Tarique Rahman

Tarique Rahman

Tarique Rahman was born on 20th November 1965. His life is integrated
with the origin, inception and emergence of Bangladesh as an independent
state. He is the eldest son of Shaheed (Martyred) President Ziaur Rahman,
the decorated hero of the liberation war of Bangladesh, who proclaimed the
country’s independence, formed the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and
established the multiparty parliamentary democracy in the country. Tarique’s
mother Begum Khaleda Zia, the current Chairperson of the BNP, was elected
as the Prime Minister for record three times. Tarique has a younger brother
named Arafat Rahman. Tarique is married to Dr Zubaida Rahman, daughter
of Late Rear Admiral Mahbub Ali Khan, who was the Chief of Staff of the
Bangladesh Navy and also served as the Minister of Telecommunications and
Minister of Agriculture in subsequent governments. Zubaida Rahman is a
qualified cardiologist by training and studied at Dhaka Medical College, the
premier medical college of Bangladesh. Tarique and Zubaida were married on
3rd February 1994, and they have a daughter named Zaima Zarnaz Rahman.
When Tarique Rahman grew up to go to school, he was admitted to
a school in Dhaka popularly known as Shaheen High School and College,
primarily meant for the children of the Army personnel. Having passed the
Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC)
examinations with commanding results, Tarique entered the University of
Dhaka as a student of International Relations, a subject of his choice. While
in the University, he read political thoughts of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle,
Hobbes, Locke, Roussou, Voltaire, Karl Marx and other exceptional thinkers.
He concentrated more on socio-economic and political subjects, including the
in-depth study of the gradual development of democracy and the dynamics
of economic liberalisation. Tarique graduated in a volatile situation at the
height of the nationwide movement against the autocratic regime of Hussain
Muhammad Ershad, which his mother Begum Khaleda Zia was leading.
Upon completion of studies, Tarique became a successful entrepreneur
and established several businesses, particularly in the textile and agro-based

Shahid President Ziaur Rahman

Shahid Ziaur Rahman, (1936-1981) was the President of Bangladesh, Chief of Army Staff, leading freedom fighter, who declared the Independence of Bangladesh. Ziaur Rahman was born on l9 January 1936 at Bagbari in Bogra. His father Mansur Rahman was a chemist working in a government department in Calcutta. His early childhood was spent partly in the rural area of Bogra and partly in Calcutta. After the partition of India (1947), when his father was transferred to Karachi, Zia had to leave the Hare School in Calcutta and became a student of the Academy School in Karachi. He completed his secondary education from that School in 1952. In 1953, he got himself admitted into the D.J. College in Karachi. In the same year he joined the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul as an officer cadet.

Shahid Ziaur Rahman was commissioned in 1955 as a second lieutenant. He served there for two years, and in 1957, he was transferred to East Bengal Regiment. He also worked in the military intelligence department from 1959 to 1964. In the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 he made his mark as a valiant fighter in the Khemkaran sector as the commander of a company, and incidentally, his company was one of those which were offered maximum gallantry awards for heroic performances in the war. He was appointed a professional instructor in the Pakistan Military Academy in 1966. In the same year he was sent to the Staff College in Quetta for attending a command course. In 1969, he joined the Second East Bengal Regiment as its second-in-command at Joydevpur. He was sent to West Germany for higher training. On his return home in 1970 Ziaur Rahman, then a major, was transferred to Eighth East Bengal Regiment at Chittagong as its second in command.

 After the military crackdown since the night of 25 March 1971 sheikh mujibur rahman was arrested and the political leaders dispersed. The people were at a loss. At this crucial moment when the political leadership failed to give any direction, the Eighth East Bengal Regiment under the leadership of Major Ziaur Rahman revolted against the Pakistan Army and took up the Bangladesh flag as its mainstay on the night between 26 and 27 March 1971. Then he took up the momentous decision of declaring the Independence of Bangladesh. Ziaur Rahman and his troops were in the forefront of the War of Independence. Major Zia and the armed forces under his command kept the Chittagong and Noakhali areas under control for a few days and went across the border for further preparations.
Ziaur Rahman played a brilliant role in the War of Liberation both at the level of planning and execution. As the commander of Sector I up to June 1971, later on as the head of Z-Force, Ziaur Rahman distinguished himself as a brave warrior and was offered the gallantry award of Bir Uttam.
After the most creditable performances during the nine-month war, he was appointed brigade commander in Comilla. In June 1972, he was made Deputy Chief of Staff of the armed forces of Bangladesh. In the middle of 1973, he became a Brigadier, and a Major General by the end of the year. When Khondakar Moshtaq Ahmad assumed the office of the presidency, Ziaur Rahman became the chief of army staff on 25 August 1975. When Khaled Mosharraf with the support of the Dhaka Brigade under the command of Shafat Jamil staged a coup d’etat on 3 November 1975, Ziaur Rahman was forced to resign his command and was put under house arrest. The Sepoy-Janata Biplob of 7 November, however, took him to the centre of political power. In fact, he had to assume the responsibility of managing the affairs of Bangladesh on the crest of the Sepoy-Janata Biplob.
On 7 November 1975, Ziaur Rahman was proclaimed the Chief Martial Law Administrator. In a meeting at the army headquarters on the same day, a new administrative set-up for the running of an interim government was arranged with Justice Sayem as the Chief Martial Law Administrator and the three service chiefs, Major General Zia, Air Vice Marshal MG Tawab and Rear Admiral MH Khan, as Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrators. Ziaur Rahman became Chief Martial Law Administrator on 19 November 1976, when Justice Sayem relinquished his position and ultimately, the President of Bangladesh on 21 April 1977, when President Sayem resigned.
After assuming office as head of the state Ziaur Rahman issued a proclamation order amending the Constitution to insert Bismiliah-ir-Rahmanir Rahim (In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful) in the Preamble of the Constitution. In Article 8(1) and 8(1A) the principle of ‘absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah has been added. In Article 8(1), socialism has been defined as ‘economic and social justice’. In Article 25(2) it has also been provided that “the state shall endeavour to consolidate, preserve and strengthen fraternal relations among Muslim countries based on Islamic solidarity.”
Ziaur Rahman introduced and popularised the new concept of Bangladeshi nationalism. He believed that in a plural society like Bangladesh where people are of diverse ethnicity and where they profess different faiths, have different cultural traits and various lifestyles, nationalism should better be conceptualised in terms of territory rather than language or culture. This is what he emphasised upon. Bangladeshi nationalism took firm root and shape as a unifying force with its emphasis on national unity and integration of all citizens of Bangladesh irrespective of caste, creed, gender, culture, religion and ethnicity.
Assuming power, Zia immediately moved to restore law and order in the country and for the purpose strengthened the police force, practically doubling its size from 40,000 to 70,000 and arranging for their proper training. He also restored order in the armed forces. For the purpose, he took certain steps for the development of professionalism in them through rigorous training and restoring discipline. He expanded their strength substantially from less than 50,000 in 1974-75 to about 90,000 in 1976-77. Although Zia was successful in restoring discipline within the armed forces, he had to confront a number of mutinies and attempted coups forcing him to adopt certain stern actions against those who had taken part in those uprisings.
A believer in democracy Zia moved as fast as he could to democratise the polity by re-instituting the institution of election either for enabling a political party to assume power or for transferring it to other political party peacefully. As a first step, that is why, he allowed the disbanded political parties to be revived and political activities to be carried on once again. Having that in view, he also disallowed the ban on the newspapers and inaugurated the free flow of news by making the news media free. For the same purpose, he re -instituted the independence of judiciary as the bulwark of rights of the people. The prevailing situation persuaded him to take part in active politics so that he could establish democratic order in the country. In February 1978 he floated Jatiyatabadi Ganatantric Dal with Vice President Justice Abdus Sattar as its head. Zia himself became the nominee of the Nationalist Front consisting of six political parties in the presidential election. He won a comprehensive victory by securing 76.67% of the votes.
On 1 September 1978, a new political party, bangladesh nationalist party (BNP), was launched with Zia as its chairman. The parliamentary elections were held in February 1979 and BNP won 207 seats out of 300. On 1 April 1979, the first session of the jatiya sangsad was convened. On 9 April, martial law was lifted after the enactment of the Fifth Amendment.
President Zia’s dynamic economic policy laid emphasis on private sector development. A new development strategy designed to encourage the private entrepreneurs, both local and foreign, and to promote agricultural development through massive subsidies to the farmers was initiated. The process of handing over nationalised industries to their former owners began. Promotion of export of conventional and non-conventional goods became a national priority. Food production reached a new height and Bangladesh began exporting rice.
To bring in dynamism in his action plan Zia put forward a 19-point programme, and that was designed to bring rapid socio-economic transformation in the country. The main thrust of the programme was self-reliance and rural uplift through people’s participation. Its primary objectives were accelerated agricultural growth, population control, self-sufficiency in food, decentralisation of administration and greater incentives to the private sector. It was designed to meet the basic needs of the people and special needs of women, youths and workers, and it aimed at establishing a political order based on social justice.
For bringing rapid socio-economic transformation in the country, President Zia transformed the politics of the country into a production-oriented one. He chalked out programmes of action for the purpose, terming these as revolutions and motivated his party men to realise those programmes through their devotion and commitment. The first of those was canal digging, and it was designed to supply adequate water to the farmers, especially during the lean season. The second was to remove illiteracy from the society so that an air of enlightenment might prevail all around using both formal and non-formal techniques all over the country. Moreover, motivational programmes were set on for the enhancement of productions both in the field and factories. The initiation of family planning programme, revolutionary as it was, was designed to stabilise population at a level which might be termed as optimum from the economic point of view. The institution of Gram Sarker aimed at enlisting the support of the people for a self-reliant Bangladesh, which president Zia advocated. Zia began executing his programme in right earnest and beneficial results were in sight. The excavation and re-excavation of more than 1,500 canals in a year and a half, record production of food grains in two successive years (1976-77 and 1977-78), an average annual GDP growth of 6.4% during 1975-78, a vigorous mass education campaign, introduction of village government (Gram Sarkar) and Village Defence Party (VDP) made deep impression in the minds of the people.
Having the objectives of establishing good neighbourly relations with India and other South Asian countries on equal footing Zia started bringing in changes first at the internal setting through resurgence of nationalistic aspirations of the people and then by stabilising countervailing forces at the regional and international levels.
The foreign policy goals were thus devised anew, and dynamic international relations were set on with a view to preventing Bangladesh from hurtling down to the abyss of dependence. At the regional level, Bangladesh developed a pattern of mutuality with such states as Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Maldives along with India so much so that it ultimately led to the forging of regional co-operation in the region for the first time in its history.
At the international level, Bangladesh, then a lonely sojourner, picked up friends from both the right, centre and left and established a kind of viable comradeship amongst them. Bangladesh was lifted from the dead end of the Indo-Soviet axis and Indian hegemonic circle. Bangladesh came closer to the Muslim world of more than fifty states, which began to take fresh look at Bangladesh and its problems. One of the superpowers of the time became a good friend of Bangladesh, though its role was not people-friendly during the Liberation War. Bangladesh developed a good working relation with China. South East Asian countries were drawn closer. The distant Europe remained no longer disinterested in the affairs of Bangladesh.
Through certain creative moves, he drew Bangladesh into the world of the liberal west, the fraternal middle East and West Asia, and the rising South East Asia. He attended many international conferences and visited dozens of countries to promote the cause of the nation’s multilateral and bilateral relations. The dividend was rich. Bangladesh was elected to the Security Council in one of its non-permanent seats in 1978, and became actively involved in the activities of the UN members. In the middle East and West Asia Bangladesh emerged as a forceful actor. It was President Zia who conceived of the idea of, and initiated actions for, regional co-operation is South Asia. For the purpose, he visited these countries during 1979-80 to speak of the need to develop a framework for mutual co-operation. south asian association for regional cooperation (SAARC) was the outcome of his efforts, which was formally launched in Dhaka in 1985. Zia did not survive to see his dream come true. He was assassinated in Chittagong on 30 May 1981 in an abortive army coup. He lies buried at Sher-e-Banglanagar, Dhaka. [Emajuddin Ahamed]

Begum Khaleda Zia

Begum Khaleda Zia is a Bangladeshi politician who was the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006. When she took office in 1991, she was the first woman in the country’s history and second in the Muslim world (after Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan in 1988–1990) to head a democratic government as prime minister. She is the chairperson and leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) which was founded by her late husband President Ziaur Rahman in late 1970s.

After a military coup in 1982, led by Army Chief General Hussain Muhammad Ershad, Khaleda Zia helped lead the continuing movement for democracy until the fall of military dictator Ershad in 1990. Khaleda became prime minister following the victory of the BNP in 1991 general election. She also served briefly in the short-lived government in 1996. Her party came to power again in 2001. She has been elected to five separate parliamentary constituencies in the general elections of 1991, 1996 and 2001.

Forbes magazine ranked Begum Khaleda Zia at number 14 in 2004, number 29 in 2005 and number 33 in 2006 in its list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World.

Early Life

Begum Khaleda Zia was born to father Iskandar Majumder, a businessman, and mother Taiyaba Majumder on August, 1945 Dinajpur District in north-western Bangladesh.[1] Khaleda Zia married Ziaur Rahman in 1960, an Army officer who became president in 1977, following the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the first prime minister of Bangladesh. He ruled until 1981, when he was assassinated in a military coup.

At the time, Zia and his family were living in a large house in the Dhaka Cantonment, which was first built as the residence of the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCS) of the Bangladesh Army. When Ziaur Rahman was appointed DCS Major General, he and his family moved there. After he became President of Bangladesh, he kept the house as his residence. Following his assassination in 1981, the Acting President Justice, Abdus Sattar, leased the house “for life” to Khaleda Zia, for ৳101. When the Army took over the government, Lieutenant General Hussain Mohammad Ershad, Army Chief of Bangladesh and Chief Martial Law Administrator, confirmed this arrangement in 1982. After the BNP came to power in democratic elections in 1991, it did not disturb the arrangement.

Her Regime

First term

A neutral caretaker government in Bangladesh oversaw elections on 27 February 1991 that were broadly considered to be free, fair and truly democratic, following eight years of a military government.

The BNP won 140 seats, 11 short of a majority. As it was the only party capable of forming a government, Khaleda Zia was sworn in as the country’s first female prime minister on 20 March with the support of a majority of the deputies in parliament.

The acting president Shahabuddin Ahmed granted Khaleda Zia nearly all of the powers that were vested in the president at the time, effectively returning Bangladesh to a parliamentary system in September 1991. With a unanimous vote, Parliament passed the 12th amendment to the Constitution in 1991. The BNP-led government formally restored the parliamentary system.

Second term

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) won the 15 February 1996 election. It was a landslide victory for BNP in the sixth Jatiya Sangshad. But it was last long very few days since the other major parties demanded that a neutral caretaker government be appointed to oversee the elections. BNP responded to their demand. Then the short-lived parliament hastily introduced the Caretaker Government by passing the 13th amendment to the Constitution. The parliament was dissolved to pave the way for parliamentary elections within 90 days.

Third term

The BNP formed a four-party alliance on 6 January 1999 to increase its chances to return to power in the next general elections. These included its former political foe the Jatiya Party, founded by President Ershad after he led a military government, and the Islamic parties of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and the Islami Oikya Jot. It encouraged protests against the ruling Awami League.

The four-party alliance participated in the 1 October 2001 general elections, winning two-thirds of the seats in parliament and 46% of the vote (compared to the principal opposition party’s 40%). Khaleda Zia was sworn in as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

She worked on a 100-day program to fulfill most of her election pledges to the nation. During this term, the share of domestic resources in economic development efforts grew. Bangladesh began to attract a higher level of international investment for development of the country’s infrastructure, energy resources and businesses, including from the United States, Great Britain, and Japan. Restoration of law and order was an achievement during the period.

Khaleda Zia promoted neighborly relat

Foreign visits

Saudi Arabia: Begum Khaleda Zia made some high-profile foreign visits in the later part of 2012. Invited to Saudi Arabia in August by the royal family, she met with the Saudi crown prince and defence minister Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to talk about bilateral ties. She tried to promote better access for Bangladeshi migrant workers to the Saudi labour market, which was in decline at the time.

People’s Republic of China: She went to People’s Republic of China in October, at the invitation of the government. She met with Chinese leaders including Vice President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China’s international affairs chief Wang Jiarui. Jinping is set to begin taking over as China’s Paramount Leader by the end of 2012.

Talks in China related to trade and prospective Chinese investment in Bangladesh,particularly the issue of financing Padma Bridge. At the beginning of 2012, the World Bank, a major prospective financier, had withdrawn, accusing government ministers of graft.The BNP announced that the Chinese funding for a second Padma Bridge was confirmed during her visit.

India: On 28 October 2012, Khaleda Zia visited India to meet with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a number of officials including foreign minister Salman Khurshid, national security adviser Shivshankar Menon, foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai and BJP leader and leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj. Talks were scheduled to cover bilateral trade and regional security.

Khaleda Zia’s India visit was considered notable as BNP had been considered to have been anti-India compared to its rival Awami League. At her meeting with Prime Minister Singh, Zia said her party wanted to work with India for mutual benefit, including the fight against extremism. Indian officials announced they had come to agreement with her to pursue a common geopolitical doctrine in the greater region to discourage terrorists.

Awards and Honors

On 24 May 2011, the New Jersey State Senate honored Begum Khaleda Zia as a “Fighter for Democracy”. It was the first time the state Senate had so honored any foreign leader and reflects the state’s increasing population of immigrants and descendants from South Asia.

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