of Bangladeshis. The history testify that Mr. Ambassador.
Tell me, why you made Gen. Zia the Army Chief?
Excellency, what makes you think that we had made General Zia the Chief of Army Staff? All the three Chiefs of Staffs were appointed by the President and his Cabinet. Besides, allow me to say, Bangladesh Armed Forces are based on Freedom Fighters. Most of them are pro people and nationalist not power hungry opportunists like most of the 3ed world country’s Armed Forces. I am sure; you must be having an assessment about the character of the Armed Forces of Bangladesh. Don’t you?
I think you are in a hurry, but must say, I am delighted to meet you. Thanks for coming. Take care.
Pleasure is mine, thanks for everything. Saying si I begged leave and had come out. He personally came up to the car to see us off. Mr. Siddiqi throughout remained a silent observer. After listening my submission attentively Pasha took his last puff and nipped the cigarette in the ash tray on the hand rest of the seat
This is how the world big powers measure each and every one around the corridor of power of any country. His invitation and the meeting is part of that practice. But after hearing your replies he would try to find out more about you that’s for sure. His inquisitiveness will increase definitely. There is no doubt about this for certain. So, better be careful Sir! Pasha laughed aloud. I could not help but joining him.
The X-Ray has been done but report is not clear so MRI followed by City Scan might be required. We both reached to that conclusion. After the liberation as a soldier this was my first and last meeting with any diplomat at that high level so the episode got engrained in my memory. To be honest at that time I failed to conceive the importance of such meeting. But later after more than twenty years of diplomatic carrier I realized well what the crux of that meeting was. That is why I took the liberty to mention this here.
both of us looking at the passing white patches of cloud through the side windows. At times we felt mild jurk as the clouds hit the plane. The mechanized crane was competing with the passing clouds having all of us in her stomac. Suddenly Pasha broke the silence and said
Sir, why Rashid and Faruk with out any consultation went up to American Ambassy at Bangkok and sought political asylum which was refused and they held a press conference. What could be the reason behind such an act you think?
All though the initiative was impetuous but they had a reason I beleave. When they learned from Mushtaq that inspite of Gen. Zia’s request he has declined to be the President again and clearly told him he would be the elected President that alarmed then as they realised that their future has become uncertain. When Mushtaq further informed that the power struggle between Zia & Taher has made the situation within the armed forces unstable thougfh Zia with the support of the majority had been successful tackling Col. Taher but the situation still remains uncertain. Hiowever Zia had no clue to understand that the Sena Parisad played the major role to over power Col. Taher. Although, Rashid and faruk might have a hunch about Sena Parisad but Mustaq knew nothing about this covert organization.
But we know that all though, the common people at large are thinking the ‘Sipahi Janater Biplob’ has been triggered off by the patriotic members of the armed forces but fact remains that was organized and spear headed by Sena Parisad and after the success of the revolution the main strength behind Gen Zia was the Sena Parisad. Even Gen. Zia knew it very well. Rashid and Faruk were not members of Sena Parisad that’s why they both had became nervous like Mushtaq. Basically, being unnerved about their own security they went to the Embassy. But they failed to realize that by then Gen. Zia had been looked as the strong man on ground in Bangladesh to be sought for by most of the outside powers including India. Against this backdrop Rashid and Faruk were ignored by the American Embassy quite reasonably. As Zia is now being considered as to be the major player on ground without taking into consideration of his views not only the American Embassy at Bangkok but no other Embassy of any country around the globe will ever entertain our or their any such request that is quite natural. The reason to hold the press conference after the refusal of their request for political asylum was just to keep the record straight. I apprehend, in future as well both these In-laws shall take more such foolish moves so leave this topic aside. Let’s get back to talk about Zia.
I strngly feel Zia by now had been able to cnvince to some extent the major outside powers and India with his arduus efforts that he would be doing politics of compromize accomodating all the parties of different shades. He will submit his argument to the people that for the sake of national unity and democracy he is doing so. To passify prevailing strong anti Indian sentiment and to please thec majority Muslim populous and the oil rich countries of the Middile East he would be posing himself as a practising Muslim at the same time chant some hollow anti Indian slogans with understanding on different issues as and when required. Like Mujib, his Awami Bksalites would be persuing the politics of Indo-Soviet Axis but Zia,s politics would be simply power politics keeping everyone happy through compromize. The politics of such a cocktail comprising of right, left and centre which he is going to initiate as his neo confidants and political advisors are harping on would bring his measerabble end.
We had worked hard to organize Sena Parisad within the armed forces on firm ideological mooring and values to peruse ideology based pro people politics. Simultaneously, we aligned ourselves with all like minded and tested political leaders and workers to form a solid national political party to implement our program taking uncompromising revolutionary actions. Thus we wanted to fulfill the spirit and the dream of liberation war step by step under the collective leadership keeping Zia in the fore front with his full consent. But, today’s Zia is now trotting on the wrong path stabbing at our back. This is a bitter irony at present. You will see for usurping the power he would be forced to pollute politics with wanton corruption so that the self seeking opportunists of different shades that he gathered around could be turned into his domesticated dogs. All those boot lickers would be just his ‘yes men’ losing all their conscience to raise their voice to protest. Just as was done by despotic leaders like Gen. Ayub Khan, Z. A. Bhutto, Suharto, Shah Pahlavi, Mobuto, Pinochet, Marcos. But he would definitely be cautious in elevating his self image as ‘Mr. Clean’.
I am sure you are aware, corruption is of two kinds: – Physical and Intellectual Corruption. The second one is more vicious and destructive. History will judge him as an intellectually corrupt person as well as a deceptive traitor.
As Zia is totally void of any political vision, he also has no knowledge about political and social dynamics what so ever. He does not know it had never been possible to raise a political party based on morality and principles, a committed leadership and a fleet of dedicated and tested workers sitting at the pinnacle of power. In Zia’s politics none of these three factors would be visible. It is simply impossible because Zia virtually has been raised and brought up at Karachi. He never got a chance to develop any bondage with the soil and people of East Pakistan. Any association with the political process of East Pakistan is a far cry. Rather, Zia cautiously had kept himself aloof from politics all through as a tipicaly carrier oriented youngman having a modest middile class back ground. Later got commissioned as an officer in the Pakistan army.
On the contrary, all of us more or less remained involved with the student and national politics. Many of us had been born in political families. Till his announcement from Kalur Ghat Radio station Zia was not known much in the society and the people of East Pakistan. But even before joining the army all of us had some kind of identity in all most every quarters of the society. Besides, he has to depend on us for his political carrier that could be a complex he might have been suffering from.
Quite right Sir, this might have been bothering him the most.
Shishu Bhai is dear to all of us but somehow, I was not convinced to the reason he had given trying to justify Zia’s decision to defer our return. He said, at this fluid moment if he has to take us back then he also has to allow Rashid and Faruk to be back. As both of them do not belong to Sena Parisad and associated with its politics there is every possibility to erupt an armed conflict between two sides. But once Zia consolidates his position firmly in the army then it would be very easy for him to isolate them and take us back.
Yes, you have said it right. It is a lame cxcuse as Rashid and Faruk never had said that they would not do politics with us or Zia in future. But you might have noticed right at the begining Shishu Bhai said categorically that he would say exactly that what Zia had asked him to convey. That should not be taken as his own words. what ever we have discussed so far how much of it proves to be correct to know that we have to wait some more time with patience.
Captain has announced we shall be landing at Benghazi Airport shortly. The young ones and the ladies had developed quite intimate relation with the charming cabin crews. They are also visiting cockpit freely at the invitation of the captain to know how the plane is flown. Both sides had been trying to learn some freequently used common words and frazes and how to exchange greetings in Bangla and Arabic. In a very cordial atmosphere we are heading for an uncertain destination. Little later the captain announced
within next ten minuites we shall be landing at the Benghazi International Airport.
Throughout the journey the cabin and cockpit crews had been courteous enough to come over and enquire if we had any problem. All of them were very respectful to Salem. It was vividly apparent that though Salem was just a Lieutenant in rank but his stretcher was much more than that. The plane finally landed.
Benghazi is a big neat and clean modern airport of International standard. A few jet fighters could be seen in concrete camouflaged hangers scattered all around while the aircraft was taxing. Most looked like Russian MIGs. Some Russian Helicopter Gunships could also be seen scattered around. Through the windows we could see a grand red carpet well coming ceremony has been arranged on the tarmac. Army band and a meticulous contingent from the three services of Libyan armed forces were in position. Major Suleiman himself has come on behalf of Moammar Gaddafi to receive the honored guests. He is the Governor of Benghazi, the largest and most important Province of People’s Republic of Libya and head of the Revolutionary Command Council of Benghazi. Salem informed ‘Moammar’ means ‘Beloved Leader’. People’s beloved leader Moammar Gaddafi holds the rank of Colonel therefore; for the rest of all the officers of the three services of People’s Republic of Libya is up to Major. Salem further informed that after Moammar Gaddafi Major. Suleiman is the second most powerful person. In the Revolutionary Command Council his position is next to Moammar Gaddafi. He is the Governor as well as the Chief of armed forces in Benghazi. Benghazi is not only the biggest city but also the most important city as well in every consideration though Tripoli is the capital. Tripoli is infested with foreigners beside the Foreign Embassies that is why the decision has been taken to keep us at Benghazi for security reasons.
Our plane came to halt at the predestined place. After the engines were switched off and the door was opened a red carpet was rolled from the stairs up to the red carpet that was all ready spread on the tarmac. Down below the Band and contingent stood still. Maj. Suleiman was standing in front and about ten to twelve other high ranking officers in uniform and CVs stood beside him in accordance to their order of precedence. With the signal from Maj. Suleiman a bunch of disciplined little kids, boys and girls with flower bouquet in hand came forward near the foot of the stair and stood in a row. Salem meanwhile had all ready changed into uniform. He was the first to disembark marched up to Maj. Suleiman and saluted him. Thereafter, on his signal we also disembarked one by one. The lined up little kids, the future of Libya greeted each one of us presenting the flower bouquet with a divine smiling innocence.
Salem got each one of us introduced to Maj. Suleiman and his colleagues one by one. Everyone well come us with a warm embrace and kisses in Arabic way but off course not the ladies. Then the Band played national anthems of Bangladesh and Libya solemnly followed by the guard of honor and march past. This is how the state guests were received with honor and respect. When the national anthem was played we all stood on the stage emotionally charged and took the salute of the marching away contingent. Immediately after the march past, a motorcade with outriders lined up near the stage. All the cars were Mercedes Benz and the outriders were in BMW motorcycles. Out riders were at the front and back. Everything was meticulously organized and worth appreciation. The motorcade slowly came out from the airport and was heading towards hotel Omar Khayyam. That was then the only five star hotel in Benghazi.
Initially we shall be staying there that was told by Salem. Hotel is called ‘Fandukh’ in Arabic. On the shore of the Mediterranean in a splendid spot the Fandukh Omar Khayyam has been constructed with envying heritage. All the suites on the topmost two floors have been reserved for us. Appropriate security measures other befitting arrangements had been made under the supervision of the army.
The very appearance of Maj. Suleiman made the entire hotel management to stand on their toes fully alert. Suleiman, a man of few words went on a quick round along with the manager and his staffs to check all the arrangements and returned to join us in the specially arranged reception hall for light refreshments.
While we had been enjoying the specially arranged curtsey of the hotel management Maj. Suleiman soft spoken and man of few words suddenly spoke out drawing our attention
Dear brothers and sisters, I am honored to have the opportunity to receive our valued guests on behalf of Moammar Gaddafi. I sincerely hope your stay here becomes enjoyable and fruitful. I humbly request you all please do accept Libya as to be your second home.
We were dazed to see the modesty of a great revolutionary leader of his stretcher. His warmth touched our hearts deeply. Later I had the experience at China that greater the leader more humble he is! After the party was over while Maj. Suleiman was about to leave he said
Lt. Salem would be with us as one of the full time companions. He further said this is a temporary aboard. Shortly we would be shifted to befitting residences. There after he begged excuse from us and left.
After his departure the manager along with his staffs took us all to our pre allocated suits. One of the suits was also allocated to Salem. He said we would be taken for shopping in the evening to buy the daily necessities. Now we need a good rest after such a tiring long flight.
Libya and Sudan are the two largest countries in the largest continent of Africa with Muslim majority population. Besides, gold, oil, natural gas both these two countries are super rich having deposit of other precious metal and mineral recourses. Therefore, every outside power of the West in particular is keeping close watch on both these countries with their voracious appetite. Specifically, they are much concerned about the courageous and outspoken Libyan revolutionary leader Moammar Gaddafi. This young revolutionary is fearlessly vocal about their world wide ruthless neo imperial exploitation of the resources belonging to the developing world by the so called developed countries with brute force. Similarly, he is also very critical about the kingdoms and sheikhdoms of the oil rich of the Middle Eastern Gulf states who are all virtually henchman of the Imperialistic neo colonial powers headed by America for their selfish motives. Besides, he fearlessly started providing all kind of support to the nations who dared to fight against the neo imperialism and colonialism. Thus, he had already become an eyesore to most of them. His life was under threat right from the beginning and the whole international Media launched orchestral adverse propaganda against Col. Gaddafi.
He had to survive fighting all kind of conspiratorial activities against his revolutionary government. But like a brave revolutionary he faced everything courageously. He remained steadfast to his ideology and faith and continued supporting all anti neo imperialist and colonial struggles across the Globe generously. Simultaneously, the Revolutionary Command Council under his leadership has been working hard to take the nation towards progress and prosperity at a lightning speed. Moammar Gaddafi’s generous contribution in the liberation struggle of Sudan, Morocco, Kenya, Congo, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Beirut, Filisthin, Bosnia, Albania, Chechnya, Somalia, Algeria, Eretria, Ireland and Mindanao, Mozambique shall ever remain ingrained in the heart of every freedom loving people of those countries as well as the world. While at Libya the author had the honor and privilege to meet and befriend many of the great leaders of all these liberation movements. Col. Gaddafi’s radical revolutionary ideas were nightmare to most of the corrupt and despotic Kings, Amirs and the rulers of the Muslim world as well. With the direct connivance of the outside neo imperialist and colonial powers the rulers of the Muslim world had fractured the steel like unity of the Umma with secterenian divide to perpetuate their vested interest. Gaddafi was deadly against such heinous mechanization. He had been trying to bring back unity among the Muslim Umma which was again not acceptable to the world powers and their henchmen Kings, Amirs and the rulers within the Muslim world who remains totally dependent on their foreign masters for survival. Pakistan could never become an atomic power if Col. Gaddafi wouldn’t have provided financial assistance.
Due to scorching heat, Most of the deserted towns and cities remain almost asleep during day time. They usually wake up and get back to life after dusk. During day time very few people are seen in the government offices and the courts. Down towns remain open till almost mid night.
From our every suite the ships anchored at the Outer Encourage are clearly visible through the patio. Such a big country Libya with deposit of enormous natural resources then had its population only just over two million. So, without any difficulty the Revolutionary Command Council was meeting the required necessities of every citizen. People were happy and contented with the leadership running the country. The largest shopping mall was close to the hotel. In Arabic shopping mall or market is called ‘Sukh’. Salem arrived in time and we were all ready. After a good rest the Jet lag and ordeal were over and we were looking fresh. We got into our allotted Imogene. Entourage had security escort and the out riders with their Harley Davidson were in front doing their job showing the way.
We were driving on a mordern four lane specious high way. Many sky scrappers, shopping malls, offices and residential banglows and high rise flats were all well planned. Sparkling lights all around made the citry just splendid and bright. In most of the shopping malls one could see the Adds and name of the most prestiguious and expensive boutiques of the world in men and women fashon wares, cosmetics, shoses, jewelleries, perfumes name anything. In front of every shopping mall in the parking lot all lavish expensive cars were parked. But one thing was striking, most of the male were attired in ‘Tup’, sonething like an ‘Alkhallah’ in Bangla. This is a favorite dress for men all around the Muslim world particularly in the Middle East. The ladies were well clad sporting fashonable ‘Burka’ or scarf. Everything was well matched from top to bottom. Stainge enough I could not find a single girl or woman in a vulgar dress!
Salem requested us to buy clothings of our choice and all other daily essentials. Though we were given almost blank cheaque to buy things but all of us cauciously bought only the bare minimum things that were necessary. After shopping we returned to the hotel.
On return Salem requested us to assemble togather for a meeting. He at first gave each of us an envelop then aprised us about their revolution in short for our perusal.
After the 2nd World War with the direct help of the expansionist allied forces king Idris established his kingdom in Libya. Against his despotic autocratic kingship which was the outcome of the conspiracy of the outside Imperialistic powers against the interest of the people of Libya the first Libyan Bedouin Chieftain who dared to revolt was named Sheikh Ahmed Mokhtar. But his revolution could not see the light of success against much superior combined forces of King Idris and his foreign masters. He along with his brave companions embraced martyrdom gallantly fighting King Idris and his alleys.
Ahmed Mokhtar still revered by every Libyan as their national hero. Many years after Ahmed Mokhtar’s departure some young Turks of the Libyan armed forces on 1st September 1996 staged a successful revolutionary armed uprising under the leadership of Col. Gaddafi and ousted king Idris from power and abolished his kingdom. Instead, they established Islamic republic of Libya. Since then the country is governed by Moammar Gaddafi and his Revolutionary Command Council. Inside the envelop we found largely distributed and widely red pocket size ‘Green Book’ authored by Moammar in two volumes. Salem said
In these two volumes he has written about the background of 1st September revolution, political philosophy and principles of the revolution, gallant history of the selfless sacrifices of the patriotic revolutionaries and the action plan how to develop Libya as a self respecting independent progressive country and nation step by step in a very simple language. In fact in these two volumes of the Green Book our political concept, aim, state structure, socio economic relation, ideological bondage between different state pillars and departments and everything about the responsibility and obligation of the state to the people and vice versa. After you all go through these two volumes we would be anxiously interested to have exchange of views on their subject matters as well as about Bangladesh and your revolutionary uprising should you deem it appropriate. Great idea! We are also equally anxious to share our mutual experiences for the greater interest of both our countries and the Muslim Umma. This is how the meeting came to the end. Before, departing Salem informed hopefully, we would be able to move to our pre selected guest houses within a week’s time.
After Salem departed we opened the packets. Inside, we found Moammar Gaddafi’s ‘Green Book’ in two volumes exactly like pocket size ‘Red Book’ of Chairman Mao, containing the basic fundamentals of the Chinese Revolution which was published and distributed throughout the world in different languages along with a small note and some Libyan Dinar. In the note it is written that from now on every adult and the child would be given 200 and 100 Dinar respectively per month as pocket allowance, Libyan brothers would be great full should we accept this. In those days value of one Libyan Dinar was more than four British Pounds. Meaning by, the picture of Shaheed Ahmed Mokhtar printed on the Dinar was valuable more than four times than the picture of Her Majesty the Queen of England printed on the British pound! For us everything was free so the pocket money was an unwarranted bonus.
Rest and recreation was our life at the hotel. Virtually had nothing to do so plenty of time in hand so all had decided to finish the two volumes of Gaddafi’s ‘Green Book’ including the ladies taking notes to facilitate discussions. During the discussions we would be able to understand Gaddafi’s mind set, political philosophy, his assessment about the Muslim World, his views regarding the aggressive Neo Imperialistic powers, the anti imperialistic struggle of the persecuted and exploited people of the third world around the Globe for freedom and for the emancipation from pathetic plight of the backward Muslim Umma. We shall also be able to know about his vision and any long drawn plan to counter the prevailing evil forces against humanity. When the progressive and revolutionary leaders Patrick Lumumba of Congo and Ben Bellah were brutally assassinated it was only young Gaddafi who was grasping the revolutionary ideas. In the entire Muslim World Gaddafi was more radical compared to Saddam Hussein of Iraq. Gamel Nasser of Egypt had tremendous influence on Gaddafi. Rest of the Muslim Leaders was the lackeys belonging to either axis of the then bi-polar world. America was the leader of the capitalist pole and Soviet Union was the leader of the other so called socialist world.
Gadafi’s political philosophy was basically Islamic State and Social structure. Allah, the creator of the universe and all powerful is sovereign. His ordinance is the best philosophy and way of life for salvation in this world and here after. According to him, it is rational that the thinking capacity and knowledge of the creation can’t match with that of the creator. He believed that there is no fundamental difference between capitalism and socialism of Karl Marx as both these philosophies are reactionary in nature and based on materialism. The socialists are atheist and the capitalists are disillusioned believer. Their vision and thinking capacity are very narrow and limited. Their guiding philosophy in this materialist world is based on meeting the carnal desire of five senses. Besides, his firm belief on divinity and spiritual aspect there was hardly any difference between the ‘Green Book’ of Gaddafi and the ‘Red Book’ of Mao regarding socio economic system, progressive state structure, legal system, administrative institutions, devolution of power up to grass root level on the basis of democratic centralism to evolve national unity and to raise a modern and effective National Militia with every adult young men and woman alongside regular armed forces and other law enforcing agencies. Issues such as according to socialism equality between every man and woman regarding ability and productivity as well as the huge gap that exist between individuals in the capitalism were not clearly dwelled upon in the ‘Green Book’. However, the ‘Green Book’ has vehemently criticized that in the capitalist society human beings have been turned into commodities in the name of progress and socialist system had turned human beings into machines. The ‘Green Book’ has castigated equally the bankruptcy of the hypocritical political philosophy of capitalism as well as socialism.
After the victory in the 1st World War the British and the French divided a large portion of Autumn Empire among themselves through negotiation and signing of ‘Sysco’s-Picot’ pact. Thereafter for their vested interest they changed the map of the Middle East. They created nation states like Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. To keep the vast oil and gas reserve in the region under their control the British and America and their Western powerful allies in one hand established the Israel the Achilles’ heel on the other hand created a few small kingdoms and sheikhdoms of different size and got some surrogate Bedouin clans seated in the power thus strengthen their clout. Not only that by sponsoring numerous Fikras they made those kings and sheiks weak who remained completely dependent on them to clinch on to power. To further their domination they divided the Palestine and created the religion based Jewish state of Israel. The surrogate Kings and Sheikhs being dependent on the Western Powers quietly accepted the existence of Israel. Secrete behind creation of Jewish state Israel was to arm it with nuclear power to subdue other states in the region for their convenience. America had made Israel a nuclear power. The people of Palestine almost in a similar way started a war against such nefarious machination. In 40’, 60’, 70’ of last century three wars were waged by the Arabs against Israel. Only after these war the people of the Middle East realized that until and unless the Achilles’ heel is not uprooted there can’t be any durable peace in the region at the same time their resources also can’t be retrieved from the hands of the Western usurpers. Only 4 countries were then nuclear power. America, Soviet Union, Britain and France. All this 4 countries refused to provide nuclear technology to any other country of the Middle East.
When Chairman Mao was refused nuclear technology by Soviet Union, he rebuked USSR to be Social Imperialist and left the Communist International. Thus the Communist movement got divided throughout the world.
At that point of time Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan confired secretely to the King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Shah Pehlvi, King of Iran and Moammar Gaddafi that if required funds are arranged then for the grater interest of the Muslim World Pakistan was in a position to hoodwink the world and manage clandestinely procurement of neuclear technology and make an ‘Islamic Bomb’. His submition was found lucrative and attractive to all three heads of the rich Muslim countries. But it was Gaddafi who showed more interest compared to the other two and commited to provide any ammount of financial assisstence that might be needed for this project as his share. Once such commitment was assured Pakistan launched its clandestine endevor to be a nuclear power state. After crossing many arduous obstacles, ups and downs and sacrifices for over the years when its arch enemy India after its experimental nuclear explosion declared boastfully itself to be a neuclear power state then in reaction, Pakistan also stunned the world exposing itself to be an neuclear power state with a successful nuclear explosion. At the same time Pakistan also made it known tio the world that it is not only an atomic power but also possess launching devices of different ranges.
Though the success and failure of Mr. Bhutto in the national politics is very much controversial but even then, it is an undeniable fact that the very idea of an ‘Islamic Bomb’ was the brain child of none other than Mr. Bhutto. But irony of fact is those foresighted heads of states with whose financial assistance and support Pakistan could establish itself as an atomic power had to depart this world as victims of deep rooted conspiracies. Mr. Bhutto was hanged at gallows; King Faisal was shot down by one of his nephews while having a public audience, Shah Pehelvi had to die a pathetic death in exile. Lastly, Moammar Gaddafi was brutally killed by the angry mob during the armed uprising against him. The world pariahs never ever forgive any such audacity of their domesticated lackeys.
Two third of the natural and mineral resources extracted or not remain deposited beneath the earth of the Muslim majority under developed countries of the world. In view of the above the world and regional pariahs being alarmed are up to destroy this country hands in gloves to implement their long drawn blue print. Only time would say as to how Pakistan would be confronting this nefarious design in future.
One day Salem told us that the Charge De’ Affairs of Bangladesh Mr Zamir and his wife would be coming to visit us from Tripoli shortly at the instruction of Bangladesh government to know our well fare. Though both Zamir and his wife were known to me and Nimmi but we were not that close. He further informed that after shiffting from the hotel we shall be having our discussion sessions on Libyan Revolution, its motive and ideals, Moammar’s political thinking and philisophy. How does he want to move forward under the leadership of Revolutionary Command Council step by step to make Libya a progressive mordern self sustaining state and a dignified self respecting nation. They would also be interested to know in depth about Bangladesh. How could the relation between Bangladesh, the 2nd largest Muslim country and the Muslim World as well as bilateral relation between two brotherly countries Libya and Bangladesh can be developed on solid foundation would be a major issue to be considered. Besides, what do the revolutionary brothers from Bangladesh are thinking about the future of Bangladesh that would be of great interest to the Libiyan Leadership. Warmth and the sincerity of what Salem had said touched our hearts.
Meanwhile, young Moammar Gaddafi had already became talk of the town at every corner of the Globe and became known to be a charesmatic popular revolutionary leader among not only the Muslims but all the opprest and deprived people of the world for his fearless critisism against neo imperial exploytation and oppression at the same time his open critisism of Kingdom and Sheikhdom within the Islamic world. However, he remained a contovertial figure to many quarters as well. His revolutionary out look of the world and radical ideas became a nightmare to the neo imperialists and their lakey heads of states and governments including the Kings and the Ameers. Gaddafi was more radical than gamel Naser of Egypt that is why his radicalism had a greater attraction to the down trodden explotated have nots accross the world, he became an icon of rebelious defiance against naked persicution, subjugation and exploytation of the resources of the under developed countries not only that all on going anti imperialist resistance and independence movements around the world also got more intesnse with his moral and financial assisstance. That is why the International Media in unition launced an orchestared venomenus anti Gaddafi propaganda. He had been potrated at the dictate of world periahs as a lunatic terrorist against world peace and huminism. On the other hand to the exployted vast majority of the world populace he simbolized to be an exampolary brave revolutionay leader