Shafiullah new chairman of Sector Commanders Forum

Sector Commanders’ Forum has accepted the resignation of AK Khandker as its chairman and made KM Shafiullah the new chief.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 19 Sept 2014, 10:59 AM
Updated : 19 Sept 2014, 07:39 PM

A meeting of the executive committee of the forum of 1971 war veterans on Friday made the decision, committee member Tushar Amin said.

He told bdnews24.com: “The forum has accepted the resignation of Mr AK Khandker. Besides that, he has been expelled from the organisation and asked to show cause.”

Amin said Shafiullah was unanimously made chairman in the Friday meeting held at its office in Dhaka.

Forum Vice-Chairman Abu Osman Chowdhury presided over the meeting.

Khandker tendered his resignation amid widespread criticism following publication of his book ‘1971: Bhitore Baire’ (1971: Inside Out) about Bangladesh’s Liberation War on Sept 3.

Explaining the reasons of expulsion even after the deputy commander of the freedom fighters resigned, Amin said: “He has given statement contrary to the Constitution. He has denied Mar 26 by not acknowledging the Proclamation of Independence and by violating the Constitution.”

“That’s why he has been served with a show-cause notice seeking answers on three matters,” he added.

Amin said: “His resignation has been accepted with issuance of show-cause notice, which is tantamount to expulsion. The show-cause notice has already been faxed to him.”

A media statement signed by Sector Commanders’ Forum acting Secretary General Harun Habib said: “Khandker has taken position against well-established fundamental facts and matters including Bangladesh’s holy Constitution and the historical Proclamation of Independence.

“(He) contradicted with different sections and principles of the forum’s constitution, and encouraged the local and international quarters which are against Bangladesh’s Liberation War and independence.”

The media statement said Khandker ceased to hold the moral rights to lead a national institution like Sector Commanders’ Forum, founded on the history and sprit of the Liberation War, after presenting misguiding information.

“Though he already tendered resignation, he did not mention a single word about the book in it.”

It said Khandker’s actions were contrary to its policies and principles and an offence condemnable to removal and expulsion.

Khandker, who was deputy chief of the ‘Mukti Bahini’, claimed in his book published by Prothoma Prokashon that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had finished his historic Mar 7 speech with ‘Joy Pakistan’ and that the political leadership of that time had no preparation for an armed struggle.
Amin said the meeting observed that none of the statements in the book was of his own. He did not fight in the battlefield and he was in Pakistan for 21 years.
“He has no idea about the country’s political background.”
“He has written about Bangabandhu’s Mar 7 speech. But when he was asked where he was on that day, he replied that he did not hear the speech on Mar 7; he heard it on Mar 8 on Pakistan radio. But Pakistan radio did not air the full speech.”
Amin said those who published and edited the book could not avoid responsibility for trying to distort history.
Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher