For the past couple of years, investigative team of Blitz has been running comprehensive research and information-gathering, with the goal of tracking the trails of the fugitive killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. As part of our investigation, we have gathered vital information from several credible sources, including some intelligence sources. Based on these data, we are publishing this serialized investigative report. This is the second part of a series of investigative articles, where we eventually have succeeded in finding the current locations of a number of the self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On his arrival in Pakistan, Zillur Rahman was received by the Pakistani intelligence and was taken to a private guest house instead of a hotel, as Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) did not want to leave any trails of Khandaker Abdur Rashid’s secret stay in Pakistan with a new name and identity.
After waiting in Pakistan for almost two days, Zillur Rahman was escorted from the private guest house in a vehicle with black-tinted glass to a property, which actually was not the residence of Khandaker Abdur Rashid. According to our own sources, this property is one of the “safe houses” of Pakistani ISI.
A grey-bearded Rashid appeared for the TV in suit and tie.
On seeing Zillur Rahman, Khandaker Abdur Rashid discussed political situation in Bangladesh as well as position of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Jamaat-e-Islami and Awami League. Rashid told Zillur that the military-backed interim government would remain in power for “at least five years” and during that period, Khandaker Abdur Rashid was planning of turning Freedom Party into a mainstream political force with the support from Pakistani ISI and few of the “influential figures” in the interim government. It is anticipated that Brig Gen Chowdhury Fazlul Bari and Maj Gen ATM Amin, both known as loyal to Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami were unwilling to let Awami League return to power. Their agenda was helping Freedom Party in emerging as a “king’s party” to be in power or at least the main opposition in Bangladesh.
In the interview, Khandaker Abdur Rashid said, “The Awami League thinks Sheikh Mujib is the Father of the Nation, so do I”. Rashid said military dictator Maj Gen Ziaur Rahman was just a helping hand during the 1971 Liberation War. “Those who are trying to glorify the role of Ziaur Rahman to match the stature of Sheikh Mujib are mean-minded”.
He however did not refuse to give any credit to Zia but added that it would be futile to equate Zia’s role with the contribution of [Bangabandhu] Sheikh Mujib.
“I am not saying that Zia does not have any contribution to the liberation war,” he said.
“And who delivered the historic March 7 speech at Suhrawardy Uddyan? Was it Zia or Mujib?”, Rashid questioned.
Anyone who had watched the first part of the interview would easily understand, it wasn’t just an exclusive interview. Rather, the interview was given to a popular talk-show of Channel-i, clearly with the goal of reaching a large number of audiences, while the entire interview project was planned with the specific agenda of projecting Khandaker Abdur Rashid as a thinker, politician and a diplomat, and essentially develop a new persona for himself, under which his nasty face of being a self-proclaimed killer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman would hide.
Although few more installments of the interview were supposed to aired, Channel-i stopped the subsequent installments.
According to a credible source, initiators of Khandaker Abdur Rashid’s interview were planning to get him presidential mercy, before hours of his return to Bangladesh. When President Iazuddin Ahmed was told about the matter, he did not oppose to it, as his promoters, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was favorable and sympathetic to the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
It may be mentioned here that, Khandaker Abdur Rashid got commissioned in Pakistan army in 1966 and did not join the War of Independence of Bangladesh. Instead, sitting in Pakistan, he was working for the Pakistani occupation forces.
Weeks before Bangladesh won the war, Khandaker Abdur Rashid returned to Bangladesh on October 1971 on leave, and had not joined the War of Independence until December 1971, only days before Pakistani occupation forces were defeated. In the interview, he has admitted this stating: “I delayed my joining the war because I had almost spent the whole of 1971 thinking over issues such as if I should join the Liberation War, whether the country should get freedom etcetera”.
End of PART II
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