On 5 February 2013, protests began in Shahbag, Bangladesh following demands for capital punishment for Abdul Quader Mollah, who had been sentenced to life imprisonment, and for others convicted of war crimes by the International Crimes Tribunal of Bangladesh. On that day, the International Crimes Tribunal had sentenced Mollah to life in prison after he was convicted on five of six counts of war crimes. Later demands included banning the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party from politics including election and a boycott of institutions supporting (or affiliated with) the party.
Protesters considered Mollah's sentence too lenient, given his crimes. Bloggers and online activists called for additional protests at Shahbag. Tens of thousands of people joined the demonstration, which gave rise to protests across the country.
A counter-protest, questioning the validity of the tribunal and the protest movement and demanding release of those accused and convicted, was launched by Jamaat-e-Islami as its leaders were the majority of those first identified for trial. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) initially expressed its support for Jamaat-e-Islami, a political ally. But, the BNP cautiously welcomed the Shahbag protest, while warning the government not to make political mileage from a movement demanding capital punishment for war criminals.
During the protests, Ahmed Rajib Haider was killed outside his house. On 1 March, five students of North South University were arrested who 'confessed' involvement in Rajib's killing. On 27 February 2013, the tribunal convicted Delwar Hossain Sayeedi of war crimes and sentenced him to death. Jamaat followers protested and there were violent clashes with police. About 60 people were killed in the confrontations; most were Jamaat-Shibir activists, and others were police and civilians.
- "2013 Shahbag Protest" | 2013-02-09 | 17 Upvotes 7 Comments
Cable 1971, otherwise known as Priority Signal or File 1971 was a high profile and secret military signal communicated in December 1952 between the two main inter-services branches of Pakistan–the Pakistan Army and the Pakistan Navy. It is notable for the fact that it essentially predicted the separation of Pakistan and Bangladesh and by coincidence its title contained the year in which the separation actually happened, almost 20 years later.
The military cable was directed through the Naval Intelligence and Military Intelligence to ISI sent to its headquarter and came in the wake of reactionary of Basic Principles Committee's first report towards the writing of the first set of the Constitution of Pakistan. The cable was sent by then-Commodore S.M. Ahsan to DG ISI Major-General R. Cawthome on a file coincidentally numbered 1971. The cable discussed the implication of One Unit, religious fanaticism, and the economic parity between the West and East Pakistan that will ultimately result in the division of Pakistan into two different groups.
The Cable's message read as:
- The creation of Committee of Ulema to veto the decisions taken in the House of People on religious matters, gives excess of powers to Ulema over the rights of elected representatives of the people. This gives an impression of Pakistan as being a Theocratic State.
- To recommend that the head of the state should be a Muslim will unnecessarily create suspicions in minds of the minorities in Pakistan. The choice to select the head of the state should be left entirely to the people, to select without prejudice to caste, colour and creed.
- It is maintained by same officers that a single House elected on population basis should have been envisaged, and we should cease to think in terms of Bengalis and Punjabis etc. The parity between West & East Pakistan will ultimately result in the division of Pakistan into two different groups, therefore, it is the very negation of one people, one country and one culture.
The cable's message was further extended and discussed at the Army GHQ by MI's officer Major KM Arif when he compiled an "Intelligence Report No. 7894 of the Office of Intelligence Research and Analysis" in December 1970.
The cable is notable for its highlighted title and many historians found strange that the cable was coincidentally numbered: Cable/File 1971.
- "Cable 1971" | 2019-11-06 | 14 Upvotes 12 Comments
Fazlur Rahman Khan (Bengali: ফজলুর রহমান খান, Fozlur Rôhman Khan) (3 April 1929 – 27 March 1982) was a Bangladeshi-American structural engineer and architect, who initiated important structural systems for skyscrapers. Considered the "father of tubular designs" for high-rises, Khan was also a pioneer in computer-aided design (CAD). He was the structural engineer of the Sears Tower working with Architect Bruce Graham, since renamed Willis Tower, the tallest building in the world from 1973 until 1998, and the 100-story John Hancock Center.
Khan, more than any other individual, ushered in a renaissance in skyscraper construction during the second half of the 20th century. He has been called the "Einstein of structural engineering" and the "Greatest Structural Engineer of the 20th Century" for his innovative use of structural systems that remain fundamental to modern skyscraper design and construction. In his honor, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat established the Fazlur Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal, as one of their CTBUH Skyscraper Awards.
Although best known for skyscrapers, Khan was also an active designer of other kinds of structures, including the Hajj airport terminal, the McMath–Pierce solar telescope, and several stadium structures.
- "Fazlur Khan: The engineer who made it possible to live in the sky" | 2014-06-12 | 86 Upvotes 9 Comments