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Home > News > PTI

Indian govt was in touch with Hasina during ban

H S Rao in London | April 26, 2007 15:15 IST

The Indian government was in touch with former Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina when she was banned from returning home.

"India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee spoke to me and Indian High Commissioner Kamalesh Sharma met me in London," Hasina, chief of the Awami League told PTI in an interview on Wednesday evening shortly after the four-day-old ban was lifted.

She said it was her will-power and determination to return to her motherland, which prevailed upon the caretaker government to withdraw the arrest warrant and ban on her return.

"They thought I will wilt under pressure, but they were mistaken," said Hasina, who had faced a grenade attack on her life and became deaf in her right ear.

Stating that she would like to go back to her country 'as soon as possible,' 60-year-old Hasina, who ruled the country between 1996 and 2001, said the caretaker government was yet to withdraw its letter written to the British Airways not to carry Hasina on its flight in view of the ban.

Hasina said she also has an appointment with Commonwealth Secretary General Don McKinnon before finalising her return plan. During the last three days, she has been in touch with ministers, MPs and Lords in London and senators in the US.

Asked how she planned to tackle the murder and extortion cases filed against her by the interim government in Dhaka, Hasina said, "They filed false cases against me. The very fact that they issued arrest warrant and the ban order simultaneously showed that they were false cases. They had to withdraw the ban."

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