Yet to decide on a name for the new outfit
Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami has almost finalized the constitution of its new party, including issues related to the Liberation War and religious values.
However, the new party will be like other existing "generalized" parties in Bangladesh in terms of ideology and organizational structure, said several top leaders who are involved in the entire process.
A part of the leadership of the present Jamaat will be seen at the forefront of the new party, where there will remain no cadre system, they said.
On October 29, 2018, the Election Commission cancelled the registration of the Jamaat-e-Islami as a political party, which had opposed Bangladesh's independence during the Liberation War of 1971.
The decision was made following a High Court verdict that declared the Jamaat's registration illegal.
High-level leaders of the party on Sunday said the thinking of policymakers about forming a party and its emergence in the changing global situation amid the coronavirus pandemic was becoming more apparent.
Jamaat policymakers feel that it is necessary now to float a fresh party reviewing its role during the 1971 Liberation War and the political situation at the time.
Although senior leaders are divided over the matter, the approval of the central Majlis-e-Shura, a forum in the party that approves its various policies, has made the process stronger within the organization.
A policymaking leader said: "The Jamaat is getting bigger with the passage of time and at the same time the mentality of the new generation is moving toward settling the issue of 1971.
"And keeping the political goal ahead, on 16-17 February in 2019, the high command sent letters to the party leaders informing them a five-member committee [led by Jamaat Ameer Dr Shafiqur Rahman] was formed to float a new party. Before sending the letters, the Majlis-e-Shura at its special meeting approved the process for the formation of a new party."
'New party open to all'
Leaders involved in the process of Jamaat's new party said there were several names suggested for the new political organization in the proposed draft, but none had been finalized yet.
The work of formulating the constitution is all but over, they said, adding that the proclamation of the new party spoke of the formation of independent Bangladesh through the 1971 Liberation War and democratic aspirations.
Sources close to the party formation process said although the issue of religious values was in the original proclamation, there would remain no issue of implementing the ideology of any particular religion.
A member, who is involved in the process of forming the new party, said: "The new party will be open to all. The issue of religious values will be mentioned in the proclamation. There will be religious issues in the party program."
Although the work of the organizational structure has been completed, Jamaat leaders declined to give details.
Another member of the special committee said the organizational structure would be similar to those of the existing political parties.
He said the current "rukan" (member) system in Jamaat would not exist in the fresh party and there would be no specific syllabus for creating activists as well.
When will the new party emerge?
Several high-ranking Jamaat leaders said the incumbent government is under pressure on various issues, like tackling the coronavirus epidemic, corruption in the health sector, and conflict between India and China.
At the same time, the leaders said they were also concerned about the BNP's internal discussion about excluding Jamaat from its alliance.
Majlis-e-Shura member and Feni district unit Jamaat Ameer AKM Shamsuddin said: "We are not updated on the formation of the new party. We are now just doing our internal organizational work."
However, some Jamaat leaders said the party was considering matters like Bangladesh's recent engagement with Pakistan and the process of talking over the release of convicted war criminal Delwar Hossain Sayedee among the party (Jamaat), family of Sayedee, and various levels of government officials.
Under the circumstances, the politics of the emergence of a new party will be determined keeping in view the possibility of a novelty.
An influential Jamaat leader said: "The new party will work keeping in mind the religious values based on the Liberation War and the culture of the country and society. We want to see a reflection of religious values in the country, but not secular."
"We are also thinking about the government’s role, whether it will hinder the process or not, and the smooth registration process of the Election Commission.
"We will make the declaration at the right time."
Jamaat Secretary General Mia Golam Parwar, also a member of the special committee to form the new party, said: "We have taken the work forward to a certain extent and progress has been made in this case. We will inform you in time about the announcement of the new party."