‘Tarique returning soon’

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s eldest son Tarique Rahman will return home from London soon after his physical condition ‘gets better’, says party Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

“I met the party’s Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman who is undergoing treatment in London. I came to know that his physical condition has improved. He will return home very soon,” Fakhrul said on Friday.

Fakhrul was speaking to reporters at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka in the morning after arriving, on a Qatar Airlines flight, from United Kingdom.

Asked whether Tarique was going to join active politics, Fakhrul said, “It will depend on the recommendations of his physicians.”

Tarique was arrested during emergency on Mar 7, 2007. He secured bail from the Supreme Court and went to London with his family on Sept 11, 2007. He has been living there since then.

After lying low for a while, he was back in the headlines after campaigning for a caretaker administration for parliamentary polls during a function in East London on May 20 this year. That was his first public appearance in almost five years.

He called upon expatriate Bangladeshis to mount pressure on the present Awami League-led government on the issue and that attracted severe criticism from the ruling party.

After that, allegations of corruption against him surfaced again and were criticised with a new rage.

A Dhaka court also issued an arrest warrant on May 26, in a money laundering case, directing the authorities to arrest and bring the Senior BNP Vice-Chairman home with the help of Interpol.

Tarique Rahman is accused in at least a dozen graft and criminal cases.

Party spokesperson Mirza Fakhrul had met Tarique when he went to the UK to attend an international seminar titled ‘Human Rights, Democracy and Good Governance in Bangladesh’.

During their meeting, they also discussed the party’s condition and current political situation in Bangladesh. “I told him about the political situation when I met him,” Fakhrul said on Friday.

When asked about the media reports that they also discussed possible nomination of BNP candidates in the upcoming national election, he said, “That is wrong information. I did not discuss anything like that with him.”

When asked whether Tarique’s wife Zobaida Rahman is joining politics, the BNP spokesperson brushed aside it saying ‘there is no possibility of that’.

‘London visit successful’

Fakhrul had left for London on July 15, leading an eight-member BNP delegation to the seminar organised by International Bangladesh Foundation at the House of Lords in British Parliament.

The seminar, held on July 17, was also attended by an eight-member team of Awami League, led by party’s Advisory Council member HT Imam, who is also an advisor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

About the seminar, the BNP Acting Secretary General said, “The visit was successful. The international seminar discussed many issues including Bangladesh’s current political situation, the future of the next parliamentary elections and condition of the minorities.”

On what was discussed in the seminar on next general elections, Fakhrul said, “Only the people will decide the election’s nature. Britain is the birthplace of democracy and the country is our partner in development. We highlighted our country’s politics and its current situation before the international audience.”

“We also explained the relevancy of the non-partisan government, at the seminar,” he said.

The government would meet the demand for elections under a non-party government at the right time after understanding the ‘reality’, Fakhrul, a former state minister, hoped.

During his visit to London, the war crimes tribunals of Bangladesh sentenced Ghulam Azam, former chief of Jammat-e-Islami– a key ally of the main opposition BNP– to 90 years in jail and Jamaat Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed to death by hanging.

“I will not say anything about the verdicts,” Fakhrul told reporters at the airport when asked for his reaction on the issue.

Source: Bd news24

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