Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique needs treatment abroad: doctors

August 24th, 2008 - 2:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Aug 24 (IANS) Tarique Rahman, the jailed politician son of former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia, is partially paralysed and urgently needs treatment abroad, his doctors have said. “Tarique Rahman’s health condition is deteriorating fast; he’s almost partially paralysed now,” Sirajuddin Ahmed, chairman of the orthopaedic department at the government-run Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), told reporters Saturday.

Tarique, accused in a string of corruption cases, has been undergoing treatment at the university hospital for the last eight months.

The doctor said the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) leader’s right leg was getting thinner due to pain at the hip joints and his sixth and seventh vertebrae were broken.

“Treatment that Tarique needs at present is not available here,” Ahmed said. “We’ll not take responsibility for anything bad that may happen to him.”

“In my last report on his health, I recommended that he be sent abroad for better treatment. I’m recommending the same again,” the orthopaedic surgeon was quoted as saying in The Daily Star newspaper Sunday.

According to the report of a medical board set up to monitor his condition, Tarique is suffering from multiple ailments including compression fracture in his two spinal bones, cervical disc prolapse, right hip arthropathy, chest pain with palpitation, severe muscle spasm in the lumbar region and right lower limb and narrow angle glaucoma.

His wife Zubaida and daughter Zaima had earlier jointly appealed to the government to send him abroad immediately to prevent him from getting crippled.

“He requires specialised orthopaedic surgical correction, which is not possible in Bangladesh,” they had said in a letter to the interim government.

Widely perceived as the most influential person when his mother was prime minister (2001-06), Tarique, BNP’s senior joint secretary general, was the first major politician arrested March 8 last year as part of the current caretaker government’s anti-corruption drive.

A report in the New Age Sunday said the government was flouting court directives and persecuting not only high profile graft suspects, but also their family members.

Political parties say the government is doing this to disqualify prominent leaders from contesting the parliamentary polls it has promised for December.

Zia has herself been in jail and is ailing since Sep 3 last year. She has refused to be released on parole or go abroad for treatment, though she managed to secure the release of her younger son Arafat, who is on parole and is undergoing treatment in Thailand.

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