Businessmen seeking police protection for safety not enough28 July 2016 Editorial Desk
The death of Hassan Khaled, President of Dutch-Bangla Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DBCCI) in unknown circumstances and recovery of his body from Buriganga River in Keraniganj area on Tuesday has not only shocked the country's business community, it came as yet another reminder of the worsening law and order situation in the country in which uncertainly of life and unusual death now make people nervous at every level. The businessman disappeared from Dhanmondi area on Saturday as he went out of home to buy medicine and family sources said he had no known enemy to point finger on any suspect.
DBCCI mourned his death on Tuesday saying the incident is an alert to all businessmen and leaders of chamber bodies and trade associations for safety. In fact there is no more public safety at work and it appears everybody has to ensure his own safety. But how can one make his or her own safety if the state is failing to give safety to citizens where the government is persistently failing. The government has to find reasons for its failure, because terrorism is growing.
The simple solution of killing suspected terrorists without accountability or transparency is not working. The recent killing of nine suspected terrorists has raised serious doubts about the police version. But nine young ones lost their lives. There is no effective opposition to offer political leadership when political leadership is needed most. There is no democratic leadership to work transparently or in cooperation with others.
The government's dependence on police is absolute, but police alone cannot stop terrorism. The businessmen are an effective force to advise the government where it is going wrong if the country's economy is to be saved. Blaming police is not working.
A shocked President of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Abdul Matlub Ahmad advised all businessmen and leaders of different trade bodies to ensure their safety first and stay alert to avoid any untoward incident. Expressing concern over the situation he also demanded protection from the government for all businessmen taking into account that if the situation slips out of control, the setback will not only affect domestic business but external trade as well. Hassan Khaled was President of DBCCI and naturally his death in mysterious conditions that yet need to be traced raised many questions. But one thing is true, his death will make the businessmen in Netherlands and other international trade bodies equally apprehensive in running business in Bangladesh and reluctant to make here new investments.
In our political vacuum the business community is in a stronger position to take up the public safety issue with the government more effectively than others. Most business leaders are closer to the ruling party and also party leaders at many levels. It appears that they don't want to take serious issues least the government leaders become unhappy with them. But the country's economy is in doldrums and businessmen are worst hit.
The business community cannot be so indifferent that they do not know how to suggest the government the ways of establishing political stability. Terrorism is not ordinary crimes it is connected with political stability and justice for which political thinking is necessary. That does not mean political thinking has to come only from political leadership. We have no effective political leadership and this is the hard reality.
If we are not wrong, terrorism is connected with political stability. The government is not succeeding in fighting terrorism with police and gun power — that is the truth.