FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim has expressed deep grief over the death of Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi, chief of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh.
In his condolence message, FBCCI President Sheikh Fazle Fahim stated, “Ahmad Shafi was as one of the leading religious scholars in Bangladesh. Besides, he had also played a role in modernizing the Qawmi madrasa education system.”
Also read: Ahmed Shafi no more
“Our condolences to all members of Ahmad Shafi’s family. May everyone in his family find the strength to endure this grave ordeal”, he said in a press release.
Shafi, the Islamic scholar died at a hospital in the capital on Friday evening at the age of 104.
Also read: Ahmed Shafi laid to rest
A supervisor of a passenger bus counter was stabbed to death in the city’s Jatrabari on Saturday.
The victim was identified as Md Akhtar Hossain Sikder, 50, a supervisor of Jatayat Paribahan bus counter.
Rakib Sikder, a nephew of the victim, said Akhtar left his 35/6 Dhalpur Lichubagan home for his workplace at Saidabad bus counter before Fazr’s Azan. When he reached near Saidabad Lichubagan Mosque, he was stabbed by miscreants, he said.
Devotees, who were going to the mosque for Fazr prayer, found him lying on the street in a pool of blood. Being informed, family members rushed him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where he was declared dead. Marks of stab injuries were found on his chest, said DMCH Police Camp In Charge Inspector Bachhu Mia.
Contacted, Officer-in-charge of Jatrabari police station Mazahar said police are yet to confirm whether it was a mugging incident or with previous enmity. “The mobile phone set and the moneybag of the victim were found on the spot. However, we have been investigating the incident keeping in mind both mugging and previous enmity," the OC Jatrabari said.
Also read: FF’s wife stabbed to death in Natore
The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF have recommited to accelerating health and well-being at all ages.
New partnership calls for key actions in universal health coverage, mental health, emergencies and nutrition.
The new Strategic Collaboration Framework builds on a robust 70-year collaboration between the two organizations, and prioritizes four strategic areas for immediate attention and action at all levels of the organizations: universal health coverage, through a primary health care and health systems approach; mental health and psychosocial well-being and development; public health emergencies; and maternal and child nutrition.
Additionally, the two organizations signed a new Joint Programme on Mental Health and Psychosocial Well-being and Development of Children and Adolescents.
This 10-year collaborative effort will promote mental health and psychosocial well-being and development, increase access to care for mental health conditions, and reduce suffering and enhance quality of life among children and adolescents, and their caregivers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed huge gaps in accessing health, well-being and nutrition services among children and vulnerable populations,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director.
“There has never been a more urgent need to work together. This new framework will help us strengthen health and food systems, and invest in mental health and psychosocial support in every country in the world.”
For more than 70 years, WHO and UNICEF have worked together worldwide to ensure children survive and thrive, and benefit from a safe and clean environment.
The two organizations collaborated to provide high-impact health, immunization, nutrition, HIV and early child development interventions, as well as safe water and sanitation services in every region of the world, including in fragile and conflict settings.
"At the heart of our work with UNICEF is seeing that every child not only survives but ultimately thrives and transforms their communities and future generations," said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
"With great appreciation and respect for our unique and complementary roles, we stand together in our commitment to achieve health for all. As this pandemic demonstrates, no-one is safe until everyone is safe.”
WHO and UNICEF continue to work together to stop the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that every woman and every child have access to the essential health services they need, including immunizations and health check-ups.
The two organizations are also working together to support countries to introduce and deliver COVID-19 vaccines under the vaccines pillar of the “Access to COVID-19 Tools – Accelerator” (ACT-A) initiative, along with Gavi, CEPI and global immunization partners.
Additionally, the organizations are strengthening health systems through primary health care, as agreed in the Declaration of Astana, and the UN High-level declaration on UHC, in order to accelerate achievement of universal health coverage and Sustainable Development Goal 3 targets by 2030.
Experts at a webinar have shared their views on implementing governance instruments to build trust and cooperation between India and Bangladesh to benefit all stakeholders in the Meghna Basin.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Asian Confluence co-hosted the webinar on “Bringing People and Institutions Together for a Living Meghna River,” the final instalment of the Meghna Conversations series.
Meghalaya is the source of many transboundary tributaries of Barak-Meghna river system, such as the Umngot and the Myntdu, flowing from Jaintia hills into Bangladesh.
“Although the Indian state of Meghalaya receives the highest rainfall in the world, more than 50% of villages are experiencing water scarcity during the dry season. Recognising the interconnectedness of water and the need to strengthen community engagement in integrated water resource management, the state government created the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority,” said Sampath Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, Meghalaya River Basin Development Authority, Shillong, India.
He said the authority aims to coordinate the actions of different agencies to support local livelihoods.
"The MBDA has initiated several community-based livelihoods programmes. It aims to engage communities in the management of forests and other landscape based natural resources within the state.”
The webinar presented a comparative review of natural resource management policies in Bangladesh and India, in the Barak-Meghna Basin, facilitated by IUCN and Indian Environment Law Organization (IELO), Delhi.
“The Meghna Basin has more than 60 different policy instruments for the management of natural resources, including water, biodiversity, fisheries and forests,” said Shawahiq Siddiqui, Partner, (IELO), (Delhi) and Supreme Court Lawyer.
The review of policies indicates in both Bangladesh and India, there is a need for a more coordinated approach to policy and planning.
"Often,different sectors tend to work in silo, not communicating with others working on similar issues, thus preventing the development of a cohesive strategy at the basin or national levels,”said Siddiqui.
In terms of development of water policies and institutions, the state of Meghalaya is the most evolved among all the northeastern states of India.
Meghalaya has created Meghalaya Basin Development Authority (MBDA) with a mandate to facilitate inter-agency cooperation for management of water resources.
Downstream, in Bangladesh,the policies are more evolved, compared to India, and are supported by detailedaction plans and institutional setup for its implementation, the example being the Haor Development Plan.
On the Indian side, however, most states are in the process of setting up institutions to implement their water policies, and states such asAssam and Tripura have yet to adopt a state water policy.
There is a need to harmonise the natural resources policies, developed by various government agencies working independently of one another.
Harmonized regional policies can also strengthen the ecological resilience of the river.
Mahbooba Panna, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka,highlighted the role of the Meghna in supporting the hilsa fishery, the source of livelihoods for millions and important for the food security throughout Bangladesh.
“In 2012, Bangladesh was not able to meet their own demand for the hilsa fish. However, the implementation of ban during breeding season and conservation projects implemented with community engagement has led to a rebound in hilsa population, and earlier this year, the country began again to export hilsa,” said Panna.
Hilsa is an endemic fish species and a staple food in Bangladesh and eastern parts of India.
“River governance should be guided by an approach centered on conserving the ecosystems rather than the current anthropocentric approach,” suggested Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Chief Executive, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association, Dhaka.
On expanding the scope of transboundary cooperation in the Meghan basin, she stressed, “Bangladesh and India Joint River Commission has mainly representation from the engineering sector, there is a need to revise the composition to include a broader range of experts from other sectors such as from the civil society.”
Dr. Alejandro Iza, Director, Environmental Law Centre, IUCN Bonn, further underscored the importance of expanding political will to achieve conservation outcomes.
Sharing experiences from the shared river basin from South America,he mentioned that often, central governments are unwilling to engage in transboundary cooperation.
To achieve this in the context of Meghna Basin between India in Bangladesh, there is an opportunity to engage non-traditional partners, such as local authorities and municipalities.
He suggested that changes can be enacted when you enhance the technical capacities of people, including the ability to engage meaningfully in a dialogue.
"There is a need to promote inclusive participation and engagement of stakeholders. People are essential to the solution.”
The webinar series is part of the BRIDGE GBM project, facilitated by IUCN, and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the Oxfam Transboundary Rivers of South Asia (TROSA) programme, aims to build the water governance capacity of a network of CSOs in the GBM River Basin. Its focus is to strengthen CSO engagement in transboundary water management issues.
The Shura Committee (The policymaking body) on Saturday took charge of Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Mainul Islam Hathazari following the resignation and death of its director general Allama Shah Ahmed Shafi.
Maulana Salauddin Nanupuri, a member of the Shura Committee, announced it through the loud speakers of Hathazari Mosque at 12:25pm before the namaz-e-janaza (funeral prayer) of Allama Shafi.
Salauddin Nanupuri said Allama Shafi huzur was their mentor (murubbi). “We’ll all pray for Allama Shafi. The Shura Committee will be responsible for resolving the ongoing crisis with the Madrasa. I’ll appoint the director of the madrasa in a short time after the namaz-e-janaza and burial of Allama Shafi Huzur. The Shura Committee will run the madrasa till the time before the appointment of the director,” he said.
Amir (Chief) of Hefazat-e Islam Allama Shah Ahmed Shafi willingly stepped down as the director-general of Hathazari Madrasa a day before his death.
Also read: Allama Shafi resigns from Hathazari Madrasa
On Thursday night, Maulana Noman Foyezi, a member of the Shura Committee of the Hathazari Madrasa, announced his resignation after a meeting with Allama Shafi, saying that he (Shafi) would act as an advisor (muhtamim) of the Madrasa and the decision over removal of Shafi’s son Anas Madani, a teacher of the Madrasa.
Allama Shafi’s resignation came amid student protests as a group of Hathazari Madrasa students demonstrated demanding the removal of Maulana Anas, also the publicity secretary of Hefazat.
Hefazat chief post to be filled soon through convention: Junaid Babunagari
General Secretary of Hefazat-e Islam Junaid Babunagari on Saturday said the post of Amir of Hefazat-e Islam that fell vacant following the death of Allama Shafi will be filled by a convention shortly.
He made this announcement through the loudspeakers of the Hathazari mosque before the namaz-e-janaza of Allama Shafi.
Also read: Govt shuts Hathazari Madrasa
Describing Allama Shafi as their mentor, Babunagari said, “There is no internal conflict in Hefazat-e Islam. With the death of Allama Shafi Huzur, the post of Amir of Hefazat-e Islam became vacant. We’ll convene a convention of Hifazat-e Islam in a short time after completing the janaza and burial of Huzur (Allama Shafi). At the convention, we’ll unanimously elect the Amir of Hefazat-e Islam.”
The Hefazat-e Islam Bangladesh was formed on 19 January 2010 at the Ulema Conference held at Darul Ulum Hathazari Auditorium. Ahmed Shafi was nominated as its founder Amir.