Siraj-ul-Haq announces to protest over JI leader’s execution in Bangladesh

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan Siraj-ul-Haq on Sunday has announced to stage sit-in in Islamabad on September 8 over the execution of Bangladeshi JI leader Mir Quasem Ali.


A funeral prayer in absentia of the leader was also offered in Islamabad.

Earlier, Bangladesh hanged a wealthy tycoon and top financial backer of its largest religious party late Saturday for war crimes, dealing a massive blow to the group’s ambitions in the Muslim-majority nation.

Mir Quasem Ali, a key leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, was executed after being convicted by a controversial war crimes tribunal for offences committed during the 1971 independence conflict.

The 63-year-old was hanged at 10.35pm (1635 GMT) at the Kashimpur high security jail in Gazipur, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Dhaka, law minister Anisul Huq told AFP.

His body was later taken to his ancestral village in central Manikganj district where he was buried amid high security early Sunday morning, police said

“Several dozen people, mostly family members, attended his funeral prayers,” local police chief Nazrul Islam told AFP.

Six opposition leaders have now been executed for war crimes after the secular government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set up a domestic war crimes tribunal in 2010.

Ali is the fifth and the last prominent Jamaat leader to have been executed — a massive setback for the party in the world’s third largest Muslim nation, which has been reeling from a wave of deadly extremist attacks claimed by the Islamic State group.

After the Supreme Court rejected his final appeal against the penalty on Tuesday, he declined to seek a presidential pardon, which would require an admission of guilt, paving the way for his execution.

Prosecutors said Ali was a key commander of the notorious militia in the southern port city of Chittagong during the war, and later became a shipping, banking and real estate tycoon.

They said he spent millions of dollars of his fortune to hire international lobbyists to derail the war crime trials.

Hundreds of people in Dhaka and Chittagong held impromptu street celebrations as news of the execution was broadcast live on television.

But more than 1,000 police were deployed in Gazipur and hundreds of paramilitary border guards were outside the prison and in Dhaka, as authorities feared violence by his Islamist supporters, officials said.

Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan warned the party against any “unruly” activities.

The war crimes trials have divided the country, with supporters of Jamaat and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) branding them a sham aimed at eliminating their leaders.

The executions and convictions of Jamaat officials plunged Bangladesh into one of its worst crises in 2013 when tens of thousands of activists clashed with police in protests that left some 500 people dead.



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