KP Assembly flays punishment of Bangladeshi Jamaat leaders


PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Wednesday condemned the award of death penalty and life imprisonment to Jamaat-i-Islami leaders and activists in Bangladesh and declared their trial partial. The condemnation came in the form of the unanimous passage of a resolution tabled by Jamaat-i-Islami MPA Mohammad Ali Khan. The resolution carried signatures of lawmakers of all parties in the assembly except Awami National Party.

Adopts resolution saying Dhaka punishing JI leaders at behest of New Delhi, in breach of world accords

During the session chaired by Speaker Asad Qaisar, only one ANP lawmaker, Yasmeen Pir Mohammad Khan, was in attendance.

She, however, didn’t oppose the resolution.

The resolution, which was adopted unanimously, said the government of Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hassina Wajid was punishing Jamaat leaders for fighting against India alongside the Pakistan Army in the 1971 war in the then East Pakistan.

“The pro-India government in Bangladesh at the behest of Indian government and as a political revenge is announcing unjust death sentences and life imprisonment for JI leaders. This assembly strongly condemns it,” the resolution said.

It said Bangladeshi Jamaat leaders, including late Professor Ghulam Azam, Maulana Mateeur Rehman Nizami and Mir Qasim, had been given death sentences, while Mullah Abdul Qadir was executed for supporting Pakistan in the 1971 war.

The resolution said the punishments were awarded in violation of an agreement signed by then Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Indian Prime Minister Indra Gandhi and Bangladeshi President Sheikh Mujibur Rehman after the 1971 war was over.

“That agreement said no one would be punished in connection with the 1971 war and the US, Britain and other countries had endorsed it. The Bangladeshi government is committing violation of human rights charters and international agreements,” it said.

The resolution further said Bangladeshi Jamaat-i-Islami had recognised the country’s Constitution and participated in the general elections and therefore, the punishment of its leaders and activists were unfair and unjust.

Also in the day, the house passed ‘The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Senior Citizens Bill, 2014’ after accommodating an amendment to paragraph (i) of sub-clause (1) of its Clause 4.

The amendments were suggested by two MPAs of the opposition. The bill was passed for the ‘well-being, comfort and dignity of the senior citizens of the province.’

Under the law, the government will set up a senior citizen welfare council to formulate policy proposals on aging in light of the national commitments on the welfare of senior citizens and submit them to the government for approval.

Also, a fund will be set up for the welfare of senior citizens.

The law says the entry of senior citizens to museums, libraries, parks and recreation facilities will be free of charge.

“The deserving senior citizens will be entitled to financial support from the government and concession in medical charges. Separate wards will be set up for them in hospitals.”

The house referred the Prevention of Conflict on Interest Bill, 2014 to its select committee for consideration and suggestions.

By tabling an adjournment motion, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl members opposed the involvement of some NGO in the affairs of government hospitals in several districts of the province.

They said some NGOs had been granted vast powers, including posting, transfer and appointment of senior doctors in hospitals, a step, which was not in the interest of government institutions.

In response to the motion, senior minister Inayatullah Khan said the government had given a role to NGOs in hospitals through public-private partnership after signing agreements with them in 2002.

He said the partnership programme had produced good results in the form of improvement in health delivery system in the far-flung areas of the province.

As the health minister was not in attendance, the speaker adjourned discussion on the motion until the next sitting and adjourned the house until Monday.