Moudud Ahmed

Moudud Ahmed (24 May 1940 – 16 March 2021) was a Bangladeshi lawyer and politician. He was a standing committee member of Bangladesh Nationalist Party.[9] Ahmed was elected as a Jatiya Sangsad member total five times from Noakhali-1 and Noakhali-5 constituencies.

Moudud Ahmed
Moudud Ahmed (01).jpg
Ahmed at U.S. Embassy Dhaka in 2012
7th Prime Minister of Bangladesh
In office
27 March 1988 – 12 August 1989
PresidentHossain Muhammad Ershad
Preceded byMizanur Rahman Chowdhury
Succeeded byKazi Zafar Ahmed
Vice President of Bangladesh
In office
September 1989 – December 1990
PresidentHossain Muhammad Ershad
Preceded byA K M Nurul Islam
Succeeded byShahabuddin Ahmed
Minister of Law and Justice
In office
10 October 2001[1] – 28 October 2006[1]
Prime MinisterKhaleda Zia
Preceded byAbdul Matin Khasru[1]
Succeeded byMd. Fazlul Haque[1]
Member of Parliament
In office
10 October 2001 – 28 October 2006
Preceded byObaidul Quader[2]
Succeeded byObaidul Quader[3]
In office
February 1991 – March 1996
Preceded byHasna Jasimuddin Moudud[4]
Succeeded byObaidul Quader[2]
In office
May 1986 – February 1991
Preceded byZafor Imam[7]
Succeeded byZainul Abdin Farroque[6]
In office
April 1979 – March 1982
Preceded byAbdur Rahman
Personal details
Born(1940-05-24)24 May 1940
Noakhali, Bengal Presidency, British India
Died16 March 2021(2021-03-16) (aged 80)
Political partyBangladesh Nationalist Party (1978–1984), (1996–death)
Other political
Jatiya Party (1984–1996)
Spouse(s)Hasna Jasimuddin Moudud
Alma mater

Ahmed served as the post master general of Bangladesh after independence. From the 1980s on he held numerous political offices for short stints in the Government of Bangladesh, including Deputy Prime Minister (1976–1978 and 1987–1988), Prime Minister of Bangladesh (1988–1989), Vice President of Bangladesh (1989–1990), and Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (2001–2006).

Early life and careerEdit

Ahmed was born in 1940 in the Bengal Presidency during the British Raj. His father, Momtazuddin Ahmed, was a Sufi Islamic scholar and imam in Paribagh, Dacca, Maulana . Ahmed obtained his BA and MA in political science from the University of Dacca.[10] He was called to the English Bar at Lincoln's Inn in London in 1966.[10]

While in the UK, Ahmed was part of a growing intellectual movement among East Pakistani students in envisioning an independent Bangladesh.[11] After returning to Dacca, he joined the legal team of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman during the Agartala Conspiracy Case trial in 1968. He accompanied the Bengali delegation led by Sheikh Mujib to the Rawalpindi Round Table Conference with Field Marshal Ayub Khan in 1969.[11] Ahmed witnessed many important developments in the run up to Bangladesh's independence.[11] He joined the Provisional Government of Bangladesh in Calcutta during the 1971 Liberation War. He worked in its External Publicity Division.[10] Ahmed addressed many humanitarian rallies for Bengali genocide victims. He once stirred an entire rally in London holding up a Daily Mirror article titled Birth of a Nation and crying out "we are alive, but we are not yet free".[12]

Ahmed was one of the founding members of the 33 member Committee for Civil Liberties and Legal Aid which was established to protect the opposition politicians and members of civil society who were facing the wrath of the government on 31 March 1974.[13] Ahmed was the first Postmaster General of Bangladesh Post Office after the Independence of Bangladesh.[14]

Ahmed was jailed on orders from Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in December 1974, but was later released.[11]

BNP and Jatiyo PartyEdit

In the late 1970s, Ahmed was courted by Lt General Ziaur Rahman, the first military dictator of Bangladesh. Between 1976 and 1978, he served as Deputy Prime Minister. In 1977, he led the Bangladeshi delegation to the United Nations General Assembly.[15] He was elected to parliament from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in 1979. Ahmed's feud with Shah Azizur Rahman led to him being sacked by Zia.[11]

In 1985,[16] Ahmed joined the newly formed Jatiyo Party of Lt General Hussain Muhammad Ershad. He was appointed again as Deputy Prime Minister in the cabinet[17] and held the portfolios of the Industries Ministry and the Communications Ministry. President Ershad appointed Ahmed as Prime Minister in 1988. Serving for a year in the office of premier, he oversaw relief operations during the catastrophic 1988 Bangladesh flood. Ahmed was invited for talks with several Western leaders, including with Margaret Thatcher at 10 Downing Street. However, Ershad replaced Ahmed with the pro-Chinese leftwinger Kazi Zafar Ahmed in 1989.[18] Ahmed was elevated to the post of Vice President of Bangladesh in 1989. He resigned in December 1990 to make way for Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed to become acting president and lead the transition to parliamentary democracy.[19]

After serving a stint in prison following Ershad's ousting, Ahmed was invited by Khaleda Zia to return to the BNP in 1996. He was elected to parliament while in jail in 1996. He was reelected for the fifth time in 2001. Begum Zia appointed him as Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in 2001.[20][16]

In 2007, the military-backed caretaker government arrested Ahmed on charges of illegal alcohol possession. But the case was dismissed at the Supreme Court in 2008. After his release from prison, Ahmed received a jubilant reception at his constituency in Noakhali. He was reelected to parliament in 2008. He was arrested again in 2013 by the Awami League government. His family told The Guardian that the country was turning into a prison under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.[12]

Ahmed joined his party in boycotting the 2014 general election.[citation needed]

Under the Awami League administration, Ahmed and his brother Monzur faced charges of illegally occupying their properties in the posh Gulshan area of Dhaka. They maintained that the case was politically motivated.[21][22] On 8 June 2017, he was evicted from his house by Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha. Ahmed described his eviction as "political vengeance" by the Awami League government. Former Prime Minister and chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Khaleda Zia, condemned the move to evict him.[23] He had lived in the house for more than 40 years.[24]

Personal life and familyEdit

Ahmed was married to Hasna Jasimuddin Moudud, a daughter of the Bengali poet Jasimuddin.[25] They have a daughter, poet Ana Kashfiya Moudud.[26] Their eldest son, Asif Momtaz Moudud, died at the age of 3.[27] Another son, Aman Momtaj Moudud, died of dengue fever in 2015.[28][29][30]

Ahmed was a practicing barrister in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He was a fellow at Heidelberg University in Germany and a visiting fellow at Harvard University in the United States.[10] In the fall of 1997, he was the Bland Visiting Professor at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. He was also a member of the Elliott School's International Council.[31]


On 30 December 2020, Ahmed was hospitalized in Dhaka due to a decrease in haemoglobin levels and eventually suffered a stroke.[32] A few weeks later, a pacemaker was implanted.[32]

Ahmed was hospitalized for pulmonary congestion and kidney complications in Singapore on 1 February 2021.[32] He died a month later on 16 March at the age of 80.[33]


Ahmed is the author of nine books. Publications include:

  • Shongshod-e Ja Bolechhi, Dhaka: The University Press Limited, 2006, ISBN 984-05-0278-6
  • South Asia: Crisis of Development-The Case of Bangladesh, Dhaka: The University Press Limited, 2003
  • Democracy and the Challenge of Development: a Study of Politics and Military Interventions in Bangladesh, Dhaka: The University Press Limited, 1995
  • Bangladesh: Era of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Dhaka: The University Press Limited, 1983, ISBN 3-515-04266-0
  • Bangladesh: Constitutional Quest for Autonomy, South Asian Institute of Heidelberg University, 1976 and University Press Limited, Dhaka, 1979
  • Chaloman Itihas, the book to inform the next generation the history of the country particularly the history of HM Ershad government.


  1. ^ a b c d "Honorable Minister". Law and Justice Division. Archived from the original on 2018-01-22. Retrieved 2017-09-05.
  2. ^ a b "List of 7th Parliament Members". Bangladesh Parliament.
  3. ^ "List of 9th Parliament Members". Bangladesh Parliament.
  4. ^ "List of 4th Parliament Members". Bangladesh Parliament.
  5. ^ "List of Members of 8th Parliament of Bangladesh Jatiyo Sangsad". Bangladesh Parliament.
  6. ^ a b "List of 5th Parliament Members". Bangladesh Parliament.
  7. ^ "List of 2nd Parliament Members". Bangladesh Parliament.
  8. ^ "List of 3rd Parliament Members". Bangladesh Parliament.
  9. ^ "Govt lost control over AL leaders, activists: BNP". The Daily Star. 2019-09-27. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
  10. ^ a b c d "Moudud Ahmed".
  11. ^ a b c d e "The long road one politician has travelled". The Daily Star. 2009-09-25. Retrieved 2019-09-30.
  12. ^ a b John Pilger. "The prison that is Bangladesh". The Guardian.
  13. ^ Ahmed, Moudud (2015) [First published 1983]. Bangladesh, Era of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Dhaka: University Press Limited. p. 232. ISBN 978-984-506-226-8.
  14. ^ "Moudud Ahmed's body to be brought back home on Thursday". Dhaka Tribune. 2021-03-17. Retrieved 2021-03-17.
  15. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (2014). Heads of States and Governments Since 1945. Routledge. pp. 72–. ISBN 978-1-134-26490-2.
  16. ^ a b "BNP leader Moudud Ahmed no more". The Daily Star. 2021-03-16. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  17. ^ "Profile - Barrister Moudud Ahmed". Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  18. ^ "Prime Minister - Banglapedia". Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  19. ^ "Ahmed, Justice Shahabuddin - Banglapedia". Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  20. ^ "Bangladesh plans anti-terror law". 2005-12-21. Retrieved 2021-03-20.
  21. ^ "Court accepts land grabbing charges against Moudud, brother". The Daily Star.
  22. ^ "বাড়ি সংক্রান্ত মামলায় মওদুদ আহমদের বিরুদ্ধে চার্জশিট গ্রহণ". Archived from the original on 2014-09-15. Retrieved 2014-09-15.
  23. ^ "Rajuk evicts Moudud from Gulshan house". Dhaka Tribune. 2017-06-07. Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  24. ^ "BNP leader Moudud loses his Gulshan home of more than four decades". Retrieved 2021-03-16.
  25. ^ "Palli Kabi Jasimuddin's wife passes away".
  26. ^ "United Nations Photo". 30 March 2006.
  27. ^ "Moudud's son dies". The Daily Star. 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  28. ^ "Aman's Ordeal". The Daily Star. 2015-10-24. Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  29. ^ "BNP leader Moudud Ahmed's only son dies of dengue fever". Retrieved 2019-09-27.
  30. ^ "Moudud's son dies". The Daily Star.
  31. ^ "Elliott School International Council". Elliott School of International Affairs. Archived from the original on 2005-05-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  32. ^ a b c Moudud’s condition deteriorating
  33. ^ "BNP leader Moudud dies". NewAge Bangladesh. March 16, 2021.

Further readingEdit