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Bangladesh Observer, The


Bangladesh Observer, The an English daily published from Dhaka since 1949. Hamidul Haq Chowdhury, a Muslim League leader and the then minister in the provincial cabinet, was the owner of the paper, and Mohammad Shehabullah was its first editor. Zahur Hossain Chowdhury and Mohammad Abdul Hye were then serving in the editorial section. Abdus Salam was subsequently appointed the editor of the paper.

Since its inception Pakistan Observer had preferred independent editorial policy. The Provincial government imposed embargo upon its publication under the Public Safety Act sometimes before 21 February 1952. This repressive measure seems to have been taken against the paper for its strong role in favour of language movement, and demand for provincial autonomy. Hamidul Haq Chowdhury and Abdus Salam were arrested.

The United Front government withdrew the embargo on its publication on 9 May 1954. At that time Abdul Ghani Hazari took the charge of the managing editor of the paper. In the early 1960s, the paper was black-listed, and deprived of the allocation of advertisements.

After the liberation of Bangladesh the Pakistan Observer was renamed as The Observer (18 December 1971). But the paper continued to be published since 23 December (1971) as The Bangladesh Observer. The Bangladesh Observer was taken under the management of the government in January 1972. On the issue of an editorial titled The Supreme Test published on 15 March 1972, Abdus Salam was dismissed from the service and Obaidul Haq was taken in as editor.

The military government of General Hussain M Ershad restored the paper to the private ownership of Hamidul Haq Chowdhury on 23 January 1984. KMA Munim was made the editor of the paper (7 August 1984). Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury has been serving as editor since 1998. [Manu Islam]