Again Khaleda Zia summoned me
As we entered the house it appeared that Mustafiz Kakku was greatly relieved. He told me
Since noon Kamal had been calling continuously, the Prime Minister is anxiously waiting to discuss some urgent matter. Kamal wanted to know my where about and how he could get in touch with me. I told him, don’t you know your friend? Does he ever tells anyone where he goes, who he meets, what he does? They went out in the morning. I returned at noon from the office. No one at home knows where they have gone. Your Fuppu also gone with them. Since then calls are coming again and again.
He could not finish the telephone rang again and Kakku said
Look, the phone has come again.
I picked up the receiver and found Kamal on the other end.
Strange! Where did you get vanished and returned so late?
Leave this aside, tell me why you are looking for me so frantically?
The Prime Minister has been waiting to meet you urgently to discuss a very important matter. But the whole day you were untraceable. So, come right away to Shugandha.
Kamal, I had already said before that I don’t like the very smell of your Shugandha. Kamal butted in
Due to hail storm now Shugondha is virtually empty. I am sending the car and you just come. It would be a short meeting so, you would be able to return quickly.
As I am doing government service so, I got to comply with the order. Okay then, send the car to Minu Fuppu’s house amd I am coming.
Everyone was listning our conversation. The car had reached so, I got ready and left for Shugandha. As I entered Kamal’s office I found both Kamal and Sabbi there waiting for me. They took me into a smaller sitting room. The room was decorated in a very simple way. There were two single sofas with a side table in between. There were a matching table lamp and a vas with fresh flowers on that. A few Victorian chairs and side tables on two sides. Some tastefull paintings were hanging on the walls. The room looked like an exclusive private meeting room.
Well, Kamal why your Madam had to summon me like this in a haist?
She herself would be answering that.
The meeting would be with me alone?
No, I shall also be present. Later if need be the Foreign Minister might be called in.
Understood. But if at all Foreign Minister is required to be called in then where he is going to sit?
Sabbi gave an amusing reply
Dalim Bhai, no Minister or Bureaucrat is allowed to sit beside Madam on the sofa in this exclusive meeting room. It is only the invited guest who sits on the sofa next to Madam.
Kamal, I hope both of you are not conspiring to dismiss me from the service!
Both got what I ment and burst into laughter. Kamal asked Sabbi to bringing Madam.
Khaleda Zia came in. I conveyed Salam and she reciprocated. She sat in one of the sofa and asked me to sit on the sofa next to her. Kamal sat on a chair placed close by with note pad in hand.
How are you keeping? Where had you been the whole day?
Away from the city and returned in the evening.
I had to call for you for an urgent requirement.
I am an government servant. You being the Prim Minister of the country can certainly summon me any time you feel like. Please tell me what can I do for you?
She seemed little uneasy at my reply.
Meanwhile, tea and snacks had already been served. The Prime Minister was thinking something while making tea. She asked
How many spoon suger?
Just one, thanks.
Bhabi made a cup of tea and handed over to me, she was still thinking.
Brother, I am in a serious crisis! Nawaz Sharif had invited me to visit Pakistan in front of you. Before that the Indian Foreign Secretary as the special envoy of the Prime Minister came and invited me to visit India. But due to political reason I do not wish to start my official or state visits as the Prime Minister with either of these two countries. I would prefer a third country instead.
I understand. In this case, tell your Foreign Minister to arrange an invitation of a state or official visit from any friendly country. It is said Shaheed President Gen. Zia is the dreamer of SAARC. It is also being said that he had developed intimate relation with many heads of state and government of the Muslim world while he got engaged in shuttle diplomacy to stop Iran Iraq war on behalf of OIC. Now and then it is also told to the countrymen that it was Gen. Zia who had layed the foundation of Cino-Bangladesh relation. Against this backdrop I don’t think it would be a very difficult problem to arrange an invitation for you as the ladywife of Shaheed President Gen. Zia ur Rahman and the elected Prime Minister of Bangladesh from Saudi Arabia, PRC or any other country.
It has been tried but yet no positive response from any where. The American ambassador said one of the criteria to request for any sate or official visit of the head of state or head of the government any 3ed world country is the head of the state or the government must be in the power for minimum 2 to 3 years.
That is correct, this is the standard practice in most of the Western countries. But, there could be exception as well in view of mutual interest. What is the reaction of Saudi Arabia?
They also showed not much interest.
Not unusual. In the 3ed world countries anything can happen any time so, everybody wants to take time. But if there is any specific interest then it is a different matter. Saudi Arabia is the most trusted Pariah of America in the Muslim World therefore, its relation with every Muslim country mostly formulated in line with the policy of USA. Same goes for Uk and other powerful Europion countries as well in this regard. What is the reaction of PRC?
When the Chinese Ambassador was approached, he replied that he would be forwarding the request to Piking and shall communicate any feedback that he receives. But uptill now no feedback has come from Peking. In this situation my request is, should you go to China as my special envoy then you would be able to make some favorable arrangement for the visit. I and Kamal firmly believe this.
I am failing to understand why you have such a belief?
We know that you have intimate friendship with many people in the corridor of power in China at personal level. They take you as a trusted friend. You could cultivate that kind of relationship while you were posted in China.
If this is your argument then with due respect I must say
That relationship is entirely personal. It has got nothing to do with their policy making process at the sate level. Kamal had also spent 3 years term in Piking as the Economic Minister. At present he being your trusted Principal Secretary is a heavy weight and most influential bureaucrat. Kamal is also well known to the Chinese authorities. So, I feel you should consider to send him. There is another reason why I am suggesting this. You are aware of that reason too.
During the 2nd visit to China, President Gen. Zia had proposed that we should again join him in politics forgetting and forgiving everything that had happened in the past, but his proposal was not accepted by us. Gen. Zia could not take that refusal easily. As a result, implicating me and a few other colleagues of mine posted abroad as diplomats in a fictitous conspiracy case to over throw his government he sent the than DGFI Gen. Mahabbat Jaan Choudhury, his course mate to Piking for bringing me back to the country with the assistance of the Chinese authorities. But that attempt failed. Later basing on that case we and a few others back home were sacked. Some had to face court martial and summery trials. Some were even thrown into Jail with out trials. In view of that if I go as your special envoy to plead for you then many questions would arise. What do you say Kamal? Is in’t it justified what I am saying?
Yes, quite so. But if I go with this responsibility nothing would happen. I can say without any hesitation whoever might say whatever, at present there is no other second person in Bangladesh who has the kind of influence that you have on the Chinese leadership and authorities. I realized that truth clearly when I was in China. I myself also believe questions would arise but, I also know you have the ability to answer those questions in a befitting manner.
Strongly supporting Kamal’s statement Bhabi spoke out
Up till now whatever you have done that you have done for the interests of the country and the nation. This mission would serve my personal political interest that might be the reason why you are hesitant but even then I shall request you, please give it a try. Such a frantic appeal put me into a dilemma. I thought for a while,
Khaleda Zia is on her husband’s way and her politics is going to be the same as of her slain husband Gen. Zia, that is compromise and coexistence with Awami-Baksalites and to curry favor with India! Having hope against hopes I said
As you are pressing me so hard, I shall go. But secrecy about this visit has to me maintained like the previous one. On your behalf the Foreign Minister shall have to give me a letter. I shall prepare the letter and he would just have to sign that. Relivent all other arrangements have to be made by him as well. Bhabi, I shall want to know something if you don’t mind.
Col. Mustafizur Rahman being Shaheed Gen. Zia’s course mate is your one of the most trusted and dependable coulleague is in’t it?
Why are you saying this?
Nothing, just tell him to keep the matter secret.
Certainly, Kamal, call for Mustafiz to be here.
After receiving instruction from Kamal through intercom sabbi came in alongwith Col. Mustafizur Rahman and made him stand in front of the Prime Minister and left the room. I being an Ambassador was sitting on the sofa next to the Prime Minister and my boss, the Foreign Minister was standing in front! The sight was just not awkward but embarrassing. Moreover, being a diabetic patient he was already dozing as it was late at night.
Listen Mustafiz, Col. Dalim will go to PRC as my special envoy. You have to make all necessary arrangements that he would need with utmost secrecy.
Okay Madam, everything would be done as you desire.
Then you get all the required arrangements done with Mustafiz to night and comense your journey tomorrow.
Let us go then.
We begged leave from her and came out. I also said good night to Kamal and reached along with Col. Mustafiz to his office the Foreign Ministry.
Please tell what all you need.
Nothing much. I shall prepare a note verbal and you would sign that on behalf of the Prime Minister. Besides, you have to arrange my ticket and visa for China and 10000 Dollar. On return I shall hand over to you the statement of account of every penny that would be spent.
The Minister pressed the buzzar. Instantly his PA came in with a note pad. This was Sakhawat! We had worked at the Piking Mission together. As he met me after a long time he conveyed his Salam with a smiling face and said
How are you keeping Sir?
I moved forward embrassed him and said
I am fine, tell me how is your wife and the children?
Sakhawat became immotional with the affectionate hug and said
We are all keeping well Sir, by the Grace of Allah and your Dua.
Mr. Minister was little surprised and was looking at us sitting on his chair. As we finished our Salam and dua the Minister told Sakhawat
Colonel Sahib would give you dictation of a note verbal and you got to type that here so go and bring your type writer. You have to maintain utmost secrecy about this.
As he finished Sakhawat rushed to his room and returned with his type writer. The experienced and efficient typist Sakhawat typed out the note verbal in no time and Mr. Minister signed that. Sakhawat went to his room again to seal that letter. Within minutes he returned with the sealed letter and handed over that to me and left the room.
Sir, we should call it a night now. I would be obliged if you be kind enough to reach the passport, ticket and the money through Kamal to my house tomorrow as I would like to avoid coming here during day time. In earstwhile Pakistan as Captains both Col. Mustafiz and Gen. Zia had served togather in the ISI, the intelligence outfit of Pakistan armed forces so, it was not too difficult for him to understand why I had suggested that.
I shall be doing that. He called Sakhawat and instructed
Take Colonel Sahib up to the car and tell the driver to reach him whereever he wants to go.
There was nobody anywhere except the Duty room.
The kids must have grown up?
I enquired about the well fare of all others whom I knew and requested Sakhawat to convey my Salam and Dua to them.
Sudenly Sakhawat took out an envelop from his pocket and gave that to me and said
This is your copy, Sir.
Why are you embarrassing me Sir. How much respect we all cherish for you in our hearts that can’t be expressed in words.
I also love you all no less.
We are aware of that. How is Bhabi? The injustice that is being done to you all that we all understand. That is why each one of us seek Dua for you all that where ever you might be Allah should be with you all. Sakhawat was in tears so I took leave and told him before departing
You all also remain hail and hearty. Allah Hafez.
Returning home I found all were waiting for me. Nimmi asked
What happened why so late?
Tomorrow I have to take the Thai flight in the evening on way to China. It took time to make all the arrangement that’s why I got late. Tomorrow Foreign Minister would be sending the Passprot, ticket and travel expences through Kamal. So, prepare my suit carrier and the traveling bag to night.
Why are you doing donkey’s job for nothing?
After to day’s meeting Nimmi’s question was sounding justified. It was also reminding me afresh what she had said befor the election.
‘Khaleda Zia would be doing the power politics of compromise like her late husband. She will also be using you all as much as possible for her interests but shall never ever allow you all to establish in the national politics separately’.
I was quite frustrated after today’s meeting so, without replying I begged leave from all and straightway went to bed.
Blind ally of politics! To make her way to visit India Khaleda Zia is trying to go on a sate visit to China first to maintain her anti Indian posture! She has to go to India to befriend India. Gen. Zia had also did the same. In the one hand claiming to be the champion of the politics of nationalist and Islamic values on the other hand endeavor to get favor and patronization from India, a strange equation indeed! The country and the nation had to suffer immensely for his infentile initiative. He had to pay for his mistake with his life. Khaleda Zia is also being dragged to the same direction by her trusted advisors and confidants. The fellow countrymen would not be required to wait long to see what price she herself, the country and the nation have to pay for her this mistake in future. On the way to establish Bangladesh as a self dependant, progressive and prosperous nation the most formidable impediment is neighboring ‘Frindly’ country, the expansionist India. In view of that, Bangladesh can be build as a prosperous and happy country only by a uncompromising leadership who would not be cowed down by the fear of India but will have the courage to stand heads high along with the patriotic people. Keeping faith on the streanth of the united nation, their merits, talents and creativity they have to stride forward ignoring the red eyes of India the regional Hegimon.
If that kind of selfless and sacrificing leadership does not evolves then the cherished aspiration of the people for total emancipation and to establish their just socio-economic rights would become far fetched illusion in the independent Bangladesh achieved by the people fighting a bloody war! Not only that, the country would gradually become into a India dependant vassal state and the nation would virtually become slaves. Thus the blue print of the Chanakys would be accomplished with the connivance of their local lackeys. To protect the independence of their beloved country the conscious heroic nation will not rise in thunder once again like that of ’71? The present and future younger generations will not plunge themselves in the struggle for upholding their self identity following the foot prints of their predecessors who gave them the independence? Being absorved in these stray thoughts, at one time I fell asleep.
At around 11 AM, The same protocol officer of Kamal arrived with passport, ticket and money. We were then taking brakefast so, I called him to the dinning room. As the officer entered I said
Join us and we shall talk later.
Sir, I already had my brakefast before leaving home for the office.
Dear brother, that was quite early in the morning!Now it is almost going to be launch houre. You are a youngman so what difference it would make if you have a bite? Please, get started. The officer was feeling embarrassed so I said
There is nothing to be ashamed of having a bite with the ealder brother! The officer became relaxed. While taking his bites and tea he informed booking has been confirmed up to Bangkok in the evening flight. Chinese visa has also been arranged from the Chinese Embassy by the Foreign Ministry. There after handed over the packet containing passport, ticket and the money and said
In the evening he would come in time and take me to the airport.
Please call me a hour earlier so that I can get ready.
Surely, Sir. The gentleman left. In time the officer came and got me boarded in the plane and said good bye. I reached Bangkok in time. My next flight to Hongkong was after one and half hour. I have to spend that time in the VIP transit lounge.