Terrorism is symptom not cause05 September 2016 Editorial Desk
Terrorism is terrible, and we must all be against terrorism to take roots. But unless we are ready to remove the cause mere killing few terrorists will not do. Killing without trial is no assurance of life and liberty.
To simply say, we fought our Liberation War for denial of good governance under democracy, so denial of democracy cannot be right for peace and order in Bangladesh.
The Chief Justice of Bangladesh is not a political leader but his own judicial assessment, as expressed last Friday at the publication ceremony of Bangladesh Law Times in Dhaka, is that terrorism grows due to social frustration, deprivation and the absence of the rule of law.
Like the Chief Justice, we are all concerned to see our domestic terrorism is effectively handled. But as the Chief Justice has warned that terrorism is not a disease but symptom. Our long held view is that the government must not allow the cause of terrorism to be neglected while relying on the police power to fight terrorism. The government is asking too much from the police.
He also pointed out the failures of the lawyers for the effectiveness of the rule of law.
His Lordship the Chief Justice was rightly critical of the lawyers for their partisan politics. But there was a serious omission on his part not to have mentioned by the same token the corruption and irregularities prevailing in the judiciary. The lower judiciary lacks people's confidence about how free and how much upright it is in dispensing justice. Such weaknesses are also regressive for the justice system.
Nothing makes people feel more helpless and angry than denial of fair justice and detention without trial. The government do not appreciate how important a role the judiciary plays in maintaining peace and social order when it is free to dispense fair justice.
We have welcomed the initiative being taken by the United States of America and India to help us end our home-grown terrorism for home-grown reasons. Terrorism survives over the death of democracy and so to defeat terrorism we have to ensure victory of democracy.
Unfortunately, the influence of India alone has proved not enough to put things right for realization of the democratic good governance as was the undisputed core objective of our Liberation War which India helped us to win and own Liberation War as ours. So we have to be more determined to respect our commitment to democracy.
India should also be feeling let down for the failure in Bangladesh to achieve the goal of democratic governance and finding democratic politics under challenge from the authoritarian politics so contradictory to the objective of the Liberation War.
By no means the absence of democracy can be regarded as success of our Liberation War.
It would be natural for our people to feel deeply disappointed if Bangladesh is seen as a haven for authoritarianism they so desperately fought against. Our war against Pakistan was an ideological one and not revengeful one for dismembering Pakistan.
It is documented in the book 'How Pakistan got divided' by General Rao Farman Ali who had closely observed the operation in East Pakistan under military occupation and he claimed disappointingly that those who were sent to fight separatists in East Pakistan were not trained or disciplined soldiers. They were untrained fighters sent to kill Kafers to make it clear, they came to kill Indian Kafers (non-Muslims) who they thought were responsible for the trouble in East Pakistan. Such armed operation should have been enough to know how vicious and cruel was the game they played upon us and how much blood and tears our poorly equipped people had to shed to live in free Bangladesh free from fear.
We may need cooperation of both India and the USA but we know what is the best solution to our problem of terrorism. It has grown from socio-political frustration in the absence of democratic good governance.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry in his recent visit to Bangladesh also reminded us of the importance of good governance and the rule of law. More money and better technology from others may be helpful to fight their international terrorism but not ours.
We must remove the cause of terrorism before Bangladesh becomes part of international terrorism.