New Delhi: One of the personalities conferred with the Padma Awards by President Ram Nath Kovind is Quazi Sazzad Ali Zahir. Pakistan has been searching for this hero of the Bangladesh Liberation War for the last 50 years. In the 1971 war, he came to India from Pakistan. He is also said to have handed over several confidential documents of the Pakistani army to India. His house was burnt down by the Pakistani army at that time. His mother and sister were targeted, but he somehow managed to save his life.
Col. Quazi Sazzad Ali Zahir has been awarded the Padma Shri. Apart from him, two more Bangladeshi nationals Sanjida Khatun and Muazzam Ali have also been awarded the Padma Award this time. Col. Zahir had also trained the Bangladesh Mukti Vahini. Pakistan had issued a warrant for his death. Colonel Zahir joined the Pakistani army in late 1969. During that time, Bangladesh was also a part of Pakistan. But the atrocities committed by Pakistani soldiers in then East Pakistan and today's Bangladesh shook them and they launched a front against their own army. He fled Pakistan and entered India. After Colonel Zahir came to India, his house in Bangladesh was set on fire by the Pakistani army. The army also tried to target his mother and sister, but they both fled safely.
After Bangladesh's independence, he formed an organization called Sudha Muktijuddho. The organization identified Bangladeshis and Indians who were involved in the liberation struggle. The contribution of such people was prepared and documented. They are still campaigning against radicalization in Bangladesh. He believes that as long as Bangladeshis are away from radicalization and anti-national forces, their country is safe. He insists that in order to keep Bangladesh safe, one has to keep a distance from the advocates of the Pakistan model.