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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

[] Jamaat ties will hurt BNP: Sajeeb

Jamaat ties will hurt BNP: Sajeeb

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's son Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed has told an Indian TV station that siding with the Jamaat-e-Islami, which campaigned against Bangladesh's independence in 1971, will hurt the main opposition BNP.

Pointing to the next elections, Sajeeb told NDTV that Khaleda Zia had 'just handed the election to us, because the sentiment is going to go against the BNP'. He related it to BNP's stand on Shahbagh protest, which is seeking death sentence for war crimes and a ban on religion-based politics.

"Jamaat has a minority portion of the total votes... In the last polls (they got) less than one percent (votes). It (Jamaat) is really hated in Bangladesh, and for BNP to join with them is going to hurt BNP; it's not going to hurt us," Sajeeb, a computer scientist and IT specialist based in the United States, told the TV channel.

The interview, taken Monday, was all about the Shahbagh protest, which has been likened by the NDTV with the Tahrir Square of Egypt. It also dealt with the violence unleashed by the Jamaat-e-Islami following Thursday's death sentence to party leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee for his role during the independence war against Pakistan in 1971.

Asked if the country's present situation was going beyond control, especially after death of more than 80 people, Sajeeb said, "We fully support Shahbagh. The situation you are seeing is not as volatile as it appears from outside. Jamaat is a terrorist organisation. They coordinated genocide during our Liberation War. And the whole country is against them right now... We aren't worried about this."

On whether her mother Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina was trying to cash in on the Shahbagh protest by supporting it, Sajeeb Wazed said, "This isn't something that we necessarily are trying to take advantage of. This is something that we want as well, so we share the same goal, we're the party of the independence movement. We are the party that led to our independence, the spirit of liberation is ours. So, we feel very emboldened by this [Shahbagh] movement. It's not that we're taking advantage...we feel emboldened by this movement to take stronger action that the population of the country, especially the younger generation, is fully supporting...this will bring justice."

He also dwelt upon the talks about the process of the ongoing war crimes trial and assured transparency.

Sajeeb said, "The trial of war criminals was one of the election pledges of our government. We took our time to organise the trial in the most transparent manner possible, in fact. For the last four years, we've heard criticism from this young group and the general masses that the trials are proceeding too slowly. So far as the question of transparency is concerned, all the trial have been covered by the media in Bangladesh, everything is on record, there is absolutely nothing secret here. All the evidence is on record as well."


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