All of a sudden, a certain Mobarak Hossain has made our national list of most unwanteds. Shooting out of relative obscurity, he has now been formally charged and sent to the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT). Like every other defendant there, he’s been accused of murder, genocide, abduction and torture. But unlike any other defendant, Mobarak was once an AL man.
While the government might hope that this redresses the balance a little, sadly it doesn’t. A relatively obscure, ex-party man can hardly be considered weighty enough to do that.
Still, it’s commendable that the government has gone after criminals in its own midst, and if Mobarak is indeed guilty of the things he’s been accused of, he deserves the full weight of the law. His case will be dealt with by the court, which, it can be hoped, will handle the matter diligently and justly.
Mobarak of course insists he’s innocent and that the charges are politically motivated. He was expelled from the party in 2011, after having been a member for 16 years, where he was able to rise to the not-insubstantial position of union organising secretary.
There are several questions that the curious case of Mobarak Hossain raises. For one, even though, on the surface it makes the AL look neutral,the fact that Hossain is no longer a member of the partyis noteworthy. No current AL member of any senior ranking, or of any rank for that matter, is in the dock, even though there have been doubts raised about some.
Secondly, if Mobarak is indeed a war criminal the fact that he was able to go undetected for so many years and climb the political ladder of the very party that claims to embody a pro-liberation spirit is not an encouraging thought.
It makes one wonder why someone like Mobarak could have been tolerated for so long and raises serious questions about the sincerity of the government’s intentions. He appears more like a sacrificial goat than a 13th defendant.