1660Published on April 21, 2018
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has vowed to bring convicted BNP leader Tarique Rahman back to Bangladesh from London.
She says she talked to the British government and will have Tarique extradited ‘by any means’.
The prime minister was addressing a reception organised by UK Awami League chapter at Westminster in London on Saturday.
“I’ve talked to the British government. How can a convict stay here? So I’ve asked them to send him back quickly,” she said about Tarique’s possible extradition.
“We are trying to get him back. We will bring him back by any means,” she added.
Tarique Rahman Tarique Rahman Tarique is leading the party from exile since his mother, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, was jailed for five years in a corruption case on Feb 8.
Tarique also got a 10-year jail term in the case. The High Court also sentenced him to seven years in jail for money laundering two years ago.
He is facing many other cases, including one over an assassination attempt on Hasina. The Awami League has been demanding his extradition for a long time.
He went to London for treatment after getting bail in a corruption case in 2008 during the military-controlled caretaker government.
Most of the speakers at Saturday’s programme, including columnist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury, demanded extradition of Tarique.
Prime Minister said, “Ziaur Rahman was a murderer. His wife and son are also murderers. We must protect the country from these killers.”
“It’s my request to you, the expatriate Bangladeshis, please work to protect Bangladesh’s honour, give the answer to defaming propaganda,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina criticised the BNP for making Tarique their acting chief after Khaleda was convicted.
“Wasn’t there any other person eligible to become BNP chairperson? Why have they made an absconding convict their chairperson?” she asked.
The prime minister said the BNP actually had no leader.
She claimed Khaleda verdict was not politically influenced.
“We could have done this in 2013 or 2014 if we wanted to,” Sheikh Hasina said and added Khaleda would have to fight the case within the legal framework.
Prime Minister said Ziaur Rahman established the BNP after grabbing power illegally.
“So the BNP is also illegal,” she added. She also criticised Zia for ‘politically rehabilitating’ war criminals.
She criticised the BNP for violence during the protest rallies. “It’s unfortunate that we have to hear lessons of democracy from those who make people suffer and kill them in the name of protests.”
Sheikh Hasina said the BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami “should be ashamed of corruption during their tenure”.
“And now they are out to defame Bangladesh by using the money they earned illegally,” she said.
The prime minister also spoke about steps taken by her government for the country’s development.
Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Women and Children’s Affairs Meher Afroze Chumki, among others, delivered speeches at the programme chaired by UK Awami League President Sultan Mahmud Sharif.
The venue, Methodist Central Hall, was overcrowded as many from other European countries also joined it.