No politics while on bail, Dhaka regime tells ex-PMs

June 16th, 2008 - 11:41 pm ICT by IANS  


Dhaka, June 16 (IANS) Bangladesh’s caretaker government has said that it will not permit holding or addressing of political rallies by jailed politicians, especially the two former prime ministers, released “under special conditions”. The message was delivered by Home Advisor Major General (retd) M.A. Matin Sunday as the government continued to prepare for the release of former prime minister Khaleda Zia and her two ailing sons, likely to take place this week.

Sheikh Hasina, the other former prime minister, left for the US last week for urgent medical treatment. She has been freed for eight weeks and is expected to return to face trial in several corruption cases.

Media reports said Zia might make her position clear whether her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) would participate in the ongoing political dialogue preparatory to the general elections that the government has promised for this December.

Unlike Hasina, she has decided to stay on, but has insisted that her sons, Tarique Rahman and Arafat Rahman Koko, both ailing while in jail on corruption charges, should be allowed to go abroad for medical treatment.

Zia’s release and her joining the dialogue hinges on the conditions the government might stipulate about Tarique Rahman, the elder son, a politician who has been detained since March last year, The Daily Star said Monday.

Matin told media that the government was not acting in a biased way regarding the release of the two women leaders. “Sheikh Hasina applied for her release, so she was released. Khaleda Zia is still in detention as she has not yet applied for her release,” the adviser said.

Asked whether those released on medical grounds, like Hasina, would be allowed to address any political meetings, Matin said he believed that under such special conditions of release there was no scope for holding or addressing political meetings.

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Posted in South Asia |

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