Amid recent debate over Tarique Rahman’s citizenship, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Tuesday announced that the party’s acting chairman has got ‘political asylum’ in the United Kingdom and submitted his Bangladeshi passport in that country’s Home Office.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a news briefing at the party’s central office in Dhaka disclosed it, saying
the acting chairman Tarique Rahman had sought political asylum ‘abroad’ temporarily and got it due to valid reason.
‘As part of its normal process he (Tarique) deposited his passport in Home Office of United Kingdom. As per existing law of that country he was given a travel permit retaining his passport,’ Fakhrul said.
At this moment Tarique did not need his Bangladeshi passport for any of his works, the BNP secretary general said adding that when Tarique would recover from his illness for returning home then he like other citizens of the country would apply for his passport.
He said the acting chairman sought asylum in UK as it was clear from the statements of the government and important ruling party leaders that his life was not safe in Bangladesh.
Tarique has been staying in London since September 8, 2008 for ‘medical treatment’.
‘The information which is being spread about sending his (Tarique’s) passport to the Bangladesh High Commission in London by the British Home Office for retention doesn’t legally and logically prove that he renounced his Bangladeshi citizenship,’ Fakhrul said
State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam claimed that Tarique Rahman, his wife Zubaida Rahman and daughter Zaima Rahman deposited their passports to the British Home Office.
‘As a political person, I think, it is refusal of nationality,’ he said at a briefing in Dhaka on Monday.
Tarique through his lawyer Kayser Kamal served a legal notice on the state minister for foreign affairs asking to either prove his allegation or offer unconditional apology to Tarique within 10 days. Otherwise legal criminal and civil action would be taken against the minister, the notice cautioned.
Fakhrul said Shahriar’s comment on relinquishing Bangladesh citizenship by Tarique was ‘unlawful’ and ‘illogical’. ‘We strongly protest at and condemn it,’ he said.
The BNP leader said presenting before journalists and spreading on Facebook that Tarique surrendered his citizenship was nothing but an ‘ill-motivate campaign’.
Fakhrul said there is no reason for Tarique to relinquish his citizenship since he ‘will undoubtedly lead the government of Bangladesh in the days to come’.
The BNP leader termed mysterious the forwarding letter of the British Home Office presented by State Minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam about retention of Tarique passport as there are ‘13 major mistakes’ in the letter.
BNP leaders Mirza Abbas, Nazrul Islam Khan, Barkatullah Bulu, Abdul Awal Mintoo, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and Kayser Kamal, among others, were present.
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