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Home > News > PTI

Khaleda may leave Bangladesh: report

April 17, 2007 23:57 IST

Former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia has reportedly agreed to leave the country under a 'negotiated deal' with the interim government, which however rejected suggestions any deal was struck with her on this.

"After prolonged suspense, former prime minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia finally agreed to leave the country under tremendous pressure from the military-backed caretaker government and on condition that her sons will also be allowed to join her," The Daily Star reported quoting un-named government sources.

The release of her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko less than 24 hours after the army-led joint forces arrested him early Monday from his mother's residence in the cantonment in Dhaka also fuelled speculation about her leaving the country.

Zia's high-profile elder son Tarique Rahman, who too was arrested from the same residence last month, is now in jail on several criminal and graft charges.

According to The Daily Star, which quoted a 'highly- placed government source,' Zias will leave for Saudi Arabia in a couple of days and she will initially stay there with a one-month visa to perform Umrah Haj. Her permanent residence there will be finalised when she reaches Saudi Arabia, it reported.

"Everything has been finalised. Now only the formalities, including getting a visa, remain to be completed, which might be completed in a day," the source said, adding that the Saudi government had agreed to host Zia and her family if she left Bangladesh 'willingly.'

Communication minister in the caretaker government M A Matin said no agreement was worked out with Zia for her going abroad.

Law and Information adviser Moinul Hussain said the government had no plans to send Zia and her arch political rival Sheikh Hasina heading Awami League abroad.

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