BNP chief Khaleda Zia leaves for London

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-07-15 22:36:11 BdST

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has left Dhaka for the UK with an unspecified time to return.

An Emirates Airlines aircraft carrying the BNP chief left Shahjalal International Airport for London Saturday evening. 

Khaleda's Personal Assistant ABM Abdus Sattar and house help Fatema Akhter are travelling with her.

BNP Executive Committee Member Tabith Awal is also going to London on the same plane.

It is not immediately clear how long she will be staying in the UK as BNP says she is going to the UK for 'medical reasons'.

"It could not be said for certain when she would return as it depends on the treatment," said party leader Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain.

The tour, however, is being discussed much for BNP's next political move, as Khaleda will stay at the house of her son Tarique Rahman, the senior vice-chairman of the party.

BNP Standing Committee Member Khandaker Mosharraf, who came to see off Khaleda at the airport, told reporters: "There are many speculations about the leader's tour. What we say is that she is going to the UK for treatment."

He, however, added, "After all, she is the chief of a large party. Our Number 2 leader Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman is also in London. She will stay at his home.

"The two leaders will discuss the country's politics and party issues. We hope she will return soon after the treatment and present the outline on the election-time assisting government."

Besides Tarique's wife Zubaida Rahman and daughter Zaima Rahman, Khaleda's late son Arafat Rahman Coco's wife Sharmila Rahman and daughters Zahia Rahman and Zafia Rahman are also in London now.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, after a meeting of the party's standing committee members on Thursday night, said Khaleda would undergo treatment for the condition of her eyes and feet in the UK.

Khaleda's last visit to London began on Sept 16, 2015.

During that visit, she spent Eid with Tarique and his family before returning to Dhaka after one and half months.

The wife and two children of her deceased younger son Coco were also in London during that visit.

Tarique has been in London since 2008. He is facing trial in a number of cases in Bangladesh.