Despite complications govt determined to bring back Tarique: PM Hasina in parliament

Prime Minister Sheikh HasinaFile photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said Tarique Rahman, convicted in 21 August grenade attack, money laundering and multiple corruption cases, is currently staying in the UK.

She further told the Jatiya Sangsad that there are a few legal complications to bring him back to the country but the government is determined to bring him back to the country to implement the court verdicts resolving all the complications through legal avenues.

The prime minister said this in response to a question of reserved women’s seat MP Farida Yasmin in the Jatiya Sangsad, presided over by Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury.

The question was tabled during the prime minister’s question-answer session in parliament today.

“Strong diplomatic and legal efforts are going on simultaneously to bring Tarique Rahman back to the country. The foreign ministry and several relevant departments of the government have been working in this regard maintaining close communications with the UK government. Hopefully, we will see the results of this process soon.”

Mentioning that 15 accused, including Tarique Rahman alias Tarique Zia, are currently absconding in the 21 August grenade attack case, the head of the government said that efforts are on to arrest the absconding fugitive accused.

She said that a red alert of Interpol has been issued against fugitive accused Maulana Tajuddin, Md. Harish Chowdhury and Ratul Ahmed Babu alias Ratul Babu.

“Also, efforts are being made to bring back the fugitive accused through discussions with the countries where they are staying. Various steps are being taken in this regard from the higher level of the government,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina told the parliament that she herself has sent several letters to the heads of state and governments of the concerned countries at different times seeking cooperation in bringing the killers back to the country.

She also sought their personal cooperation in the meetings at various international forums, she added.

The prime minister said that there was no expected progress in this regard due to the legal complications regarding the location of the killers in the respective countries.

In order to bring the murderers back to the country, measures are being taken according to the laws of the concerned countries along with the current diplomacy, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said that a red alert has been issued through Interpol to bring back the fugitive accused in the Bangabandhu murder case and the 21 August grenade attack case to the country and execute the verdict.

In this regard, the ministries of foreign affairs, law and home affairs and other related departments are working in coordination with each other, she told the House.

‘Zia used to sign execution orders while taking food’

Responding to a question of Asaduzzaman Asad, a governing Awami League MP, prime minister Sheikh Hasina said, “Ziaur Rahman formed the BNP with renegade politicians following Aiyub Khan (Pakistan military ruler) to stay as president for his whole life. He occupied power illegally as well as formed the BNP illegally. Killer Zia used to sit for taking food with bloodstains in his hand and used to sign execution orders while having food.”

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina further said Dhaka city unit Chhatra League leader Mahfuz Babu became victim of enforced disappearance during the term of Zia while protesting the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Zia’s goons killed Moulvi Syed of Chattogram, Munir of Jubo League and a large number of Awami League leaders and activists.

Coming down hard on Ziaur Rahman, the prime minister also said Zia brought back war criminal and Pakistan citizen Golam Azam to the country and made anti-independence Shah Aziz and Alim cabinet members. He did not believe in the spirit of liberation war and independence. There were 21 coups and counter-coups during the five and a half year term of Ziaur Rahman. Lt. Col. Taher was hanged. Zia became extremely reckless and cruel.

Quoting from Bangladesh: A Legacy of Blood by Anthony Mascarenhas, SHeikh Hasina said there he wrote that according to a government calculation, Zia hanged to death 1,143 soldiers in just two months until 9 October 1977.

Responding to the question of Asaduzzaman Asad, the prime minister further said after killing Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members, Ziaur Rahman simultaneously occupied the posts of army chief and president violating the constitution. Zia had involvement with this cruel murder. Killer Farooq-Rashid planned the murder of the father of the nation  that Zia knew.

The prime minister also slammed the BNP’s corruption and their torture afflicting the AL leaders and activists when the party was in power and their arson attacks when in opposition. She said talks of democracy do not suit them (BNP).