Dr. Akbar Ali Khan-The Man of Courage.

Dr. Akbar Ali Khan is one of my favorite character and I respect him a lot. So I am featuring this legend to you.

He is an economist and educationist. He was born in 1944 in Nabinagar in Brahamanbaria district. He studied History in Dhaka University and secured first place in first class in both B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. Examinations. He studied Economics in Queen’s University Canada and obtained M.A. and PhD. in Economics.

He joined the Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) in 1967 and was posted as SDO Habiganj in 1971when the liberation war started. He actively participated in the liberation war and was sentenced to fourteen years rigorous imprisonment in absentia by a military court of the Occupation Forces. He joined the Provisional Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh as Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Defense and actively assisted
the war efforts.

After independence of Bangladsh in the December of 1971, Akbar Ali Khan was appointed in the Establishment Ministry of the government of Bangladesh. He worked there for six months and helped in the rehabilitation of the freedom fighters and also people who came back from Pakistan. From there he was transferred to the Education Ministry. In 1973 he decided to retire to take up teaching again as the profession. Although he submitted his resignation, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the then prime minister of the couসটপচ, did not accept it. Instead he was granted leave of absence with lien to teach in a university. He taught at the Jahangirnagar University until receiving the Commonwealth scholarship to pursue higher education. He studied at the Queen’s University, Canada for Ph.D in Economics. Upon his return to Bangladesh in 1979, he was shortly promoted as [Associate Professor] of the Jahangirnagar University. However, eventually he left teaching and returned to Bangladesh Civil Service.

He worked in the Environmental Ministry before his promotion as a permanent secretary to the government in 1993. In the capacity of Secretary, Internal Resources Division, he worked as the Chairman of the Natioanl Board of Revenue until 1995. Between 1995 and 2001, he worked as the Finance Secretary of the country. As he retired, government chose to nominate him as Alternative Executive Director of the World Bank, Washington where he served till 2005.

Retiring from World Bank he established Centre for Government Studies at the BRAC University. Currently he is working there as a visiting professor. Recently he has become a public face as he appears in deferent TV Talk Shows to explain the current political and economic situation of the country. Besides, he is researching the historic and economic process of the country. On 30 October 2007, Khan became the chairman of the Regulatory Reform Commission to modernize old and ineffective laws.

I came to know him only when he became the Adviser of the last Caretaker Government in November 2006. From his resume, we are informed that he was secretary of different important ministries including finance and cabinet.

Only few weeks after joining, he resigned from his post of adviser along with three of his colleagues on policy difference as he explained it. It would have been better if he predicted the inevitable before joining. Though he resigned, he attained a public image by that time. He turned himself as an expert to the public eye on present political issues and in short time he became a media personality. He almost always is a guest of honour in discussion of different forums.

Because of his experience and authority, he is taken up by the present Caretaker Government and is made the chairman of the Reform Commission. The Reform Commission is formed to rectify the age old regulations that hinders the business, service and governance as a whole.

In a meeting with Chief Adviser of the CTG recently, he suggested to publish the recommendations in the website so that people and experts can participate in the process.I personally liked the idea very much but the government didn’t materialize it so far.Dr. Akbar Ali Khan recently threatened that if the government does not publish it, he will publish it by himself.

I never heard whether a Commission can publish its recommendations without permission of the government by whom it was appointed.

He cares little for his bosses. He is the boss himself.

He recently said that the tenure of CTG is only of three months according to our constitution(which may embarrass the government) which is in contradiction to the opinion of other legal experts including Dr. Kamal Hussain. He also suggested that the CTG is a non elected government; they should not stay in power for longer period and they should hand over the power to the political government as soon as possible.

Is he a left or right or in between? A man of his stature should not be judged by this simple labeling.

He has published seven books and a. number of articles on economics, public
administration and Water resources in various national and international journals.