It's time for Jamaat's mea culpa | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 17, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:18 PM, February 17, 2019

It's time for Jamaat's mea culpa

A long overdue act of atonement

A top-ranking leader of Jamaat has tendered his resignation after a very long association with the party. The ostensible reason for that is he has failed to convince the party leadership to own up to the party's anti-liberation role during the War of Liberation in 1971, and apologise to the nation for it.

As a "reformist" faction wants the party to come to its senses and make a public apology about its role during the war, the resignation of the said leader will create further pressure on Jamaat to seek forgiveness for its misdeeds in 1971 and reform its charter. There is also a segment of the current crop of the party that would want to have nothing to do with 1971, and start anew.

The demand for the party to come clean and start a new chapter in its political history is the demand of the time and for its political survival. It's normal for a political party to have its own guiding philosophy and its own position on a political issue. But its active support of the Pakistan military and being a part of its killing machine makes it complicit in the genocide in Bangladesh.

Regrettably, Jamaat was rehabilitated by the military rulers for political dividends. Equally unfortunate was that the major political parties subsequently did not hesitate either to seek its support for political expediency, according Jamaat the legitimacy it needed to resurrect itself as a political entity. BNP must be held responsible for making Jamaat a part of the government and still carrying on a partnership with them.

The Jamaat leadership must understand what it stands for and that its past is anathema to the core values on which this nation is built. And we feel that a political party that has the blood of our martyrs on its hand forfeits the right to participate in politics. Jamaat should not only apologise and recast itself, it must also help the state to bring to book the remaining war criminals of the party.

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