LONDON: Senior Vice-chairman of Bangladesh Nationalist Party Tarique Rahman called upon expatriate BNP leaders to work in party and country’s interest, as he Sunday sat with them for a review of situation back at home after a long stay in exile.
“You are all living abroad. I am also living abroad like you. Let’s all work for the interest of the party and the country, wherever we live,” he was quoted as having told the top leaders of BNP gathered in the British capital from different countries.
Top leaders of 40 countries of Europe and the Middle East joined the seven-hour closed-door meeting that began at 2 pm (Bangladesh time at 8 pm) Sunday.
Elder son of slain President general Ziaur Rahman and ex-premier Khaleda Zia, the current opposition leader, Tarique Rahman was flown to London on parole for critical treatment of his maimed spine at the fag-end of the military-backed interim regime installed through the 1/11/2007 changeover following a political crisis over election issues.
Tarique told his party faithful in foreign lands that he is yet to recover and undergoing treatment. “My doctors said I will never be cured,” he said.
The up-and-coming leader of the former ruling party arrived at the venue at around 2pm local time. He was using his crutch.
This is for the first time that he sat with leaders in London in last three years.
Before the meet, he exchanged greetings with the leaders.
A BNP leader who attended the meeting told banglanews24.com.bd that all the leaders spoke but Tarique Rahman made a brief speech for illness.
One of the leaders said they played important role during the tough times of the party but were deprived of proper position on the BNP’s central committee.
“Tarique Rahman is victim of conspiracy and propaganda. The caretaker regime led by Fakhruddin Ahmed and Moeen U Ahmed could not prove any allegation against him,” said another leader, adding that the peace-loving people of the country now want his leadership.
Another leader urged him to be active in politics.
BNP International Affairs Secretary Kamar Uddin told banglanews24.com.bd, “The meeting was not a formal one; it was only for exchanging greetings.
“The meeting was arranged as many leaders of the party from different countries tried to meet Tarique Rahman,” said Kamar Uddin.
The meeting was also attended, among others, by BNP leader Mia Monirul Alam, Barrister M A Salam, Koisor Ahmed, BNP president of Finland Kamrul Hasan Johnny, BNP president of Spain Khorshed Alam Mojumder, BNP president of Portugal Aliul Islam, president of Austria unit Fazlur Rahman Bakul, president of Sweden chapter Mohiuddin Ahmed Jintu and convenor of France unit Ahsanul Haq Bulu.
Tarique went to London for treatment on September 13, 2008.
BDST: 1430 HRS, JULY 5, 2010.