Shawkat Ali (politician)

Col. (retd.) Shawkat Ali MP (Bengali: শওকত আলী; born 27 January 1937[1]) is a Bangladeshi politician and former deputy speaker of the National Parliament. He is a member of the Awami League and a freedom fighter.[1]

Shawkat Ali
শওকত আলী
Deputy Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad
In office
25 January 2009 – 24 January 2014
Prime MinisterSheikh Hasina
Preceded byAkhtar Hameed Siddiqui
Succeeded byFazle Rabbi Miah
Personal details
Born (1937-01-27) 27 January 1937 (age 83)
Shariatpur, British India, now Bangladesh
Political partyAwami League
ResidenceDhaka, Bangladesh
Alma materUniversity of Dhaka
ProfessionArmy officer, politician
Military service
Allegiance Bangladesh
 Pakistan (before 1971)
Years of service
Rank06.col Bd.jpg Colonel
CommandsDirector of Ordnance Services
Battles/warsBangladesh Liberation War

Early lifeEdit

He was born in Shariatpur, British India (now Bangladesh), to Munshi Mobarak and Maleka Begum. He was the eldest son among nine children. He is married and has three children – two sons and a daughter. Their names are Firoze Shawkat Ali, Khaled Shawkat Ali, and Marina Shawkat Ali.[1] Shawkat Ali completed his LL.B. from Comilla Law College under the University of Dhaka[1] in 1958 before he joined the Pakistan Army as a commissioned officer the following year.[1]

Agartala Conspiracy CaseEdit

Shawkat Ali was a captain in 1968 when he was Accused No. 26 of the 35 implicated in the Agartala Conspiracy Case as a conspirator to secede East Pakistan from Pakistan.[2] Initially he was supposed to be tried before a court-martial, but the Government of Pakistan felt they would benefit more from a civil trial.[2] The charges were dropped the next year amidst public protest;[2] Shawkat was still forced to retire in 1969.[1]

Although it was largely thought that the case was only meant to frame Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and others,[2] in 2010, and on the anniversary of the withdrawal of the case on 22 February 2011, Shawkat Ali confessed to the Parliament at a point of order that the charges read out to them were accurate, stating that they formed a Shangram Parishad under Sheikh Mujibur for the sedition and secession of East Pakistan.[3][4]

Time in the Bangladesh ArmyEdit

After Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan and the war broke out, Shawkat was reinstated into the army after the formation of the Bangladesh Forces in 1971 to fight the Bangladesh Liberation War.[1] He was forced to retire the second time when he was a colonel in 1975 working as the Director of Ordnance Services following the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, since he was close to Mujibur.[1]

Political careerEdit

Shawkat was elected parliamentarian in 1979, 1991, 1996, 2001 and 2008.[1][5] During his time in office, he has served in various parliamentary committees, including the Standing Committee on Ministry of Shipping and Committee on Private Members Bills and Resolutions as their chairman between 1996 and 2001.[1] He is also a lawyer registered under the Supreme Court.[5]

He was elected unanimously the deputy speaker of the ninth parliament on 25 January 2009, following a landslide Awami League victory.[5]

During his time as deputy speaker he chaired many sessions of the Parliament when the Speaker Abdul Hamid was absent.[6][7][8]

Personal lifeEdit

He has authored two books, one in English and the other in Bangla, both about the Agartala Conspiracy Case.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Biography Deputy Speaker" (PDF). Parliament of Bangladesh. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d Begum, Shahida (2012). "Agartala Conspiracy Case". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (2nd ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  3. ^ "'Agartala conspiracy case was not false'". 23 February 2011. Archived from the original on 19 March 2012. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Textbook 'incorrectly' describes Agartala Case: Shawkat". The Daily Star. 12 June 2010. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  5. ^ a b c "Hold ruling party accountable". The Daily Star. 26 January 2009. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  6. ^ "Power outages to continue until Nov". 7 June 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  7. ^ Mahbub, Sumon; Chowdhury, Moinul Haque (29 June 2011). "55 amendments proposed in report". Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  8. ^ "EC planning to put EVM in place: info minister". 23 August 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2011.