Akbar Ali for judicial probe of extrajudicial killings

Dr Akbar Ali Khan
The Daily Star July 6, 2012 UNB, Dhaka

Former adviser to a caretaker government Dr Akbar Ali Khan on Friday stressed judicial probes into all the extrajudicial killings.

“The extrajudicial killings can not continue any more… judicial probe must be conducted for every extrajudicial killing and the probes should be fair and neutral,” he said.

Akbar said this while addressing a meet the press programme organised by Muktochinta Forum, an independent human rights body, at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) in the afternoon.

He made the call two days after the Human Rights Watch, New York-based human rights body, demanded to disband Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) due to its controversial role.

Dr Akbar Ali said that if the police force could be strengthened, it will be able to maintain law and order in the country.

He suggested forming a ‘police commission’ for monitoring the work of the police force to make it effective.

Defining state sovereignty, the former adviser said the definition of sovereignty has changed worldwide, as most of the countries, including Bangladesh, have signed a number of international agreements, committing themselves to ensure human rights.

“As they (states) signed international agreements, the rights organisations can raise question if human rights are violated in any country.”

About the World Bank’s cancellation of its credit for the Padma Bridge Project citing corruption concerns, he said merely illegal exchange of money is not corruption, but involving in conspiracy to make corruption is also corruption.

Dr Akbar Ali, a former bureaucrat and economist, said the government is saying that no corruption has occurred in the proposed Padma Bridge Project, but third party Canada has brought two officials under trial on graft charge in the project.

“If these two officials will be convicted in Canadian court, our country’s image will face crisis abroad. All the accused corrupt persons (of the Padma Bridge project) should surrender in Canadian court to defend themselves.”

About the country’s ongoing political crisis, he said no state can run amid such political instability.

Blaming the political actors for such political instability, Akbar Ali said the political leaders must find a solution to resolve the persisting political crisis.

“Many say the civil society members should join politics. There is little scope for this since political parties are prevailing in the country,” he said citing historical reasons.

The former adviser urged the ‘marginal workers’ of the political parties to put pressure on their respective party leaders to reach consensus for resolving the ongoing political crisis in the country and holding the next parliamentary elections in a free, fair and credible manner.

About the war crimes trial, he said the war crimes trial should be held because there should be a historical record about those guilty.

Dr Akbar also suggested filing cases against the Pakistani war criminals and holding their trial, even in absentia.


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