Khaleda son seeks asylum in Britain

Tarique Rahman

Dhaka: The "fugitive" son of former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, Tarique Rahman, has "temporarily" sought political asylum in the UK, his Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said on Tuesday.

Contesting junior foreign minister Shahriar Alam's claim that the BNP acting chief has abandoned his Bangladeshi citizenship, party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said "he has temporarily sought asylum in London".

Alam had on Monday alleged that Rahman, 53, along with his wife and daughter, has handed over the passports to the British Home Office four years ago, and the surrendered travel documents were with the Bangladesh authorities at the country's mission in London.

"He (Rahman) has temporarily sought political asylum like political leaders and anti-government eminent persons of other countries," Alamgir told a reporters at a media briefing here.

The BNP secretary general also said that statements by the government and the ruling Awami League "clearly indicate that Rahman's life is at stake in Bangladesh, (and) under these circumstances, he has temporarily sought political asylum."

"In line with the normal procedure, he (Rahman) submitted the passport to the UK Home Office. As per its law, the country has given him travel permission after taking his passport," he said.

The junior minister had shared with the media purported photocopies of the UK Home Office letter, addressed to the Bangladesh mission that read, "Please find enclosed a passport for your retention", and the BNP leader's passport. "Tarique could have submitted his passport to Bangladesh High Commission in London for renewal or extension of validity. But, he submitted it to British Home Office." PTI


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