His second namaz-e-janaza will be held at Dhaka’s Gulshan Azad Mosque after Asr prayers
With Bangladesh still reeling from the loss of a number of influential and eminent individuals to Covid-19 since March last year, the country has lost yet another prominent figure in the political arena. Hossain Toufique Imam, Political Adviser to the Prime Minister, passed away on Thursday.
Well known as HT Imam, he breathed his last in the early hours of yesterday at the Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka. He was laid to eternal rest with state honours at the Banani graveyard in the evening.
HT Imam, 82, was admitted to the hospital with multiple age-related ailments, including kidney complications, two weeks ago. His condition worsened from Tuesday.
His body was first taken to his birthplace-- Ullapara upazila in Sirajganj-- by helicopter in the morning for the first namaz-e-janaza at Ullapara Akbar Ali Government College ground around 11am. The body was flown back to Dhaka and kept at the Central Shaheed Minar from 1.30pm to 3.30pm for people from all walks of life to pay their homage and have a last glimpse of the deceased.
Leaders of various political, social and cultural organizations have paid tributes to HT Imam.
The military secretaries to the President and the Prime Minister paid tributes to the late adviser on behalf of the head of state and the head of government.
HT Imam’s mortal remains were later taken to Gulshan Azad Mosque for the second and last namaz-e-janaza or funeral prayers after Asr prayers.
Later, the Dhaka district administration presented a guard of honour to him at the Banani graveyard before his burial.
Imam, who joined the then Pakistan Civil Service in 1962, served as cabinet secretary in the Mujibnagar government during the country’s Liberation War in 1971.
During his long and distinguished career in the bureaucracy, he also served as secretary in the Ministry of Communications, as well as in the Planning Division.
Born on January 15, 1939, Imam completed his undergraduate studies in economics from Rajshahi University and also completed his graduate degree in economics from Dhaka University. Later, he completed his postgraduate degree at the London School of Economics in development administration.
Working as the PM’s adviser, with AL
Imam had been adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina since the Awami League’s victory in the December 2008 general election. From 2009 to 2014 he was adviser on public administration affairs, and then from 2014 he was engaged as adviser on political affairs.
He also took on roles within the Awami League, chairing or co-chairing committees on publicity affairs and elections, and becoming a member of the AL advisory council.
Condolences pour in
Shortly after news of HT Imam’s death broke, President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed their deep shock and sorrow at the seasoned bureaucrat’s demise.
In a condolence message, the president said the role of HT Imam had been very important in the Liberation War.
“He (Imam) has worked all his life to develop the spirit of the country’s independence and the Great War of Liberation. Besides, he played a leading role in running the government in the newly independent country,” he mentioned.
The head of state said HT Imam as a government official also made important contributions to the electoral campaign of the Bangladesh Awami League at national elections.
“With the death of HT Imam, the Bangladesh Awami League has lost a dedicated leader,” the president observed.
“The contributions of HT Imam to the administrative service will be remembered,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in her message.
He performed with utmost dedication as cabinet secretary in the government-in-exile during the Liberation War, she said.
Besides the president and the prime minister, a number of politicians also expressed their shock at HT Imam’s death.