Victims of Bangladesh’s liberation war which resulted in mass scale killings kept waiting for justice. Abdul Quadir Molla, president of Islami Chhatra Sangha, student wing of Jamat Islami, unit at Dhaka University in 1971, nicknamed as ‘Butcher of MirPur’ for his role in killings of hundreds of intellectuals, professors and teachers of Dhaka University, was hanged on December 12. His appeal against International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) was rejected by the Supreme Court. Molla was a senior leader of Jamat Islami at the time of his arrest and trial in 2010. He is the first person convicted by ICT to be executed. Many in Pakistan will view this hanging as a death of someone who worked to keep Pakistan as united country. This may be the case but genocide is genocide, whether it’s in the name of religion, nationalism or ethnicity. No cause, however noble can justify genocide of civilians. We shall move on with this principled stand, not by the narrow-minded justifications.

Molla was punished for working against his own people. He was no different from Pakistani Taliban leaders killed in drone attacks. JI and other religious parties in Pakistan declared these terrorists as martyrs. On the same lines, JI in Bangladesh will try to gain political mileage by declaring Molla as a martyr and by resorting to violence. It’s high time Bangladeshis stood together against exploitation in the name of religion. These religious parties can never win a popular vote, thanks to their myopic agenda; therefore they find violence as the only way to force their viewpoint. We see further polarization in the country but that’s the cost Bangladesh has to pay to put the butcher of MirPur to gallows.

MASOOD KHAN,

Saudi Arab, December 13.