Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina`s political life has gone through many ups and downs. However, three turning points are the most important in her political career. The first turning point was of course her returning home with the responsibility of Awami League President on 17th of May 1981. Second turning point is the miraculous survival of the grenade attack on August 21, 2004. And the third turning point is to get release from the prison after 11 months on 11 June, 2008. Sheikh Hasina showed her prudence, foresight and success in her third turning point in politics. So Sheikh Hasina is grateful to those who played vital role to release her from the solitary cell of the prison.
Many Awami League leaders make fun over Begum Zia`s four month imprisonment today. They often say BNP could not wage on a movement to demand the release of Begum Zia. But the truth is even Awami League could not do anything notable for the release of Sheikh Hasina. Rather, many influential leaders tried hard to make Sheikh Hasina unable to come back to politics. Even then, some leaders led by late Zillur Rahman were determined over the President`s leadership. Because of them, Awami League survived from the inevitable breakdown. The united Awami League indirectly played an important role in the release of Sheikh Hasina. Begum Matia Chowdhury, Syed Ashraful Islam and Abdul Mannan Khan were besides late Zillur Rahman. The lawyer`s role in the release of Sheikh Hasina was important. Sheikh Hasina was released after getting bail in all the cases. Many said that Sheikh Hasina was freed in parole. But the reality is that she got bail in all the cases. Advocate Sahara Khatun, Barrister Fazle Noor Taposh, Barrister Shafique Ahmed, Advocate Kamrul Islam, and other lawyers played a key role in her bail.
The backstage dialogue played an important role in Sheikh Hasina`s release during the military-backed caretaker government. And the main entrepreneurs of this dialogue were two. And they are Prime Minister`s political adviser H. T. Imam and Prime Minister`s Defense Advisor Major General (retd) Tarique Siddiqui.
Sheikh Hasina`s doctors played an important role in her release. The doctors first demanded her release for medical treatment and urged to send her abroad. The doctors’ team was led by Professor Dr. Syed Modasser Ali. Dr. Pran Gopal Dutta, Dr. Shah Alam, Dr. Shahla Khatun and several other doctors were with Dr. Modasser Ali.
International pressure played the most important role in the release of Awami League President. In particular, the then Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee took public stand regarding Sheikh Hasina`s release. In his recent book he himself admitted that. He also discussed with the United States on this matter. Basically, because of Pranab Mukherjee, India forces the military-backed government in Bangladesh to transit into democratic system in Bangladesh. And Sheikh Rehana played the most important role in bringing Pranab Mukherjee and India to this path. Sheikh Rehana and Sajeeb Wazed Joy played an important role in utilizing the international influence for Sheikh Hasina`s release. Sheikh Rehana also met Sonia Gandhi in addition to Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi. India was one of the supporters of the military-backed one-eleven government in Bangladesh. Then India had some issues with Awami League especially over its agreement with the Khelaphot. Sheikh Rehana played an important role in mitigating this distance.
Their contribution is undeniable in Sheikh Hasina`s recent emergence, moreover, in her appearance as a world leader. Sheikh Hasina owes to them.
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