by Nadeem Qadir in Dhaka,
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told senior officers of the Bangladesh Army on Monday that Martial Laws always thwarted a nation’s development and led to bloodbath as has been the case during the rule assassinated General Ziaur Rahman.
“We should exclude martial law from military lexicon as it has never helped the country or the armed forces, only resulting in blood baths,” she told the Armed Forces Selection Board Meeting 2020 in a virtual meeting from her official Ganabhaban residence in a rare comment on how the military should abandon such acts from its lexicon.
Sheikh Hasina said a huge number of officers and soldiers of the armed forces were killed in 19 coups that took place during the rule of dictator’s rule of Ziaur Rahman, adding that the words “martial law” should be dropped from the “military lexicon as it has never helped the country or the armed forces.”
“The number (of military personnel) killed during (Zia’s) martial laws were more than the number killed in a war leaving behind families to grieving forever,” she said.
The prime minister lost her father and Bangladesh’s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of her family members in this South Asian country’s first coup on 15 August 1975, just three years after defeating the Pakistan Army in a War of Independence.
Only a few weeks back famed American journalist Lawrence Lifschultz said Ziaur Rahman was the key man behind the coup in a piece published by newsnextbd.com.
“Zia was the principal architect of 1975 coup,” Lifschultz the author of the piece, journalist Anisur Rahman, in an exclusive interview.
According to the US journalist had Zia opposed the coup d’état “it could never have happened.” “The evidence increasingly points to the fact that Zia was one of the principal architects of the coup and played a much more significant role than Khondaker Mustaque Ahmed.
In a 1981 coup, Zaiur Rahman was himself killed, but the putsch leader failed to take control of the country and was later killed.
Soon after late General Hussain Muhammad Ershad came to power in a bloodless coup in 1982 and ruled the country with an iron hand until he was ousted in a pro-democracy campaign in 1990.
The campaign was led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina along with Khaleda Zia, the widow of assassinated General Ziaur Rahman.
Sheikh Hasina, who modernised the Bangladesh Armed Forces with State of the Art aircrafts, submarines, tanks and build new infrastructure to cope with the current geo-political realities of Asia.
Promising to further modernise the forces, the premier, who had two of her slain brothers in the army, said “Our armed forces are the symbol of our independence and sovereignty.”
PM’s Security Adviser Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique was present at Ganabhaban, while Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Shaheen Iqbal and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat virtually joined the meet from their respective headquarters.