Meeting with Gen. Manjur

We reached to a house at Banani. I did not know the house belongs to whom. One gentleman showed us the way to a room inside who was also not known. Entering the room we found Gen. Manjur was sitting in CVs. The gentleman left us alone and went out. After exchange of pleasentaries Gen. Manjur started

Dalim after reaching Dhaka you have met many people but did not meet me, this has hurt me.

Sorry Sir, time and opportunity were responsible. But if you would have called surely, I would have responded. The people you are pointing at, I met them only after I was called. Besides, Mahbub had said that you remain very busy so I didn’t want to bother you.

How could you justify your support to keep Gen. Zia at the center of power when he has totally betrayed with the spirit of liberation war and is now upto anhiliating the freedom fighters? Indeed a hard question!

Sir, Whatever I might have done that was not a unilateral decision but our collective unanimous decision. Whatever has been done that was not to serve any particular individual but for the greater interest of the country and the people. If Zia had been benifited that was not our concern at all. For the same reason we tactically retreated to Bangkok on the 4th November’75. This time also I talked to Faruk for the same reason. He found my submission reasonable that is why he changed his mind and went back at his will. It should not be difficult to understand the reason for an intelligent man like you. But Sir, being so concerned about the spirit of liberation war and the freedom fighters after 7th November, The way Zia had been killing with inhuman bruttaly the freedom fighters, you as a contious and influential CGS doesn’t have anything to do about that? From the beginning of that carnage till this date you are working as one of his loyal personal staff officer and adviser. Had I been at your place and if I could do nothing then at least I wouldn’t have been serving him.

I am helpless! I don’t have any organised streanth in the armed forces like you all. I know that very force had reinstalled Zia again as the Chief of Staff after 7th November uprising. Zia could neutralize Taher with that same force. This time if you all would have decided to support Faruk then you could easily oust Zia from power. As the CGS, whatever knowledge about the armed forces I have, on that basis I said so being absolutely sure of that. And if you would have ousted Gen. Zia then not only the freedom fighters but the majority patriotic members within the armed forces would have supported your action. I believe, this was not unknown to you as well. Even then you had given Zia a new lease of life?

To a person of your intelligence with out going into details I shall give a short answer

Sir, when you want to fight the enemies within then there remains a possibility of the entire house getting destroyed. Exactly for this reason though we had been more powerful than Brig. Khaled, we decided not to launch any frontal encounter but confront him indirectly. We could easily win the battle but would have surely lost the war.

We could easily win the battle but would have surely lost the war. Should you take some time to ponder on my reply then everything would become clear to you. You would realize whether our position in case of Taher and Faruk were correct or not. Not to embarrass you but as you mentioned about our organizational streanth, I am taking the liberty to remind you that after 15th August I called you to Dhaka and said we need you here tobe with us but you showed no interest and went back to Dehli. I was a bit disappointed and surprised!

Besides, At every crucial juncture a handful of exposed people would play the vanguard role how could that be justified? You and many others are now seated in responsible posts within the corridor of power. It is not too difficult for you all to bring back the derailed leader on the right track or to remove him with a more credible person at the center of power. Instead being only carrierist you would think more seriously about this issue that is what would be our expectation. Though due to betrayal and nefarious conspiracy at present we are weak at present even then I am giving my words, our support would be there if any constructive initiative is taken for the greater interest of the country and the nation. I think we have nothing else to discuss.

Quite so, Dalim thanks a lot for coming, this meeting has proved the maturity that you have, I am deeply impressed. Hope, we could serve the country and the nation in a more meaningful manner. Remember us in your prayers, we shall also pray for all of you. Can I take it for certain that we shall remain in touch?

Sure, if you feel it necessary then from our side I see no problem. Sir, before taking leave, should you allow then I would like to say something  with no malice, personal interest or grievances.

Certainly, feel free.

To day I could read your mind through our discussion. About the country and national interest there is not much difference in our out look. After spending long two years as the Military Atta’che in Delhi you must have realized the India’s attitude and its farfetched blue print regarding Bangladesh. Though after 7th November, you could not understand Zia but now though a bit late you have known him clearly. Still there is time, to save the country and the nation from Zia’s dangerous game plan. Presently, we are not in a position to play the vanguard role in any struggle against Zia. It is you who has to provide the leadership for any scissorian operation. we shall fight alongside as supporting force if the cause is right. Faruk and Rashid might also then decide to be with us.

For any such move the prerequisite would be allowing Zia the time to expose himself as an anti national imposter by his own doings. Zia should not be allowed at any cost to bring back Sheikh Hasina and rehabilitate her in the national politics compromising with India as he is contempliting. In no way it would be good for Bangladesh. Should he ultimately does that against the sentiment of the people then he would be exposing himself as a stooge of India. That would be an right oppurtunity to oust Zia from power.

Sir, to be honest, I know very little about you. I am not aware how much you are concious politically nor do I know about your mind set, thoughts and values or the kind of political philosophy you believe in. But even then, I had called you from Delhi. You know why? Because, whatever little I have heard from Mahbub, your nephew gave me a feeling that if nothing else, you would be a honest patriot and pro-people nationalist freedom fighter.

If any such initiative is taken by you then except a few die hard Awami minded freedom fighters like Mir Shawkat, Nasim or Helal Morshed it would be possible to get support of the freedom fighters and most of the members of the armed forces. The repatriates are still not yet organized so they will be no factor against that kind of move. Rather, I can say majority would be supportive. Suport of the soldiers of entire armed forces is guranted. We had decided to throw out 32 senior officers from the armed forces. Similarly, Awami minded charecterless corrupt officers including Ershad who had already become pro Indian RAW agent must be thrown out. Thereafter, if we are brought back and reinsteated in the army, we shall easily be able to restructer and create after carefull scrutiny a loyal chain of command upto unit level with tested patriotic officers for at least next 20 years. After finishing this task within a year we shall leave the job in uniform and form a political party. There would be only three like minded political parties in the country, one is ours, the other one would be of Khandakar Mushtaq’s and the 3ed would be for the people who belives in political Islam. Our politics would be based on Islamic values and Bangladeshi nationalism. Necessary constitutional amendments would be brought in the present constitution followed by a refendum on the revised constitution held by the interim government after the change before proceeding to resume multy party democratric polity and open political activities. Outside the perimiters of the revised constitution accepted by the people through the refendum, there would be no existence of any political party in the country. In this regard, we had already exchanged views with the leaders of all the patriotic nationalist and progressive parties and groups. They all had considered this to be the only way to secure national independence and sovereignity against Indan hegemonistic design and to take the country forward towards progress and prosperity and thus would be ready to provide wilfull support to any such move. Most of them also think that by introducing a constitutionally controlled democracy and not a ‘Fish Market’ in the name of unrestricted democracy, it would be possible to rebuild a socially backward and under developed war ravaged country as a self relient, progressive and democratic state.

After the change you can join our party as a leader if you like after leaving your uniform. With the support of the armed forces our party based on a popular political agenda for change under the leadership with unstained track record would catch the immagination of the people much more than the others. But at this moment most important issue to be considered is Zia has to be removed from power before he can manage to get his political legimaticy. Once after bringing back Hasina and with an understanding wins the elections and legitimise his rule then it wouldn’t be almost impossible to remove him politically or staging any uprising as that would not be accepted by the most of the foreign powers internationally. If you find this reasonable then you must start moving right from now fast with utmost secrecy. As you aware that Zia is also moving fast in his way. You should be ahead in your move. Only in this way inspite of all mistakes of the past and sacrifices in terms of blood we would be possible to materialise our spirit and dream. There is no other way. If you move with selfless courrage for the greater interest of the timming millions Allah would bless you with success In Sha Allah. At the end I must say you are the last resort who could save the country and the nation from the hands of Zia, the Demon. Should you fail to take timely action then you alongwith like minded all others who are still serving in the corridor of power that is the armed forces would face the similar fate like us or even more horrendous ending. I can vouch, Zia would not keep you in the army for long. After doing everything so sincerely to bring Zia to the center of power, we are now being targeted. So, let me be candid, should you decide not to do anything, even then you would be targeted for sure, have no misgiving about that Sir.

misgiving about that Sir.

We tried our best to make Col. Ziauddin. Col. Taher and Maj. Jalil to accept that our independent self identity is based on our religious and age old traditional values. But then they were intoxicated with Marx, Lenin, Mao so did not agree. Islam is not just a religion but a divinely ordained full code of life for all time. Socialism is the anti thesis of capitalism therefore, not a permanent doctrain. With the time this will also get abolished and trasformed. This is what is said in the philosophy of sociology. Commonism still remains to be an etopia and socialism on the other hand is a transitional phase between capitalism and communism. These are not a proven fundamental phenomenon in the social science yet. So being reactionary and uncertainity these doctrains are bound to be short lived. Besides, there is no conflict of socialism and communism with Islam. If they would have been on the wrong path then it wopuld not have been possible for Zia to reduce our streanth. What you would be doing in future that is absolutely your own decision. But whatever you do, do it very carefully. I from my humble experiences just provided you some food for thought. Please do accept my sincere thanks for calling me. If we could have such a meeting before then possibly we could avoid many losses. But again everything happens at Allah’s will. Though late but we must be greatfull to Allah for this meeting. May Allah be with you in your any selfless efforts for the greater interest of the country and its people. This would be my prayer for you. You must always remember while moving that you are in a snake pit that is the AHQ, full of deadly poisionus snakes. Don’t ever trust Ershad, Shawkat, Nasim, Nuruddin, Mahabbatjaan Choudhury, Mocchu Salam, Moinul Islam, Aminul Haq, Aziz, Gaffar and Helal Morshed. They all are Zia’s eyes and ears.

We left after wormly embrassing each other. Shacho remained as a silent observer all through. As we got into the car, he opened up

My dear friend, today you had simply amaized me! The way you had been bold in narrating the facts clearly with rational justification on the face of Gen. Manjur was incredible! I strongly believe, he would give due credence to all that you had conveyed. Shacho dropped me at home and went away. In the evening Mahbub came and informed that after two days my seat has been confirmed.

Sir, Did Mama requested you to see him?

Was it you behind the call? Mahbub replied with his familier sweet smile.

Yes, just returned after a long meeting with him at a house at Banani. You wouldn’t ask to know anymore on the meeting as the meternal uncle(Mama) would surely tell everything to his Nephew (Bhagina). With my reply both burst into laughter.

Sir, I am not finding the right answer to a question that I am thinking about. After the 7th November, why the revolutionaries reinstalled Gen. Zia again as the Chief of Staff and immediately after that Zia requested Khandakar Mushtaq to resume the responsibility as the President again, why Mustaq declined Zia’s request?

To get the right answer you must know about some events that had taken place behind the sceen. Zia had to request Mushtaq on the pressure of the Sena Parisad as was decided earlier before we had left the country. Against Zia’s request Mushtaq asked Zia to bring us all back to the country instantly. He would accept his request to take over as the President only after we were brought back. This is what he told Zia clearly. But, Zia told him that he needed some time to ponder and decide on our return. To Khandakar Mushtaq, Zia’s answer sounded irrational and he became suspicious thinking that ambitious Zia was up to some other game plan leaving us aside. This was one of the decisions that were taken at the Bangabhaban in a closed door meeting with Col. Taher after I had finished negotiation with Brig. Khaled. In that meeting we also decided how and when the uprising would be organized jointly by Sena Parisad and Biplobi Shoinik Shangstha under Taher against Khaled & Co. We knew that once we leave the country, over enthusiastic Khaled & Co would expose their true color as pro AWAMI-BKSALITES in the eyes of the people creating an opportunity and that would be the right time to organize another revolution to overthrow Brig. Khaled and his cohorts.

After the successful revolution Gen. Zia would be freed from captivity and reinsteated as The Army Chief. Then Zia would arrange forthwith to bring us back in the army at the same time he would request Mushtaq to resume his duties as the President. This is how the path would be ensured to move forward with the spirit of August Revolution. Col. Taher had agreed with all those decisions. In the meeting it was also decided that the top exposed leaders from Bangkok would be maintaining uninterrupted contacts with Col. Taher and other leaders of Sena Parisad in the units at all cantonments. At the oppurtunate moment after threadbare analysis of the realities on the ground and planning the decision of the uprising would be taken after taking necessary measures jointly. This is how the successful uprising was organized on the 7th November’75 which turned into Soldiers and People’s Revolution(Sipahi Janatar Biplob)due to people’s juvilent sponteniuous support. All these decisions were communicated to the leaders of Sena Parisad units in all the cantonments before we left the country.

Khandakar Mushtaq was an astute and old politician. After the political change of 15th August the reknowned ‘The Times’ magazine had published a copy with cover story on him. In that story Mushtaq was rated above Lal Bahadur Shastri of India. From the days of liberation war we were aware about his stand against the Indo-Soviet axis. Besides, he was a classmate of my father. Therefore, as planed earlier only after holding discussions with him and getting his consent, through him we could manage to bring most of the Ministers and Parliamenterians of BKSAL under our fold projecting to the whole world that it was not only the people of Bangladesh but Mujib’s own party leaders and members of the Parliament did not accept the introduction of his dictatorial one party rule of BKSAL. However, most could not openly protest being fearfull of Mujib’s wreath. As Mushtaq was made the President it became easy to get recognition of People’s Republic of China, Saudi Arabiya, Pakistan and most other countries of the world. As a result, India had to abandon it’s decision to invade Bangladesh with the support of Soviet Union against the warning issued from Beijing and Washington.

After informing us about Zia’s mind set and after due deliberation he decided not to stake his political future and had refused Zia’s request sighting constitutional complication as a plea.

I am simply baffled to see the maturity of you all compared to ages. Thank you very much Sir, for sharing so many sensitive information in details. Saying so, he gave me a warm hug and said

In all tires of the society you are known as a selfless patriot, out spoken, brave, uncompromising and a valiant freedom fighter. But your political consciousness and knowledge is so deep that was not known to me even being so close to you till this date.

Some bookish and practical knowledge that’s it, nothing more than that. Remaining days passed in meeting reletives and friends. When I went to meet Shishu Bhai before leaving he said

I am simply baffled to see the maturity of you all compared to ages. Thank you very much Sir, for sharing so many sensitive information in details.

Dalim, once again selflessly taking the risk of your life for the greater interest of the country and the nation the contribution that you have made behind the scene to defuse an grave explosive situation, surely  the nation one day would recognize that with due respect. My hats off to you. He embressed me with all the warmth of his heart and spoke in a chocked voice

Don’t know when we shall meet again but I pray may God be with you where ever you are, on return give my love & Dua to all the rest.

The way you had covered me with your affectionate guesture through out my stay for that I shall not belittle you by thanking but I shall never forget this. On return, I shall tell everything to the rest of our brothers. You are really great, our dear Minor(Shishu)Bhai! Both laughed our hearts out.

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