Hafizuddin Ahmed

Bir Bikrom Hafizuddin Ahmed, is a Bangladesh Nationalist Party politician and a retired Bangladesh Army major[2] and a 6-term Jatiya Sangsad member representing the Bhola-3 constituency.[3] He fought in the Bangladesh Liberation War and was awarded the third highest gallantry award in Bangladesh, the Bir Bikrom, for his courage. He is currently a vice-chairman of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.[4]

Hafizuddin Ahmed
হাফিজ উদ্দিন আহম্মদ
Minister of Water Resources
In office
22 May 2003 – 29 October 2006
Preceded byL. K. Siddiqi
Succeeded byRamesh Chandra Sen
Minister of Commerce
In office
24 April 2006 – 29 October 2006
Preceded byAltaf Hossain Chowdhury
Succeeded byFaruk Khan
Member of Parliament
for Bhola-3
In office
10 July 1986 – 27 October 2006
Preceded byConstituency created
Succeeded byMohammad Jashimuddin
Personal details
Born29 October 1944
Bhola
NationalityBangladeshi
Political partyBangladesh Nationalist Party
Military service
Branch/service
Years of service1968 – 1975[1]
RankMajor

Early life and educationEdit

Ahmed's father, Dr. Azharuddin, was a member of the National Council of East Pakistan from Bhola.[5] In 1968, Ahmed received his MA degree in Political Science from Dhaka University.[2]

Career as a football playerEdit

Ahmed was a football player during his university days. A striker, he later joined the Mohammedan Sporting Club, in 1964. He remained with the Black and Whites till his retirement in 1978. He won 6 Dhaka League titles with MSC: 1965, 1966, 1969, 1975, 1976, and 1978. He also won two Aga Khan Gold Cup titles with the Black and Whites. In 1976 he led the MSC team successfully. he replaced defender Zakaria Pintu in the job. Mohammedan Sporting Club won the Dacca league titel defeating arch rivals Abahani in the final 2–0. Hafiz scored both the goals. Mohammedan Sporting Club reached the finals of the Aga Khan Gold Cup Football later in the year, beating Sri-Lanka national team 2–1 in the SF. But they lost to the Penang Football Association Team (Malaysia) 3–0 in the final.

He was selected for the Pakistan national football team in 1967.[1]

Military careerEdit

Pakistan ArmyEdit

While playing for the Pakistan and Mohammedan football teams, in 1967, Ahmed was inspired to join the Pakistan Army by the General Secretary of the Pakistan Football Federation, Major Mohammad Hossain Malik. Ahmed applied to join the army's Education Corps, and was commissioned in 1968.[2] He was trained at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul, Abbottabad. After being commissioned, he continued his career as a football player and participated in many tournaments. After the 1970 Bhola cyclone, he, as a captain, with Bravo Company, engaged in relief work at Galachipa, Patuakhali.[5]

Role in Bangladesh Liberation WarEdit

Ahmed was at Jagdishpur Village in the border area of Jessore as part of a training exercise. He was barred from all type of communication there and had no idea of Operation Searchlight, by Pakistan Army, and the declaration of independence of Bangladesh. He returned to the Jessore Cantonment on 29 March. He learned from his batman that there was an order for the Baloch Regiment to disarm the East Bengal Regiment, and that 25 Baloch Regiment and 3 Frontier Force had taken up positions in front of the cantonment. The arsenal had been broken into by East Bengal non-commissioned officers and soldiers. He joined the Bangladesh Liberation War[2] and asked his commanding officer, Colonel Jalil, to join the war. But Jalil, who maintained contact with M. A. G. Osmani of the Bangladesh Awami League, refused to join the liberation, as Osmani had asked.[5]

During the subsequent battle, Ahmed fought alongside his troops, but realised that the ammunition they had with them would not be enough to last for more than three hours. So, he started thinking about an exit plan. After fighting relentlessly for almost two hours, he finally escaped the cantonment with 200 companions.[5]

In later campaigning, Ahmed, under continuous attack from the Pakistani army, he maintained a free zone at Jessore, including Benapole BOP, from April to mid-May.[5] During the second week of May 1971, Ahmed was ordered to move to Tura, Meghalaya to join the BDF Sector 11 under Major Ziaur Rahman. He was selected to lead the Bravo formation as company commander of 1st East Bengal Regiment in Jessore.[1] He was injured during the Battle of Kamalpur, one of the most significant battles fought by Bangladesh forces in 1971.[5]

Political careerEdit

Ahmed entered politics as an independent candidate from Bhola. He has been elected as a member of parliament from the Bhola-3 constituency 6 times from 1986 until 2006. He served as the Minister of Water Resources, during the tenure of the second government of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. Ahmed held several talks with India about the sharing of water.[6] After the reshuffling of the cabinet, he was also appointed as the commerce minister.[7]

Ahmed was detained while protesting the government's decision to repeal the caretaker government system, on 11 June 2011.[8] Again, on 28 December 2013, Ahmed was arrested on the National Press Club premises, when he was leaving there after announcing a new program of demonstrations to be led by his party.[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c তোমাদের এ ঋণ শোধ হবে না [You do not have to pay back the loan]. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 11 February 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d ভোলার বীর মুক্তিযোদ্ধা এম হাফিজ উদ্দিন [Bhola Freedom fighter M Hafiz Uddin]. The Daily Ittefaq (in Bengali). 22 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  3. ^ "List of Members of 8th Parliament of Bangladesh Jatiyo Sangsad" (PDF). Bangladesh Parliament.
  4. ^ "BNP leader Hafizuddin Ahmed, former army officer arrested over 'anti-state propaganda'". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f রক্তেভেজা একাত্তর-মেজর (অব.) হাফিজ উদ্দিন আহমেদ বীর বিক্রম [Major (retd.) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed Bir Bikram] (in Bengali). Rokomari.Com. ISBN 9844651247. Retrieved 30 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Water minister flies to Delhi today to talk river project". The Daily Star. 28 September 2003. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Cabinet reshuffle: Altaf minister without portfolio, Hafizuddin Commerce Minister". bdnews24. 24 April 2006. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Hafiz Uddin Ahmed and Altaf Hossain Chowdhury arrested at Mohakhali". Priyo News. 12 June 2011. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Hafizuddin Ahmed arrested". bdnews24. 29 December 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014.