Senior Awami League leader Syed Ashraful Islam has arrived in the UK amid a heated discussion over his remarks accusing the JaSoD for creating the ground for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s assassination in 1975.
Former Chief Whip and President of Moulvibazar Awami League Mr M A Shahid MP and former MP and General Secretary of Sylhet District Awami League Shafiqur Rahman Chouwdury and other officials are also travelling with him.
The public administration minister left for London on a Bangladesh Biman flight from Dhaka at 10am on Wednesday, said ministry spokesperson Md Mominul Haque.
According to his official itinerary, Syed Ashraf is scheduled to attend several programmes in the UK capital, including the South Asia Diaspora Conference organised by the Bangladesh high commission.
He is expected to return Dhaka on June 27.
The veteran Awami League leader said at a discussion on Monday that his party would have to atone for making a JaSoD leader a minister.
His remarks were aimed at Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu, who heads a JaSoD faction, after the party’s recent split.
Speaking at an event organised by the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in Dhaka University, Syed Ashraf had cautioned the ruling party’s student front.
The public administration minister asked leaders and activists to learn from history and stay away from the ‘reckless’ JaSoD.
He said, “JaSoD was formed in the name of scientific socialism after splitting from Chhatra League. JaSoD’s so-called scientific socialists then took the spirit of the Liberation War in a completely different direction.
“The Liberation War is a part of our history. But JaSoD tried to make it controversial. They tried to break the country apart before Bangabandhu could return home.”
“If they had not created the environment to assassinate Bangabandhu, Bangladesh would have been a very different Bangladesh,” said the minister, who is the son of Sheikh Mujib’s close associate Syed Nazrul Islam, who was killed in 1975.
JaSoD leaders have reacted to the comments, but Inu was tight-lipped until Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters at the Secretariat, he said he found Syed Ashraf’s remarks ‘uncalled for, unfortunate, and irrelevant.’
“We believe this is not the time for a blame game within the 14-party Alliance.
“This is not the time to dip into the history, but the time to crush militancy in Bangladesh,” said the JaSoD leader.