Dhaka, Sept 7 (UNB) - Four lawyers of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia met her at the Old Dhaka Central Jail at Nazimuddin Road on Friday.
The four Supreme Court lawyers, led by BNP standing committee member Jamiruddin Sircar, entered the jail around 4:30pm and held nearly an hour-long meeting with Khaleda.
The three other lawyers are Supreme Court Bar Association President Zainul Abedin, Abdur Rezzak Khan and former Attorney General AJ Mohammad Ali.
Talking to journalists after the meeting, Zainul Abedin said, “Khaleda Zia’s health condition is very bad. She can’t even speak well.”
He also said the BNP chairperson is suffering from severe pain and she needs treatment immediately at any specialised hospital.
“She is so sick that it’ll not be possible for her to go to the court,” Zainul added.
Khaleda has been staying in the jail since a special court convicted her in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8 last.
Earlier in the day, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam said they have sent a letter to the Home Minister seeking permission so that their party’s senior leaders can meet Khaleda in jail to see for themselves her health condition.
Meanwhile, a 10-member BNP delegation, led by Mirza Fakhrul, sought Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan’s schedule to meet him on Sunday to discuss about Khaleda’s health condition and her treatment.
Khaleda Zia’s personal secretary ABM Sattar sent a letter to the Home Ministry on Thursday in this regard, BNP chairperson’s media wing member Sayrul Kabir Khan told UNB on Friday.
If the Home Minister gives appointment, he said, the 10 BNP standing committee members will meet him at his office.
Dhaka, Sept 7 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said the new book containing the secret documents of Pakistani Intelligence Branch (IB) on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman will provide an immense opportunity to people to know about the Father of the Nation properly and elaborately.
"To me, it’s the diamond out of a coalmine. We’d been able to find the diamond mine inside the coalmine," she said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the publication ceremony of the first edition of 'Secret Documents of Intelligence Branch on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman' at her official residence Ganobhaban.
Emeritus Professor Rafiqul Islam chaired the function while Bangla Academy Director General Prof Shamsuzzaman Khan was the discussant.
Sheikh Hasina, the elder daughter of the Father of the Nation, said there is a priceless depot of information in these books.
"The IB reports are against Bangabandhu. There’s nothing in favour of him, everything is against him. Why have we published these reports? It’s my interest that by this publication, people will know each and every activity, move and speech of the Father of the Nation from 1948-71. There’re so many information there," she said.
The Prime Minister also said the IB reports will give the readers, researchers and others an opportunity to find out the most valuable information about Bangabandhu. "Country’s people will be able to know a lot about the Father of the Nation."
Mentioning that there are some questions about how Bangabandhu had contributed to the Language Movement as he had been in jail at that time, Hasina said, “The hostile attitude of a section of people will be removed after reading these documents."
Explaining the reason behind the publication of the IB reports, she said, “I took the step to publish those as country’s people will be able to divulge truth from these. They’ll know the history of Bangladesh. They’ll be able to know how we got the independence."
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Javed Patwary, Golam Mostafa of Hakkani Publishers, Father of the Nation Bangbanadhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Memorial Trust Member Secretary Sheikh Hajizur Rahman and Curator Nazrul Islam Khan also spoke at the programme.
Bangabandhu Memorial Trust is funding the publication of the book. Hakkani Publishers will publish the book in 14 volumes.
Pakistani Intelligence Branch (IB) used to make reports on Bangabandhu every day.
The book will contain different information on the country’s War of Liberation and founding of Awami League, letters written to Bangabandhu by his party leaders and workers, relatives and speeches delivered by him at different meetings and public rallies.
Dhaka, Sept 7 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain on Friday said different political parties’ current efforts to forge a national unity for holding a fair election will soon turn into a political unity.
“Country’s people, BNP-led 20-party alliance, Jukta Front under the leadership of Badruddoza Chowdhury and Dr Kamal Hossain and the left-leaning parties’ alliance have got united over the issues of dissolving parliament, holding election under a neutral government, reconstituting the Election Commission and deploying army during the election,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion, he further said, “I think the national unity and people’s unity has already been forged. We believe the national unity will soon turn into a political unity and we’ll free the country from the autocratic rule through united efforts.”
Nagorik Odhikar Andolon Forum arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club.
Referring to Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader’s comment that the national unity is not possible without Awami League, the BNP leader said the unity has created among people to end the ‘autocratic rule’ and ‘restore’ democracy. “It’s absurd that those against whom the unity is forged are now saying to take them with the national unity process.”
Mosharraf, a BNP standing committee member, criticised the government for what he said holding trial of their seriously ill chairperson Khaleda Zia by setting up a makeshift court in jail.
He urged the government to halt the trial until Khaleda recovers from her illness. “We call upon the government to take steps for ensuring Khaleda Zia’s treatment in any specialised hospital.”
Dhaka, Sept 7 (UNB) – BNP on Friday trashed the Prime Minister’s remark that Khaleda Zia’s trial is being held in an open court inside Old Dhaka Central Jail, claiming that her assertion is not correct.
“The Constitution says the trial must be held in public and in an open court. But they’re holding the trial in a small room (inside the jail) where there’s a sitting arrangement for only 10 lawyers. It’s not an open court,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Fakhrul came up with the comment while speaking at a press conference at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office.
While addressing a meeting of Awami League Central Working Committee on Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Khaleda’s trial is being held in an open court where people have free access. “How could it be a camera trial when the door of the court remains open?” Hasina said.
She also said the makeshift court was set up in the central jail to try BNP chief Khaleda Zia as BNP leaders were talking about her security. “The trial of Colonel Taher was held in a court in jail during the Ziaur Rahman's regime.”
Refuting the Prime Minister’s comment, Fakhrul said Col Taher’s trial was held during martial law not under a civil administration. “So, it can’t be compared with that trial.”
About Sheikh Hasina’s comment that the constitution or the existing laws do not permit convicted Khaleda to take her domestic help Fatema with her in the jail, the BNP leader said she has been staying in jail with the court’s order. “We didn’t keep her in jail.”
He questioned as to why the government is keeping Khaleda in jail with various tricks even after she got bail from the apex court in the case she was convicted. “Why do you fear her? Free her from jail and hold a fair election. You don’t want to do it as you know people are not with you.”
Speaking at the press conference, party standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said jail is not an open place and people have no access to it. “The so-called court was set up inside the jail. How can it be an open court where people don’t have any access? The Prime Minister made such wrong remarks to confuse people.”
He said Col Taher’s trial was held when Justice Abu Sadat Mohammad Sayem enforced martial law and the Constitution was kept suspended at that time.
“Taher’s trial was held during Ziaur Rahman for treason. But Khaleda Zia’s trial is being held now in a corruption case which is politically motivated one,” the BNP leader observed.
Mosharraf said the makeshift court was set up in the jail as part of the government’s plot to keep Khaleda Zia out of the next general election race.
New Delhi, Sep 6 (AP/UNB)— U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis were set to hold long-delayed talks Thursday with top Indian officials, looking to shore up the alliance with one of Washington's top regional allies.
The so-called "2+2" talks, scheduled to last just a few hours and focus on strategic and security issues, come amid a series of divisive issues, including Washington's demands that India stop buying Iranian oil and a Russian air-defense system. There are also news reports that President Donald Trump has privately mimicked the accent of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
But with trade and strategic ties growing quickly between the U.S. and India, both countries were keen to downplay potential diplomatic troubles.
"Freedom means that at times nations don't agree with each other," Mattis told reporters on his way to India, when asked about India's plans to buy a sophisticated Russian air-defense system. "That doesn't mean we can't be partners. That doesn't mean we don't respect the sovereignty of those nations."
The purchase of the S-400 ground-to-air missile system could trigger U.S. sanctions on India.
But C. Raja Mohan, one of India's top foreign policy analysts and the director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the National University of Singapore, noted that New Delhi-Washington ties have strengthened immensely over the past couple decades, and Trump has ramped up diplomatic pressure on India's main rivals, Pakistan and China, earning him plenty of goodwill.
He presumes both countries want a way to get past the question of the Russian missile system.
"India doesn't want to wreck the relationship for the S-400," he said. He also downplayed reports in the U.S. and Indian media that Trump has mimicked Modi's accent in meetings with his top officials.
Modi, he notes, is long past the days when, as the top official in the Indian state of Gujarat, he was denied a U.S. visa because of accusations he did not do enough to quell 2002 Hindu-Muslim riots.
"This government is pragmatic," Mohan said. Modi "has seen a lot worse than people mocking his accent."
The India-U.S. "2+2" talks, called that because they include the top diplomatic and defense officials of both countries, have been postponed twice, the last time when Pompeo was dispatched in July for talks in North Korea.
Pompeo met Wednesday in Islamabad with Pakistan's new prime minister, Imran Khan. Khan said later he was optimistic he could reset the relationship with Washington after the U.S. cut aid payments over Islamabad's alleged failure to combat the country's militants.