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Mirza Ghulam Hafiz
Mirza Ghulam Hafiz (1920 – December 20, 2000) was a prominent statesman, politician, and philanthropist in Bangladesh.
Born in Panchagarh, North Bengal in 1920, Mirza Ghulam Hafiz was educated at the University of Dhaka & University of Kolkata. By 1948, when he first became interested in government resistance and politics, he had graduated with a B.LL and M.S. in Economics, as well as a law degree.
Hafiz was an active organizer of the Language Movement on two separate occasions in 1952 & again in 1954 & was jailed both times. In 1954, he was elected to the Provincial Assembly in Bengal as a representative of the Panchagarh district. He would serve in government positions until Bangladesh's independence in 1971, a revolution in which he was personally involved (as an honorary colonel in the Bengal Rifles State Guard).
In 1972, Hafiz was elected to the new parliament of Bangladesh and was appointed the Minister of Land Management. From 1978 to 1982, he served as the Speaker of the Parliament until the coup that assassinated the President, Ziaur Rahman. After the demolition of the autocratic government of Hossain Mohammad Ershad, he was reelected to the parliament in 1991. Under the BNP, he was appointed the Minister of Law and Justice. He retired from politics in 1995.
Hafiz's wife, Dr. Abeda Hafiz, is notable in her own right. In 1962, she became one of the first Bengali women to be granted a Ph.D.
Together, Mirza Ghulam and Abeda Hafiz founded three schools, two colleges (one of them is in Mirzanagar, at Nayerhat, Savar thana), two madrassahs (religious academies), a library, and several mosques throughout the nation. They were also known for their active participation in NGOs (non-government organizations) and donations to charity. The Mirza family also founded Eastern Momtaz Plaza, the first modern air-conditioned shopping mall in Bangladesh.
Place of birth: Panchagarh
Died: 20 December 2000, in Dhaka
Notable work: Member of the Parliament, Minister of Land Management, Speaker of the Parliament, Minister of Law and Justice
Education: University of Kolkata, Dhaka University