Wednesday, June 19, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Quasem's family comes to terms with execution

Update : 03 Sep 2016, 02:36 PM
As the family of war criminal Mir Quasem Ali prepares to meet him, possibly for the last time, his daughters say their father's execution will only make him a 'martyr’ — a rare honour — and result in “irreparable loss” for Bangladesh. The Jamaat-e-Islami leader, one of the financiers of the fundamentalist party, may be executed any time now having refused his last life line — presidential clemency. All Jamaat leaders, except Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed, have so far refused to beg for mercy which also requires them to admit to all charges. Kashimpur prison authorities have asked Quasem's family to meet him on Saturday afternoon. In a Facebook post, Quasem's daughter Sumaiya Rabeya said her father was a soft-hearted person who would cry every time he made a speech. She said the family was going to meet him, probably for the last time, had come to terms with Quasem’s impending execution. This would only make him a martyr, something that he had struggled for during his entire life, said Quasem’s daughter Sumaiya.quasem daughter 2The “soft-hearted” Quasem was instrumental in setting up the notorious al-Badr militia, which along with other vigilante groups like Razakars and al-Shams perpetrated war crimes during the Liberation War. These local collaborators assisted the Pakistani occupation forces thwart the liberation forces. Quasem's notoriety during the war earned him the nickname “Bangali Khan”, implying that he was as ruthless as his cruel brethren from Pakistan. His other daughter Tahera Tasnim asked everyone to pray for her father so that he may be granted a place in Ferdous, the highest of all heavens. She said her father's execution would be an irreparable damage to Bangladesh’s economy and service sector and prayed that the country may recover.

Qusem daughter 1

Quasem, a top Jamaat financier, spent a huge sum of money in a bid to make war crimes trials controversial. He went to the extent of hiring a lobby firm in Washington DC and paid them hefty amounts though his brother Mir Masum Ali. He tried to bribe witnesses and when failed, his men threatened them, prosecutor Zead Al-Malum had claimed. Among the founders of Ibn Sina Trust, Mir Quasem also has stakes and equity in Islami Bank and the Keari Group. Together, these conglomerates are said to be among the organisations that sustain Jamaat. War crimes suspects were brought to trial after the government set up the International Crimes Tribunal in 2010. Most of the convicts have so far been from Jamaat, a party that openly opposed Bangladesh’s independence. Jamaat claims the tribunal falls short of international standards and accuses the Sheikh Hasina government of carrying out political vendetta — a charge the government denies.
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