Monday, February 20, 2012

After March 25 Massacre : Ghulam Azam lent support to Tikka Khan

Prosecution tells war crimes tribunal.

Former Jamaat-e-Islami chief Ghulam Azam met General Tikka Khan at least twice after the Pakistani occupation forces massacred thousands of defenceless Bangalees on March 25, 1971 and assured him of full cooperation, the prosecution told the International Crimes Tribunal yesterday.

Prosecutor Zead Al Malum said the first meeting with the then East Pakistan governor general was held on April 4, 1971 at the governor's house in Dhaka where Azam met Tikka as part of a 12-member team.

The second was a private meeting of the duo, he added.

At the meetings, Azam termed the freedom fighters "armed intruders", proposed, in company of others, to form a Peace Committee, and promised to provide all-out assistance to the Pakistani army to maintain "law and order".

Malum said this while reading out the formal charges against Ghulam Azam before the tribunal.

Ghulam Azam, 89, is facing charges on 62 specific crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 war.

 He is one of the front men who actively helped the Pakistani military's attempt to foil the birth of Bangladesh.
The three-member tribunal headed by Justice Md Nizamul Huq continued hearing the formal charges against Azam for the third day yesterday.

The formal charges contain 191 pages and 151 of them have so far been read out before the tribunal, which is scheduled to hear the charges tomorrow.

Yesterday's reading covered mostly charges of incitement committed by Ghulam Azam during 1971 when he was chief of Jamaat's East Pakistan unit.

There were numerous instances cited from newspaper reporting on Ghulam Azam's meetings with the Pakistani military junta as well as his speeches at different party meetings.

Reading out from the charges, the prosecutor said Ghulam Azam referred to the movement for liberation as "loathed attack from India" while addressing different programmes.

As the ameer of East Pakistan's Jamaat-e-Islami, Azam was in an authoritative position. But he did not stop the Pakistani rulers or army from carrying out crimes against humanity, the prosecutor commented.
Therefore, he is not free from the charges, he added.

Earlier, Prosecutor Nurjahan Begum Mukta began reading out the formal charges. She gave examples of Azam's role as a superior leader in different crimes against humanity committed in 1971.

Azam was not brought to the tribunal yesterday from his prison cell at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University hospital due to his old age and physical weakness.

He is among six Jamaat and two BNP leaders now facing war crimes charges at the tribunal.