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Hopefully, the government will backtrack from its decision to revoke the gallantry title the state conferred on former president Ziaur Rahman for his contribution in the Liberation War, said president of a faction of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Colonel (retd.) Oli Ahmed.

“I hope the government won’t make the mistake of playing with fire,” he added.

He also raised the question about the intention of the government to revoke the war gallantry title when the country is set to celebrate its golden jubilee of independence.

Oli Ahmed was talking to newspersons at his Mohakhali DOHS (Defence Officers’ Housing Society) residence in the capital on Wednesday afternoon.

Jatiya Muktijoddha Council (Jamuka), the national platform of the Freedom Fighters, decided to revoke the gallantry title ‘Bir Uttam’ awarded to Ziaur Rahman in its 72nd meeting on Tuesday. Bir Uttam is the second highest award in Bangladesh for individual gallantry.

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Jamuka made the decision alleging that Ziaur Rahman helped the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Oli Ahmed said if the government cancels the war gallantry title of Ziaur Rahman, he will be awarded ‘Bir Shreshtha’, the highest award in Bangladesh for individual gallantry, posthumously, whenever the government is changed in the future.

When the people were in utter dismay after the 25 May attack in 1971, the then Major Ziaur Rahman made the announcement of armed revolution against the Pakistani occupying forces, the LDP president added.

All the Bengal regiments, EPR, Police, students and the people joined the war after his announcement, Oli Ahmed said.

He further said that no country in the world could achieve their independence fighting with bamboo poles only. It was impossible without the participation of the armed forces. Later, he (Ziaur Rahman) formed the Z Force and led in more than one sector during the Liberation War. Devaluing his contributions would be a whimsical decision and contempt for the freedom fighters.

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