Shawkat Ali (politician)

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Shawkat Ali
শওকত আলী
Deputy Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad
In office
25 January 2009 – 24 January 2014
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina
Preceded by Md. Akhtar Hameed Siddiqui
Succeeded by Fazle Rabbi Miah
Personal details
Born (1937-01-27) 27 January 1937 (age 81)
Shariatpur, British India, now Bangladesh
Political party Bangladesh Awami League
Residence Dhaka, Bangladesh
Alma mater University of Dhaka
Profession Army officer, politician
Military service
Allegiance  Bangladesh
 Pakistan (before 1971)
Years of service
Rank 06.col Bd.jpg Colonel
Commands Director of Ordnance Services

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 Awami League and a freedom fighter.[1]

Early life[edit]

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 Dhaka University[1] in 1958 before he joined the Pakistan Army as a commissioned officer the following year.[1]

Agartala Conspiracy Case[edit]

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 Mujib 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 Mujib for the sedition and secession of East Pakistan.[3][4]

Time in Bangladesh Army[edit]

After Bangladesh declared independence from Pakistan and the war broke out, Shawkat was reinstated into the army after the formation of 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 Mujib, since he was close to Mujib.[1]

Political career[edit]

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 life[edit]

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. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Begum, Shahida (2012). "Agartala Conspiracy Case". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. 
  3. ^ "'Agartala conspiracy case was not false'". 23 February 2011. 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. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  7. ^ "55 amendments proposed in report". 29 June 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011. 
  8. ^ "EC planning to put EVM in place: info minister 23". 23 August 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.