Request to Shishu Bhai to visit Benghazi
As decided One late night I called Shishu Bhai and got him on line.
Assalam, its Dalim here. Shishu Bhai, of late Tawab came to visit us and had gone back. We all desire you should also make an arrangement to visit us as soon as possible. It is important to meet you though we know you remain extremely busy these days. A.V.M. Tawab said so. After his visit it has become imperative for us to meet you. I am sure, you know what I mean. Don’t you?
Walaikum Assalam, good to hear your voice after quite a lomg while, yes I do. I understand, you guys are having a fabulous time out there as State Guests. What a coincidence! Zia has already asked me to visit you all to discuss a very important matter about his plan about your future. He is pressing me hard to take the trip at the earliest.
Is that so? Then it shouldn’t be difficult at all to arrange your trip right away, please come at the soonest.
Wilco. I shall be with you all within a week In Sha Allah.
Oh! Good old Shishu Bhai that would be realy great! We all shall be waiting anxiously for your arrival. Take care, Allah Hafez.
Allah Hafez said Shishu Bhai and droped the line.
All were exited to hear the news but both the brother in laws were indifferent.
Since then, we all were anxiously counting days for Shishu Bhai’s arrival. At that juncture both the in laws suddenly went out of Benghazi with out informing any one of us. When their spouses were asked where they have gone, they remained quite. We were surprised at their such wired behavior. When Salem was asked he said, both had gone to London for some reason which was not known to him. on the 3ed night after they got vanished from the blues we saw live interviews of Rashid and Faruk were being broadcasted in a talk show on BBC. The interview was taken by Anthony Mascarhnas, a veteran British Journalist. They were talking about 15th August armed uprising spear headed by the patriotic members of the armed forces. We were just simply stunt at such uncalled for immature adventurism for the second time. We all became horrified and dumb founded sitting before the TV in sorrows and anguish listning them for long. After their such initiative at Bangkok to arrange an interview after their request for political asylum was refused by the American Embassy they were told in strong words not to repeat any such venture in future and they both had agreed. Even after that how could they repeat the same blunder participating in such a pre arranged live talk show! This was simply unconsivable and that had made all of us angry.
On their return there had been hot exchange of words and relation became more bitter and uneasy. Their interview was widely propagated within Bangladesh and abroad and become controvercial which is still on. All the political parties of Bangladesh had taken undue advantages as and when required misinterpreting their statements made in that controvercial interview.
At this desponding situation we got the messege that Shishu Bhai has arrived at Tripoli. Zamir is escorting him to Benghazi. After spending some time on transit at Tripoli Shishu Bhai and Zamir reached Benghazi around noon. He travelled via London so was a bit tired. So, immediate arrangements were made for him to take a good rest for freshening up. After taking a shower and light lunch he went to bed. He slept till evening and woke up fresh.
After independence when Zia was removed from Command and was brought to the army HQ then Shishu Bhai was the Brigade Commander at Comilla for some time. Under his command we raised two Arty Regts 1 Fd Regt and 3 Fd Regt at Comilla. Besodes, we also started the ground work to establish Bamgladesh Military Academy(BMA) and Physical Training School(PT School) simulteniously as well. In those days we used to come over to Dhaka almost every week end to enjoy. Shishu Bhai and Tony Bhabi used to prefer to stay at our house at Mali Bagh not in their house at Bangla Motors. After enjoying the parties thrown and attended by the wealthy common friends we used to drive back to Comilla early Monday morning to be present at the Parade. ‘Minor General’ Shishu Bhai had no intemecy with Rashid and Faruk. Pasha, Shahriar, Mahbub and Huda were all then at Comilla. his intemacy with Nur was from the days they both were at the 8 Theatre Rd during liberation war in ’71.
Shishu Bhai is also related with my mother in law so he visited them at London on his way. Khalamma gave him some Bangladeshi fishes of different kind, Chawsa mangoes and Paan and it’s affiliated ingrediants to carry for us.besides, Tony Bhabi has sent from Bangladesh Sarees for the ladies, Kurta Payjama for the men along with Gur, Chira and Muri all are rare delicacies anywhere abroad. Sweets like Pora Barir’s Cham Cham and Nator’s Kachagolla were not left out. Our anger and resentment towards the brother in laws minimized to an extend as Shishu Bhai arrived. We all were very happy at his arrival. But Rashid and Faruk were some what apprehensive about his visit.
We knew it well, though Shishu Bhai at present is one of the confidant and close advisor of Gen. Zia, he has not come here for spying on his behalf. He has come here as our good old Shishu Bhai at our request. Shishu Bhai, Ziaur Rahman, Mir Shawkat, Mostafizur Rahman were all intelligence trained officers and had worked with ISI as young officers at the same time. This was the main reason for Zia to choose Shishu Bhai as a trusted confidant.
Before coming Shishu Bhai had also met Abba(My father). Beforehand, Abba had already informed me trhat Shishu would be informing us all about the present complex situation on ground so that we can take correct decision about the future course of action. Zamir went back to Tripoli after handing over Shishu Bhai to us.
We had already decided that we must try to find out from Shishu Bhai’s analysis the answers to the difficult questions about which we are thinking day and night. We would be talking less and listen more. We knew Rashid and Faruk wouldn’t feel comfortable and shall leave the meeting at the earliest. Our serious discussion would start only after their departure as Shishu bhai also would not like to open up freely in their presence. He would like to have free and frank open hearted discussions with us only. Shishu Bhai was fully aware about the weight of the brother in laws. Not knowing much in details about Sena Parisad, Shishu Bhai knew well about our popularity and strength within the armed forces. From the days of liberation war he realized that on the basis of some kind of understabding Sena Parisad shielded Zia as the ralling figure and had brought him to the center of power in 1975, after the political change brought by popular armed uprisings.
At present no one would be knowing more than Shishu Bhai on 7th November, which force had freed Gen. Zia from the captivity and reinstalled him as the Chief of Army Staff. What Zia is doing with that force in the name of bringing back deceipline within the armed forces? What could be the reason for his such unexpected deplorable brutal betrayal. We must also kbnow clearly from Shishu Bhai the reason why mistrust and ambiguity is on the rise in our minds and the members of the Sena Parisad about Zia so that we can take correct decision about our future based on factual realities.
In the evening after Shishu Bhai woke up fresh, we had high tea and all sat down in the conference room along with him. Rashid and Faruk were also called in. At the on set of the meeting Rashid asked what was the agenda of Shishu Bhai’s visit. Shishu Bhai replied
Basically, I came to meet you all to enquire how are you all keeping. Besides, I have brought a propossal from Zia for you all.
What is the propossal? Asked Faruk.
On my return Zia would call Dalim and Rashid to discuss about his thoughts about your future.
Why only Dalim and Rashid? Questioned Faruk. Shishu Bhai in his usual style with a smiling face replied
I am not suppose to know Zia’s mind. But I guess he might have thought one on behalf of two brother in laws and one on behalf of the rest would suffice.
Hearing the reply Faruk started biting his leaps. It is his habit to do so when he gets angry. He said
Zia had betrayed with August revolution, us and the revolutionaries only for his greed of power. If I was called I would have made him understand this truth properly.
To cool him down Shishu Bhai said
Whatever you wanted to make understand you have already done that not only to Zia but to the whole world in the organized live talk show broadcasted by BBC where you and Rashid had been interviewed by Anthony Mascarhnas. In the talk show you hardly gave any chance to Rashid to speak so, may be Zia wants to hear whatever Rashid did not have the chance to speak. To us such an intelligent answer was not unexpected from Shishu Bhai.
Listning such a reply Faruk thought for a while and said
As far as I am concerned, I am least interested to talk with a traitor. He can go to hell, but let me tell you his heinous injustice and crime shall not go unchallenged. You may convey this to him.
Surly, I shall do that.
Bloody swain! Have you got anything to communicate?
No, nothing of your interest I presume.
Well, then we shall beg your leave.
Pleasure is yours.
Thanks, he looked towards Rashid and Rashid got up. As both brother in laws were leaving, Shishu Bhai suddenly looked towards Rashid and asked
Would you be coming if called. Rashid in his usual style gave a crooked reply
Once the formal invitation is received then he will think what would be the right thing to do. Saying so both had taken leave from Shishu Bhai and left the room. We all felt a sye of relief!As far as I am concerned, I am least interested to talk with a traitor. He can go to hell, but let me tell you his heinous injustice and crime shall not go unchallenged. You may convey this to him.
Surly, I shall do that.
Bloody swain! Have you got anything else to communicate?
No, nothing of your interest I presume.
Well, then we shall beg your leave.
Pleasure is yours.
Being ambarrased I told Shishu Bhai
Lealive me Shishu bhai, we did not know anything about tat interview of theirs. We all were shocked to see both on the TV screen! Their approaching American Embassy at Bangkok was also degrading and we had warned them both not to act like this in future and they agreed. Even after that they could get involved into such a preposterous self defeating venture that we could never conceive. We are all very angry with that interview.
I know that you could never get involved with any such misadventure.
The atmosphere became relaxed and pleasant with his statement.
Came to know that already by now you have earned fame countrywide as ‘RajPutin’, but I am sure you are aware that his end was more pathetic than Zar of Russia. He had to commit suicide by taking poison. Every one burst into laughter hearing Pasha’s statement. Taking the queue from Pasha I said
Why from the blues our happy go lucky type Shishu Bhai all of a sudden developed the appetite to be the ‘Political Guru’ of Gen. Zia like Gen. Zilani became the political mentor of Gen. Ziaul Haq of Pakistan! Is it for the simblance in the names or to be ‘Rich and Famos’? All were rolling hilariously.
The question is very interesting and meaningful but none of the anticipited answers is right. I must clear one thing here that I still stick to what I said to you all in Bangkok. When Zia requested me that he needs me, I very frankly told him that I still maintain my earlier position that I am not at all interest to serve in army so, I can’t help him in army affairs. Listening to my submission he requested me to help to lay the political platform for him. Considering his mind set and ruthlessness I had thought that it would not be prudent to refuse his request. Therefore, I decided to accept this assignment but on clear terms that the moment my immigration papers would be in my hand I along with my wife and children shall leave for USA to join the rest of my family. That is how got involved in the political affairs. Now, reiterating my position I fill obligatory that I must tell you guys something in confidence as I and Tony love you all and particularly, we are indebted to Dalim and Shapan and their family. The reason is well known to you all.
I must clear one thing here that I still stick to what I said to you all in Bangkok. When Zia requested me that he needs me, I very frankly told him that I still maintain my earlier position that I am not at all interest to serve in army so, I can’t help him in army affairs. Listening to my submission he requested me to help to lay the political platform for him. Considering his mind set and ruthlessness I had thought that it would not be prudent to refuse his request. Therefore, I decided to accept this assignment but on clear terms that the moment my immigration papers would be in my hand I along with my wife and children shall leave for USA to join the rest of my family. That is how got involved in the political affairs. Now, reiterating my position I fill obligatory that I must tell you guys something in confidence as I and Tony love you all and particularly, we are indebted to Dalim and Shapan and their family. The reason is well known to you all.
We realized that Shishu Bhai is up to saying something important.
Much of what I am going to say Dalim already knows much of it but most of you are not aware. As young officres me, Zia, Mir Shawkat, Mustafizur Rahman were posted in Esat Pakistan. None of us deligated any specific political resposibility. So, what to talk about the arena of national politics we had limiterd interaction with the actual ground realities and the people as most of you had. from your student life more or less most of you had been actively participating in the student as well as national politics. Therefore, your parametre of contact and closeness with the leaders and workers of political parties of different shades and colors was wide ranging. That is why during liberation war and after you were able to take initiative organizing covert resistance movement against the far fetched blue print concerning Bagladesh of the imperialistic expantionism of Indo-Soviet axis. Zia was chosen by you as to be the rallying point. Your aim was to abolish old focilized obsolite colonial state and socio-economic structures and replace them with new compatible progressive and pro people structures through revolutionary steps to build a self relient, happy and prosperous Banmgladesh. Am I right? To be honest, very few of us had slightest clue about all these pious dreams. But you know something, at heart, I sincerely got fascinated with the courage and commitment of you all and your cause but couldn’t be bold enough to be part of that endeavor. Since that time I had been admiring and loved you all much more at my heart.
Am I right? To be honest, very few of us had slightest clue about all these pious dreams. But you know something, at heart, I sincerely got fascinated with the courage and commitment of you all and your cause but couldn’t be bold enough to be part of that endeavor. But when decided to make ZIa to be the central figure I thought it was a wrong choice and you were making a mistake. One day I raised this matter with Dalim and Nur at the Theatre Road HQ. But at that time both had told me
Shishu Bhai, The freedom struggle had brought lot of changes in our out look, mind set and thought process that kind of changes could possibly also come within Zia you had known. Moreover, beeing convinced about our philosophy, aim, action plan he at his own had taken oath touching the Holy Quran to struggle as one of us in our future struggle. In that case please tell, would it be fair to doubt his scincerity and honesty? I had no answer to that so became quite. Dalim and Nur both of you are present so, please say if I am speaking the truth?
Very much so Sir, every word that you are saying is true.
I supressed all these so long within myself, today by speaking out I have tried to lighten myself though it might not be relivent to you all. Hope, I am not boring you all?
Not at all Shishu Bhai, rather we are loving to hear your frank revealation. You may continue with out any hesitation what so ever.
Thaks, Shishu Bhai started again.
Hope, I am not boring you all?
Though, I had decided took myself aloof from the army but I had been watching after liberation with what kind of foresight, prudence, courage and cleverness hoodwinking every one with unbelievable ability you had been organizing yourselves. Being a man trained in intelligence, I was simply dazed!My respect enhanced manyfolds. Don’t think Shishu Bhai is buttering you. But when I saw crossing all ups and downs when you successfully installed Zia at the center of power, at that very moment the person stabed at your back and got derailed. You are not at fault for this. As, it is most difficult thing to read human mind and psychology. I was simply shocked and I cried, believe it or not.
is most difficult thing to read human mind and psychology. I was simply shocked and I cried, believe it or not.
Why Zia had done so, that is not clear to me as yet! You wanted to make a patriotic benevolent pro people national leader in that case why and on whose counseling he has axed his own feet that’s a mystry! Only time would unveil this mystry. We all who were present were attentively listening Shishu Bhai in a pin drop silence. Being one of the most close and trusted confidant of Gen. Zia he would open up his heart lijke this to lighten himself taking us into confidence was surprising but his sincererity had touched our hearts deeply. To day we discovered another Shishu Bhai not known to us so long.
From whatever Shishu Bhai was revealing with utter sincerity we were getting answers to many of the questions hovering in our minds. There were many important food for thoughts to be pondered about in his talks about our future.
Pasha again opened up.
Well, Shishu Bhai you just said, why did Zia do this that is not clear to you yet. I strongly beleave, whatever knowledge that you might be having about Zia due to your long association as coullegue you must be having your personal assessment of Zia. We would request you to share that with us if you like.
Pasha, you have rightly said, being coleugues I do have a personal assessment about Zia’s character and his mind set. I do not know, my assessment might be similar or different from yours, even then I am saying as Pasha wanted to know on your behalf that those who enrolled as officers in thye armed forces during Pakistan days most of them belonged to middle or upper middile class. Political awareness and national politics were of no concern for them. Therefore, most of us were unconscious about socio-economic exploitation and deprivation of the vast majority. The armed forces was the major partner of the ruling cotere of Pakistan from the very beginning. So, we all became part of the ruling elites.
We had always been suffering from superior complex and looked down upon others with contempt particularly the politicians. That’s why we used to address them as ‘Damn or Bloody Politicians’. We were also least pushed about the bureaucracy, judiciary and the leaders of the civil society. We had this latitude as all of them used to be scared and submissive to us fearing the power of the barrel of the guns. Vertually, all of them temparementally had been our ‘Yes Man”. Besides, we were given a llession that it was we who could contribute more to the nation and the country in every respect compared to those spineless self seeking corrupt lot because, we are relatively more cohesive, well organized and disciplined force, more focused on the modern world affairs and technology. Due to this notion Pakistan remained under military rule for most of the time. Zia cones from a very humble middle class family. He was brought up at Jacob Line of Karachi. His father was a Section Officer in the central government. After graduating from the Islamiya College, Zia went straight to PMA to make his carrier as an army officer. He all through kept himself aloof even from student politics for the sake of his future carrier. Though he was born in East Pakistan but he had hardly any relation with the people and the land of East Wing. Zia even was not used to talk, read or write Bangla properly. His knowledge about politics was up to that what was taught to him that for the betterment of the country and the nation armed forces must be the major player. Rest should remain as subordinates. We hasd been considering the progressive and left politicians as the enemies of the country so left politics was banned in Pakistan. At this back drop, I don’t hesitate to confece that we were never attracted and our knowledge was almost zero about communism or the politics of the greater interest of the majority of the down trodden people. To be honest, most of the officers remained engrossed in thinking how to climb higher in ranks other than anything else.
In ’71 everything became topsy turvy after the military crack down. Mujib nor Zia knew how to save themselves from such an unprecidented brutal genocide. As a result, due to this lack of knowledge and to save himself from the pressure of his party subordinates and followers Mujib at his own will surrendered to the army and Zia being the seniormost Bengali officer then at Chittagong Cantt under the pressure of junior officers and soldiers had no other alternative but to revolt and declare independence on Air for survival.
That declaration of independence turned Zia overnight in the eyes of the people of East Pakistan to be a brave soldier and a path finder. At that time none including Zia himself was not aware at which hight the people had taken him and his popularity but India did realized that. It was on Indian pressure subsequently the text of Zia’s declaration was changed and Mujib’s name was included. In his first declaration of independence broadcasted on Air from Kalur Ghat, Zia proclaimed himself as the President of independent state of Bangladesh. This initiative had portrayed Zia to be an ambitious person to the Indo-Soviet axis and their cohorts within Awami League who were chosen to form Provitional Bangladesh Government in exile. As a logical conclusion he was admonished and removed from the post of Sector Commander of No1 Sector thus withdrawing from the main stream of the freedom struggle and was dumped at the Mujib Nagar Headquarters at 8th Theater Rd in Calcutta. In other words, he was literally being thrown into dustbin. But due to pressure generated by you all as established powerful freedom fighters they could not finish him totally. Rest is history.
As a logical conclusion he was admonished and removed from the post of Sector Commander of No1 Sector thus withdrawing from the main stream of the freedom struggle and was dumped at the Mujib Nagar Headquarters at 8th Theater Rd in Calcutta. In other words, he was literally being thrown into dustbin. But at the end he could not be finished for ever due to your pressur. Rest is history.
Those of you who dared to take the initiative and got involved to lay the foundation of Sena Parisad under the cover of liberation war know lot more than me in this regard. You also had established contacts with other patriotic and nationalist political parties and their leadership. Not only that, being visionaries with foresight and thingking about the future you had also maintained relation with the leaders of the liberation struggle of the North East India known as ‘Seven Sisters’. You also developed relation with Charu Majumdar and his Naxalite movement. As sincere friends you had also helped them in many ways covertly. Only politically conscious persons and activists can have such foresightedness. Now, Nur the man of few words opened up
Well, Shishu Bhai, most of us also belong to middle or upper middile class so, in what way do you find the difference between us and Zia?
Many of you who are present here definitely come from higher or the same class as that of Zia. But the difference is, You remained connected with the people and the soil all through. Besides, some of you are born into political families thus familier or connected with politics. Therefore, most became politically conscious since very young age. This is what has made the difference in the mind set and thinking process of Zia and you all. There is another differnce. To the extent you all had de-classed yourselves that was not possible for Zia and would never ever be.
During the war you came in direct contact with the poor ordibnary masses who are the grater majortiy. The way their miserable plight, sorrows, pain, exploitation, deprivation, aspiration touched your conciense changing your innerself that kind of change never came to Zia’s heart. Most glairing proof of that is when most of the carrerist officers from all the sectors being unable to withstand the riggor and danger of a long drawn Guerrilla war got into rat race to be inducted in the three regular Brigades called ‘Z’, ‘S’ and ‘K’ Force that were raised later before our liberation war became a all out war between Pakistan and India none of you opted for those Brigades inspite of many requests and elurements and decided not to abandon the fellow Guerrillas and stayed back with them in ‘Lungis and Genjis’. This is where the different lyes. Personally Zia is no revolutionary.
Neither he is ready to de-class himself to the extent of you all. He is just an ambitious careerist army officer. As he has shrewedly managed to be served with the state power on the plate, he would restrict himself only to the politics of power which he has seen in Pakistan power politics of compromise but definitely not radical in nature. Shishu Bhai’s analysis of Zia and his politics was regratable but was very meaningful.
What about General Manjoor?
With a mysterious smile he replied
You know the answer I am sure. If you have asked my opinion just to reassure then I may say, slightly better but not much difference except Manzoor being known as ‘Gudarian’ is much more ambitious than Zia. Should he get any chance then he wouldn’t do anything radical as well. Dalim, am I too far away from your assessment?
Really don’t know Shishu Bhai, as you yourself had said it is hard to read any one’s mind. Besides, once bitten twice shy. Once again all burst into loud laughter listing to my answer.
You know the answer I am sure. If you have asked my opinion just to reassure then I may say, slightly better but not much difference except Manzoor being known as ‘Gudarian’ is much more ambitious than Zia. Should he get any chance then he wouldn’t do anything radical as well. What do you say Dalim am I too far away from your assessment?
Really, don’t know as you yourself had said it is hard to read any one’s mind. Besides, once bitten twice shy.
After lighting another cigaratte Shishu Bhai took a deep puff and started again at his ownYou know something, Zia had grown up in a humble family with always calculating gain and loss before taking any step. Therefore, his nature is to take any step only after carefully weighing prose and corns. Passion, impulsiveness, romanticism are not his bit of pies. On the contrary, siblings like you who had born with silver spoons in your mouths in affluent families are usually open minded and handed as well. So, not much used to calculate gains or losses. Other than this the people who had ever served for any intelligence agencies automatically develops certain character straits such as:- suspicion, to beleave in hear say, trust deficite even among the colleagues, to measure every word, unable to laugh hearts out etc. They can’t take anything simply on tis face. All in all their mind becomes narrow and croocked. This I said, absolutely from my own experience.
Okay Shishu Bhai, at present to perpituate his absolute controll Zia had divided the armed forces in how many segments? Asked Nur.
Three to four segments are clearly visible. At one side are the repatriate lot, on the other side the freedom fighters centering around Manjoor. In the 3ed segment are the inducted Rakkhis and left over AWAMI-BAKSALITES. The 4th segment comprises of whatever are still surviving members of Sena Parisad and a few rift rafts of Taher’s followers.
Which segment is trusted and considered most dependable by Zia? Asked Huda.
None. Because, he is thinking the very existance of every one depends on his mercy. Particularly, under the pretext of bringing back stability in the armed forces Zia had placed all the intelligence agencies under Gen. Mohabbat Jaan Choudhury the current DGFI. You know he is Zia’s course mate. He through the intelligence agencies had so far oorganized 18-19 fictitious mutinies and killed more than 2500 officers and the soldiers of the armed forces indiscremately. This is a modest count, some say the figure is much more. After such a hinious killing spree this notion of Zia got strenthened. Now he thinks he is the king of the kings. Therefore, he can easily fire any one at any time at his whims, remaining as strong as ever.
Now he thinks he is the king of the kings. Therefore, he can easily fire any one at any time at his whims, remaining as strong as ever.
Excellent! Huda commented on Shishu Bhai’s statement. After hearing all minutely Shahriar said
Well, Shishu Bhai, the crux of all that we have frankly discussed up till now gives a feeling that so long Zia had been using us to meet his end. At present it appears that he has no hurdle on his way to the pinnacle of power. He has almost uprooterd the organizational strength of Sena Parisad, Taher has been hanged. Rest of the JSD’s oppurtunist learders would be freed after keeping for a while in Jail through compromise. Lot of them might be seen in his political party as well in future though he is propagating his political philosophy is based on nationalism and religious values. Don’t you find this to be contradictory?
Though late, Col. Taher and Maj. Jalil realized that JSD was in fact the ‘B’ Team of Awami League. That’s why both at their own in their own ways took initiative to master strength to fight a people’s war. We used to maintain contacts with both almost on regular basis. Ideologically there was only one difference between us and them. We, strongly beleaved that Islam being a devine ideology was superior to Marxism. To the people of Bangladesh no ‘Ism’ whatever that might be would be ever acceptable void of religious values and ordinances this fact has been already proven long ago. The soul of 8 Crores people of this land would not be satisfied with any gingoistic idealism being propagated with out Islam. Taher and Jalil failed to counter our argument so, both were willing to work with us to demolish the existing obsolete state and socio-economic structure imposed by the British colonial masters taking revolutionary steps in every sector and build a happy, self relient, progressive and prosperous Bangladesh. Their borrowed political philosophy ‘Scientific Socialism’ was not acceptable to the freedom figfhters other than the vast majority of the Muslim population and members of the armed forces, This they realized quite well through their bitter experiences. Our philosophy and principles were correct that they had to concede looking to the organizational strength of Sena Parisad. After knowing everything from A to Z why did he have to axe his own feet and at the same time made all our long time efforts go down the drain! Can such actions of his bring any good result at the end? The day Zia would be unmasked the people of Bangladesh would consider him to be more vicious camillion and betrayer compared to Mujib. Allah also do not like Munafikat(Treachary). You would see, the end result of this imposter’s sinister design would be horrifying! Do you visualize that my dear Big Blood Brother? To Shishu Bhai we were all ‘Blood Brother’ since we got thick and thin during ’71.
What ever might happen to Zia that is of no concern to us any more. But the golden opportunity trhat we had successfully created to fullfil the spirit of liberation war in new born Bangladesh that was denied to the country and the nation by Gen. Zia this hard fact would be known to the countrymen some day and as a result Zia’s permanent aboard would be in the Dust Bin of history In Sha Allah.
Shishu Bhai listened with interest what shahriar had revealed but said nothing in reply. I took my turn again to know from him more clearly
Shishu Bhai, don’t you feel Zia is fully aware how and due to which force he is today installed at the center of power? Who were the vanguard and main force to stage the uprising of 15th August and 7th November? Even then he decided to sever all relation with us and go the other way bringing emmense catasterioph not only to himself but also to the country and the nation. Being his political advisor did you ever tried to make him understand that?
Yes, I did but failed.
He is verymuch ambitous but he is not prepared to take any risk. In other words I may say, he is not radical like you guys are. He would fullfil his political ambition doing similar kind of politics of other military dictators of the 3ed world countries. His politics would be subjugated by the outside big powers. In that case he would have to compromise with the vested interested quarters in side the country, political parties given birth by them and their foreign masters. are Based on the true spirit of liberation war Your menifesto and action plan are extremely popular and widely acceptable to the people. Zia had realized that well. Therefore, on his order I had to draw up his 19 points programe and party manifesto on the basis of your ideals, principles and action plan. Logically you think that such a menifesto and action plan based on these ideals and principles can not be implimented on ground with out taking revolutionary measures. But Zia thinks, he can impliment this through the politics of compromise and give and take in the process of so called democratic politics. His main problem is, to do this kind of politics he has to ensure his acceptability to Indo-Soviet Axis and thereafter to build some kind of working relation. To achieve these two objectives the prerequisite is, he has to prove to both India and Russia by hook or by crook that he had nothing to do with the popular uprising of 15th August spearheaded by the patriotic members of the armed forces and the sad demise of Sheikh Mujib. Strong malecious propaganda is already on that President Khandakar Mustaq Ahmed had appointed him as the chief of army staff considering his professional ability and popularity within the army. It is being further propagated that the uprisings of 15th August and 7th November are two isolated events and in no way related to each other. After the momentus successful Sipahi Janatar(Soldires and People)revolution Zia was installed in the center of power by the revolutionaries due to his personal popularity.
Both these hisdtoric events are links of the same chain that is not known to the common people as they are unaware about the happenings that took place behind the scene. so, whatever propaganda has been launched by Zia people are ironically accepting that as truth.
I have a hunch that Zia would at his own initiative bring back Hasina and Rehana and others ending their 8 years exiled life in India and allow almost anhiliated Awami League to be rehabilited once again in the main stream of politics under her leadership just to please India. If it becomes a reality would it be possible for Zia to take you all back in the army, do politics together or to allow you to do politics separately as his opponent? The answer is simply ‘No’. I presume he would also not allow Khandakar Mushtaq to emerge strongly in the political arena against the interest of his own and Indian backed Awami League at any cost. You all have the ability to understand rest of the untold part of the game plan.
As my conscience is pricking, I shall reveal few more things to you. Zia is not feeling secured allowing you to remain free beyond his control like this. The only way he would be able to keep you dispersed abroad under his close watch getting you posred at different Missions as diplomats. He would be compelled to legitimise the Indemnity Ordinance issued by Mushtaq as an Act of the Conostitution by the elected Parliament for his own personal safety. If possible he of course would have avoided that too. I am letting you know this from my personal conviction. He would try to remain in power maintaining a balance on all fronts. He would also try to keep every one who matters happy paying the required price. Have no doubt about that. Zia would never build his party based on any ideological mooring and principles or political philosophy. That would shape up as a populist platform. The only responsibility of this platform would be to provide a gurb of democracy to Zia to put on for getting worldwide legitimacy of his autocratic regime. Zia had deliberatedly asked me to chose corrupt self seeking doves from different shades and color from all the political parties with divergent political ideology just to keep the party organizationally weak and the so called leaders totally dependent on his mercy due to internal scoblling and cut throat feuds. Zia will introduce wide spread corruption in politics giving a free hand to every leader to do corruption at the same time open a file against each one of them and keep with him later to ensure their loyalty and obedience as his domesticated dogs. However, ke would keep up his own image as ‘Mr. Clean’ keeping himself above all corruption. This is how he would be perpetuating his absolute power. There after the country would be administered as his father’s property and his political couleagues would be functioning as his ‘Yes Men’. Shishu Bhai extinguished the butt of his cigarrate into the ashtray and finished whatever he had to say.
After he finished, I once again said on behalf of all of us present
Being very close, intimate well wisher and and a fellow freedom fighter whatever you had confered to us with out hiding anything for that we all are sincerely greatful to you. Befor we conclude our discussion we would like to know from you under the prevailing situation what would be rational for us to do?
Shishu Bhai lighted another cigarrate and thought for a while and said
For the time being Paradise is lost but it certainly does not mean Paradise does not exist, I would say. For the time being Paradise is lost but it certainly does not mean Paradise does not exist, I would say. Though the opportunity had sliped out from your hands this time but in future it might again come in future to make positive contribution for the country and the people. Particularly, as brave freedom fighters, selfless, sacrificing, pro people, nationalist, God fearing worthy sons of the Sun(Surjo Shantan) your popularity in every sector of the society has made each one of you as leagendary heros. This you have earned through your consistant long drawn uncompromising struggle. Carefully preserve it and get yourselves more enriched and matured. One day the people of Bangladesh would look for you to lead the nation. If that does not happen even then tell me, whatever you all have achieved till this date, howmany of 8 Croes Bangladeshis can claim to have earned that much love and honor? Very few I must say and all of you are those few exceptional sons of the soil. You all are not only the creations of history but also the creators.
About 15th August revolutionary uprising, your unprecedented courragious contribution to defuse the boiling situation on 2-3November’75 night, Sipahi Janatar Biplob of 7th November, Linkage between these two momentus events of 15th August and 7th November, Sena Parisad the covert organization and Zia’s relation with Sena Parisad prevails or made to prevail lot of ambiguity and confusion in the mind of ordinary countrymen. To remove all these ambiguity and confusion you must write down the true testaments. So that at the required time and opportunity the Bangladeshis can evaluate you correctly having the knowledge of all the true events that had under gone behind the scene right from the beginning of the liberation war. This is a justified expectation of the people. It is also your moral obligation to leave behind these testimonies for the historians and the social scientists to seek truth from the facts to write the correct history of Bangladesh. However, even you decide not to write the factual events, truth shall prevail.
However, even you decide not to pen down the testaments truth shall prevail. If Allah Pak does not give any opportunity in further as an Imandar one has to accept that, isn’t it Shahriar? But I shall humbly request, you must not ever be impulsive due to provocation from any quarter and do something that might dent your hard earned trust worthyness, fathomless love and respect. You have to always keep your eyes and ears open and must take every step carefully. Out of 8 Crores Bangladeshis you are a few priceless jewels. Jewels like you are rare in the whole of 3ed world. I had not said all these to pamper you. This is a hard truth. No matter who tries how much it would never be possible even with all out adverse propaganda to erase your images that has been ingrained in the minds of the fellow countrymen would not carry any water. Your Awara(Loafer) shishu bhai would say one more thing.
The word ‘Awara’(Lofar) reminded me about an event that took place at the Officer’s Club in Comilla Cantt. In ’73 to celibrate independence day ‘Dress As You Like’ for the officers and their spouses was organized in the evening. Among others Shishu Bhai, dressed himself as an ‘Awara’ youngman. I and Nimmi dressed as a ‘Santal Couple’, Anwar sported to be a Western Bounty Hunter. We were awarded the First Prize.
If the opportunity presents itself again in future to struggle for the greater interest of the nation, then that struggle would be a challenge to organize a people’s upsurge countrywide. No future struggle centaring around only the armed forces would never bring any success. If we want to save Bangladesh from the expansionist thaw of India and don’t want to be a client state like Nepal or Bhutan we have to chose the only way to defy the Indian red eyes and launch another long drawn war for real independence and total imancipation on the basis of your chalked out ideals, principles and political programe. It is imperative to bring revolutionary changes in the state and socio-economic structures that was imposed on the nation by the colonial masters to serve their interest and their chosen local corrupt and selfish vested interested cotere. That revolution would not be easy. Because, if Bangladesh emerges as a genuinely self relient, progressive and affluent country then the so called ‘Indian Union’ artificially created by the British would fall apart like a pack of cards. I believe none of the political parties that are going to be in the field including Zia’s would be a part of any such struggle for their vested interests. You have to raise a new force, recruiting and training party caders and workers from the younger generation who are politically conscious.
All though, I believe the younger generation is not correctly aware about our liberation war, but very shortly from the unholy compromises between all the political parties, corruption, misrule would unfold their characters and at the same time the long drawn sinister blue print of expansionist India would also get exposed. At that critical juncture they will look for new but tested and trustworthy leadership with unstained track record in the main stream of politics. You all have those character traits to provide that much sought for alternative leadership. I am not including the two brother in laws here as I hardly know them, don’t have much intemecy as well.
If you don’t mind I would like to ask you a question, requested Shahriar.
Certainly, feel free to ask.
Well Shishu Bhai, when Zia with indiscriminate brutality killing thousands of leaders and caders of our organization without any trial at that point of time you took your promotion and stood by Zia as one of his most trusted advisor. Knowing this I was personally hurt immensely.
Very natural. Many had come to me and expressed their displeasure in this regard. When Zia proposed me to be on his side for helping him I had told him clearly that I had been trying to leave army from the days of liberation war so it would not be possible for me to sit beside him at the Sena Sadar(Army HQ). Getting my reply he requested me to take up the responsibility to lay the foundation of his political platform and at what terms and condition I agreed to his request that I had already explained earlier.
Your Shishu Bhai may not be brave enough but not inhuman. Zia today is a hated betrayer in my eyes. The man who can stain his hands with the blood of his long time comrades just for power sake, hje can’t be respected from the heart. I don’t know whether you all will beleive it or not but thats a fact. As he finished the beara came close to me and whispered, food has been layed to be served. Shishu Bhai was about to light another cigarrete when I said
Shishu Bhai, dinner has been layed. The call has come, so lets go. So long, serious brain storming had been done. Now, time for stomach worshiping before comming back again.
Shishu Bhai and we all got up and moved to the dinning room. There Nimmi, Lizi, Ranu, Salma and wives of Rashid and Faruk Zobayda and Farida were waiting. To days dinner had been prepared specially under the supervision of the ladies. After glancing at the table full of different dishes Shishu Bhai said
What have you done, It seems to be a Royal feast! Lizi is the youngest so liked by all. She moves around in every flat with out any hesitation like a butter flye. A symbol of life and innocent charm, sense of humor, fragnance of a budding flower, Lizi is a darling to all of us. But she is equally sharp, witty and keen observant. With an intelligent smile and blinking her expressive bright eyes she gave an instant reply
Shishu Bhai, we learned that now you are no more our good old Shishu Bhai but a VVIP at the state level so, we have tried our best to well come the honored guest in a beffiting manner, what do you say Nimmi Bhabi?
My God! You have by now have matured much more than what I could think of.
Why are you getting surprised Shishu Bhai? In one side she is the sister of Huda on the other side she is the better half of Pasha, you are forgetting this. When Shishu Bhai was the Brigade Commander at Comilla with us, Pasha and Lizi tied their knots in a grand way. I and Nimmi as elders represented the Bride. Shishu Bhai and Shahriar represented Pasha. Then Pasha, my 2IC was just promoted and posted as the CO to raise 3Fd Regt in also Comilla and Huda was still my Adjutant.
We all took our designated seats and finished our dinner in a happy and light atmosphere. Finishing the dinner we all again returned to the Anti Room for gossiping with tea coffee and Paan. The brother in laws begged leave and left.
After the sumchuous dinner we all were in jovial mood enjoying every moment with jokes, reminiscence of many sweet and funny memories of the past and our vaforite songs from Shahriar. After enjoying heart content we decided to call it a night and after escorting Shishu Bhai to his Suite begged leave saying good night and came back to our respective flats. Before that Nimmi informed every one about the itenariry for the next day.
After brakefast at 11AM we shall set out with lunch boxes for sight seeing along with Shishu Bhai. That trip would end at Fanduk Omar Khaiyam with high tea. After dask we would take Shishu Bhai out to the Shopping Malls for shopping. Then on return to our Den we shall have Bar-B-Que Party in the lush artistically arranged garden. Next day Shishu Bhai will be going back via London. Salem on behalf of Libiyan Government shall go along us to see off VVIP Shishu Bhai at the Air Port as part of state protocol. Everything was meticulously arranged and executed.
As scheduled we all went to the Air Port to see off Shishu Bhai. Both the brother in laws thar is Rashid and Faruk abstained. Though obscinic, we just did not take any notice of their such obnoxious behavior including Shishu Bhai for two reasons:-
- They had a firm belief that being the most trusted confidant Shishu Bhai was one of the main brain behind all of Zia’s misdeeds.
- They were unaware to what extend our relation had become thik and intimate since the days of liberation war based on mutual trust and confidence.
Rashid and Faruk reached Kolkata almost at the fag end of the liberation war therefore, both had hardly any knowledge about far fetched blue print of the Chanakkyas centering around insecured independence of would be Bangladesh in future. They knew nothing about our strategy of resistance and organizational activities against this nefarious blue print. They were also completely in dark about our covert organization Sena Parisad within the armed forces that we had organized covertly after the independence. They did not know that since the beginning of the liberation war Shishu Bhai had been trying to resign from the army. They even did not know that my younger brother Shapan Bir Bikram, Kazi Kamal, Badi Bir Bikram carring out a daring Guerrila Operation in Dhaka had freed families of Shishu Bhai and Khaled Bhai from the custody of the Pak Army and brought them across the border to Agartala. They also did not know that me and Shishu Bhai were related familywise. Lastly, they had no clue whatsoever how deep was the relation of Gen. Zia with the Sena Parisad. They also did not know about the impression Shishu Bhai used to carry about Zia.
We knew Shishu Bhai had come at his own initiative. To convey Zia’s message was just an excuse. He came to inform us the inner information so that we don’t take any wrong initiative and fall into Zia’s trap. Shishu Bhai would have come even if I would have not requested. He was anxious about us not Rashid and Faruk. We would remain ever greatful for his such guesture out of sincere love and affection. Shishu Bhai by comming had just confirmed that all our previous actions were correct.
In a newly independent country with out any step taken to build the country and nation from the scratch India installed Sheikh Mujib’s AWAMI-BAKSAL government in power refusing the demand of a national government to devide the nation and create total anarchy. On the other hand, after being installed in the center of power Gen. Zia deliberately introduced phisycal and intellectual corruption in the national politics to perpetuate his power. With his slogan ‘money is no problem’ he gave an open hand to the politicians to do corruption making them immoral and weak so that they remain captives in his hands as just ‘yes men’ and corruption spreads like cancer in the every tire of society from national to grass root leavel. As a result national solidarity and indomitable urge to work with selfless dedication to build the new born country would get submerged in the eclips of corruption.
On the other hand clever Zia propagating the mith of his torn vest, broken suitcase and spade on shoulder had already been successfull dramatically to reached a sensational hight of personal popularity among the common people beyond any one’s reach. This is how shrewed Zia has been able to establish by now a positive image as an honest, propeople, energetic leader of the people. With prudence the self seeking oppurtunists from the right, left and center have been thrusted into the womb of his political platform Jagodal. From this hurd after thorough scrutiny with the selected ones not a political party but a platform would be laubced named Bangladesh Jatyotabadi Dal(BNP)on his own political philosophy and ideology just to provide a democratic rapper on his autocratic regime. All his beneficiary and corrupt leaders would behave as his henchmen at his mercy. In a very straight forward and simplistic manner Shishu Bhai had made clear to us the future political game plan of ever ambitious, sly and hipocrate Zia!
After Shishu Bhai had left, we all felt badly his absence for some days though coming and going is a natural phenomenon. However, it did not take long to get back to normal. Meanwhile, Huda’s newly weded wife Nafiza and Mohiuddin’s wife Hena along with their little children joined us from Bangladesh. Few days passed in their pleasent company. After Shishu Bhai’s return we saw Rashid and Faruk were visiting abroad more often than usual specially to Germany with out telling us anything. When asked from Zubayda and Farida nothing much they said other than that those were important business trips. Suddenly, we received a strange news from Bangladesh. Of late A.V.M. Tawab had got around some Peers, Mashayekhs, Alims, leaders of some Madrasas, Islamist activists and had started enthusiastically organizing Sirat Mahfils all around the country with a cap on to imbue the majority Muslim population with true spirit of Islam! Rashid and Faruk’s frequent visit to Germany might be having something to do with this wiered venture of Tawab we guessed. This venture is not Zia’s brain child thats for sure.
One day brother Salem informed, after marathone sessions with us, Moammar and the other Gurus and policy makers of Revolutionary Command Council realised that though Rashid and Faruk had been trying to project that they were the main architect who engineered the 15th August Revolutionaery Uprising but in fact, the main force behind was the organization Sena Parisad and its leaders. They further realized that there is some kind of difference that exists between us and them. The differnce is ideological or of any other kind that is not clear. However, from the discussions they realized very clearly that politically we are farmore concious and matured than Rashid and Faruk. On our deposition they have decided that revolution in future can only be promoted through the political process in Bangladesh.
Therefore, to arrange funding in future to get politically organized as we desired an lumsome ammount has been handed over to Rashid and advised to invest them in lucrative big business around the world like stock exchange, oil export, shipping, real estate, commodity trades with the assisstance of some of their trusted contacts and friends in these fields. It has been also decided to import around 4000 to 5000 labors from Bangladesh. After hearing all these we were dumn founded and Pasha on our behalf told Salem that Rashid had not disclosed anything about all these so far. Just to ease the embarassing situation I said
Everything at the very initial stage thats why he might have decided not to talk about all these at the prematured stage. He would surely let everyone know all the details at the right time after everything is well set.
We decided not to ask both Rashid and Faruk anything about future plan of politics, investments for generation of political fund including import of human labors. We shall also not divulge anything that Salem had told us. We shall be patiently wait to hear what they have got to say in this regard.
On return from one of the trips abroad after we learned all these from Salem both just didn’t bother to reveal anything to us in this regard. We also remained quite as decided. In such a situation one day Zamir came and informed that he has received instruction from Dhaka to arrange everything for me and Rashid to travel to Bangladesh at our convenience. This time he has come to discuss about our travel plan. Rashid told Zamir that he desires to reach Dhaka via Germany. I said that I shall travel along with Nimmi via London. Shortly, Zamir would be informed who would be travelling when after the dates are decided so that he can make necessary arrangements accordingly. After knowing our views Zamir went back to Tripoli.
Again a fiasco! One day both the in laws with out telling anything to any one got vanished from Benghazi. Zubayda said both had gone to Tripoli. Mystry of going to Tripoli in this way was nothing but a furse.