Moeen U Ahmed
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Moeen U Ahmed
Moeen as Lieutenant General
|Native name||মঈন উদ্দিন আহমেদ|
21 January 1953 |
Alipur , Begumganj ,Noakhali
|Years of service||1975–2009|
|Commands held||GOC: -
19 Infantry division, Ghatail
24 Infantry division, Chittagong
Chief of General Staff
Chief of Army Staff
|Battles/wars||Counter Insurgency Operation in Chittagong Hill Tracts, UN Peacekeeping Missions.|
|Relations||Naznin Moeen (wife)
Nihat Ahmed and Sabrina Ahmed (children)
General Moeen Uddin Ahmed (Bengali: মঈন উদ্দিন আহমেদ) was the thirteenth Chief of Army Staff of the Bangladesh Army from 15 June 2005 to 15 June 2009 with last one-year extension during his illegitimate rule. Previously, he worked in Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan as a Defence Attaché, where he was superseded by Brigadier General Abdul Wadud during Awami League period from 1996-2001, prior to that he served as a UN Peacekeeper in United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda.
Moeen Uddin Ahmed is the first army chief of staff who was commissioned in the newly formed Bangladesh Military Academy then at Comilla (now at Chittagong). At the beginning of his job in army as a second lieutenant, he served Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad, who became president after 1975 change-over at Bangabhaban more than 3 days. Besides, he has established himself as the first regular four-star general after liberation war, although the first official four-star general was country's commander-in chief of liberation war and liberation forces General M. A. G. Osmani, who led the war of independence in 1971 and second person was General Mustafizur Rahman, who was promoted from Leave Preparatory Retirement (LPR) by Awami League regime in 1996-2001. Moeen was, behind the scene, the main actor, although unlawfully, as the Chief of Army Staff during the 2006–08 Bangladeshi political crisis, violating constitution.
Moeen U Ahmed completed his preliminary education Pakistan Air Force College Sargodha in the erstwhile West Pakistan. He belonged to the 16th entry (831 – Fury House), which stayed there from 1965 to 1970.
Moeen Ahmed joined BMA Comilla at 10 January 1974 and started his military career on 11 January 1975. He was commissioned in the 2nd battalion of East Bengal Regiment. He received "Chief of Army Staff's Cane" from Bangladesh Military Academy (then at Comilla) while A T M Jahir (later Lt Gen) was awarded "Sword of Honor". Before joining army, he served Bangladesh Air Force for a year as a flight cadet, he was in Russia for flying training but he was dismissed due to health conditions. He started his instructional career as Weapon Training Officer and then Platoon Commander in BMA in Chittagong. He received NDC as army chief after becoming Lt. General, which course has been designed for colonel level officer.
Besides, commanding two infantry battalions as Lieutenant Colonel, he also served in Army Headquarters, Military Operations Directorate. He served as Colonel Staff of an Infantry Division. He has served in Defence Services Command and Staff College as Directing Staff in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Senior Instructor of Army Wing in the rank of Colonel and Chief Instructor in the rank of Brigadier.
2006–08 Bangladeshi political crisis
General Moeen was the key force behind the declaration of emergency in the country on 11 January 2007 widely known as 1/11 phenomenon. He upgraded his rank from Lt. General to General during his illegal tenure when there was no regular government; the caretaker government is not mandated to work other than routine work and managing parliamentary elections. He also extended his tenure of army chief, which is fixed for a time period, for one year in same way. He has been accused of playing a controversial role by helping the caretaker government of Bangladesh to retain power after constitution stipulated three months' duration. Although never publicly admitted, he has been identified as the main driving force behind the non-elected government but he has also been praised for arranging voter ID cards before 29 December 2008. He and the government has been accused domestically and globally to de-politicise the country. Hundreds of political figures, including two ex-prime ministers, ministers, lawmakers and local government heads, have been imprisoned by the regime accusing them of corruption. Although some of these figures were notoriously corrupt, most of them do not have any specific allegation against them. The regime's anti-corruption drive has been widely praised and criticized around the globe. Reacting his political statement Sheikh Hasina said if you have ambition to do politics come without uniform.
However, he raised much controversy during the tenure. Some quarters also hold him responsible for degrading Army's fame and reputation among the general mass. He arguably also displayed non-soldier like attitude both during and after the tenure. Moeen U Ahmed trid to sell property in Bangladesh and gladly received US Green Card. Presidential Adviser Mukhles Chowdhury alleged that the incident of 1/11 caused serious harm to the morale and professionalism of the army, which was used for serving personal interest. Political parties observed 11 January as a black day
Moeen assured Hussain Muhammad Ershad to make him the President and breached the agreement. As he betrayed Ershad, Dr Kamal Hossain, B Chowdhury and Dr Muhammad Yunus, he was also betrayed by Hasina. Moeen has some advisors like Matiur Rahman, Mahfuz Anam and A M M Bahauddin. They helped Moeen in implementing 'Minus Two Formulae' Moeen published a political book with uniform and he gave formula of own brand democracy beyond his capacity and jurisdiction violating his service code and the constitution. Advisor to the President Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury was against Moeen's plan to declare Martial Law and he made it impossible by mobilising international support. Moeen ousted de facto head of the state Mukhles Chowdhury from power and ruled the country for two years. making the President a puppet. Moeen wanted to be the President Moreover, he sent Brigadier General Fazlul Bari to US State Department after coup of 11 January 2007 to take approval of Martial Law or allow him to be the President, which was written by Daily Manabzamin Chief Editor later. Moeen formed a political front 'Jago Bangladesh' when he was army chief. He was born in Chittagong District. Mahmudur Rahman and other journalists' reports were published in the daily Amar Desh about Moeen's corruption in Trust Bank, where he was chairman and his elder brother Ikbal U Ahmed was managing editor again unlawfully. Moeen started depoliticising Bangladesh. Later, Maudud Ahmed admitted that politicians were persecuted and suggested to put Moeen and his associates on trial for their violation of constitution and corruption.
Minus-Two and Wikileaks
While it is clear that the advisors were merely a facade in order to camouflage an otherwise military regime, the main players of the minus-two formula were a few army officers, media personalities and political leaders of the two major political parties namely BNP and Awami League. Interesting some of these political leaders who corroborated with the army in implementing minus two were in the cabinet that followed post election. Some joined the political parties as member of parliament.
According to US Embassy cables:"A few months before their arrest, the then army chief Moeen U Ahmed said reforms in political parties were essential but difficult to carry out with Hasina or Khaleda in Bangladesh, according to another cable sent by the then US ambassador Patricia A Butenis on April 22, 2007."
“Moeen said senior Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders met recently with government officials and decided that [BNP Chairperson Khaleda] Zia must go,” said the cable Butenis wrote citing discussion with Moeen. Awami League chief Hasina, who left for the US on March 15, 2007, was indefinitely barred from returning and Khaleda was expected to depart for Saudi Arabia shortly, she added.
Although the caretaker government legislations and executive actions were most repealed, and political leaders claimed it was unconstitutional, the election that was held under the caretaker government was considered legitimate obviously by the winning party.
He is married to Naznin Moeen, and they have a son and a daughter; Nihat Ahmed and Sabrina Ahmed. Moeen is currently residing in the US with his family
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Lieutenant General Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury
|Chief of Army Staff of the Bangladesh Army
15 June 2005
General Md Abdul Mubeen