Although inactive for the past few years, Jamaat-e-Islami is planning on resuming political activities. Since 2011, their programs have largely been hidden from the public and the media. The seemingly listless party has a history of giving statements from unspecified locations and holding meetings in secret. According to some Jamaat leaders, that is all about to change.
Leaders from Jamaat said that they are planning on reopening their offices that have been closed for seven years now. They are also considering changing the policy of not disclosing the names of the members when they come out on bail. They said they are going to disclose more information regarding those matters to the media.
The leaders also said that they have taken the decision of participating in politics openly, as instructed by the Jamaat top brass.
Jamaat central leader advocate Ehsanul Mahbub Jubayer said, “We hope the government will let us carry out our regular meetings and programs during the polls-time.”
Sources in Jamaat said the party will try to reopen all closed offices even if the members and leaders get arrested for it.
A recently released Jamaat leader said that they had been discussing about being more public from their time in jail. They want to increase political activities as polls-time is approaching. They have been inactive since 2015 but are now planning on holding regular meetings and programs. Strategy regarding this matter is yet to be fixed.
Sources said that the details of opening the offices will be worked out soon by leaders who are currently imprisoned.
A leader close to Jamaat acting chief professor Mujibur Rahman dodged the question of opening up offices and instead complained about their movements being constantly scrutinized. He indicated that if there is any change, the media will know of it.
A Jamaat leader from Chittagong said, “We have been instructed to hold meetings and re-establish contacts and programs.”
Sources also said that Jamaat is selecting candidates for the upcoming polls. Some 70 candidates have already been chosen, but they refused to disclose the names and designations of the candidates. Arrests have allegedly decreased and more members are out on bail. So the party is becoming more active.
A leader of the party claimed that Jamaat is fixing candidates for all 300 seats. He said they are hoping to resume regular activity after a proper election environment is set in the country.
There are major blocks in their path, though. Their electoral symbol has been cancelled by the Bangladesh Election Commission. They are having issues with the registration as well, as the High Court has put a hold on the matter.
Jamaat central leader advocate Ehsanul Mahbub Jubayer disclosed that they have appealed regarding the high court’s instruction on the matter of the registration. “No date has been set yet. Attorney general office is not showing much interest,” he said.
Attorney general advocate Mahbub Alam said, “If they have filed a case then there will obviously be a hearing. It is on the list, when the court gives a date, a hearing will happen.”
This article first appeared on banglatribune.com