Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir (born August 1, 1948) was named the 7th secretary general of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on March 30, 2016 after the 6th National Council. He had been working as acting secretary general since March 20, 2011. Previously he was given the position of senior joint general secretary after the party’s fifth National Council on December 8, 2009.

Student life

Mirza Alamgir began his political expedition in the 1960s when he was a student at the Department of Economics of the University of Dhaka. At that time he joined East Pakistan Students Union (EPSU), student wing of the Pakistan Communist Party. Later he was elected the secretary general of the organization’s SM Hall unit of the university. At the peak of the 1969 mass uprising against Ayub Khan, Mirza Alamgir emerged as the organization’s University President.

Career

After the War of Independence, he left politics and embarked on his career of teaching in the government’s education cadre. In 1972, he joined Dhaka College as a teacher and taught economics there.

Later, he joined government administration service. Among other government responsibilities, Mirza Alamgir worked for the Bangladesh government’s Directorate of Inspection and Audit as an auditor.

He also worked in President Ziaur Rahman Bir Uttam’s administration as a secretary of Deputy Prime Minister S.A. Bari till Mr. Bari’s resignation in 1982.  Then he moved to Thakurgaon Government College and continued his teaching career till 1986.

Political career

Mirza Alamgir resigned from his government job in 1986 to prepare to contest for Chairman of Thakurgaon Municipality. He won the post as a neutral candidate in 1988.

He joined the Bangladesh Nationalist Party in the early days of 1990 at the time when the countrywide anti-Ershad movement was reaching its final phase.

In 1992 he was nominated as president of the BNP’s Thakurgaon district unit.

Mirza Alamgir participated in the 5th and 7th parliamentary elections in 1991and 1996 from Thakurgaon-1 constituency on the BNP ticket but lost.  In the 8th parliamentary election in 2001, as a BNP candidate, he defeated Awami League candidate Ramesh Chandra Sen by 37,962 votes, garnering 134,910 votes.

He joined Begum Khaleda Zia’s Cabinet in 2001 as the state minister for Agriculture and later in the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Tourism till the end of that administration. He also took part in the 9th parliamentary election in 2008 but lost.

The 5th National Council of the BNP on December 8, 2009 named Mirza Alamgir senior joint secretary general, a post previously held by Tarique Rahman who had been promoted to Vice Chairman at the same council meeting.

Mirza Alamgir was named acting secretary general of the BNP by its chairperson, Begum Khaleda Zia, following the death of secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain on March 20, 2011.

Personal life

Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir is married to Rahat Ara Begum who attended University of Calcutta and presently works in an insurance company in Dhaka. The couple has two daughters, Mirza Shamaruh and Mirza Safaruh. Shamaruh attended University of Dhaka and was a teacher in the institution. After completion of her post doctoral fellowship in Australia, she is now working at the Australian government’s department of health as a scientist. Safaruh, also a University of Dhaka graduate, teaches at a school in Dhaka.

Mirza Alamgir’s father, Mirza Ruhul Amin, was a lawyer and a BNP politician. He was elected an MP several times.

Mirza Alamgir’s uncle, Mirza Golam Hafiz, was a BNP leader who served as the Minister of Land (1978–79), Minister of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs (1991–96), and was elected MP from a Dhaka constituency in 1979. Mirza Hafiz was the Speaker of the 2nd national parliament of Bangladesh (1979–82).

Another uncle, Wing Commander S.R. Mirza, served in the first government of Bangladesh that was formed in exile (the Mujibnagar Government) in April 1971. He was named to head the newly formed Directorate of Youth Camps that oversaw training facilities for freedom fighter recruits in 1971.