4 pledges secured release?
Source: Daily Star
September 12, 2008
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her elder son Tarique Rahman's release through seemingly transparent legal procedures, was actually part of a 4-point deal with the government, authoritative sources claim.
They say the army-backed caretaker government had a lengthy negotiation with Khaleda Zia who was totally cold towards the present regime but finally gave in and agreed to cooperate with them.
Under the agreement, Khaleda agreed to take part in dialogues with the government and also participate in the upcoming general election.
And accordingly, just five hours into her release, the former premier announced the four-point conditions put to her.
The BNP chairperson, for now,
claims that there is no split within the party. Meanwhile sources say she will soon take the steps to unite the party by accommodating the reformist leaders.
Sources say Khaleda Zia agreed to declare immediately after her release that BNP would join the current dialogue with the Election Commission and government, participate in the December parliamentary election and keep her son Tarique away from the upcoming parliamentary poll by sending him abroad for treatment and keeping him away for at least a few years.
And finally, that Khaleda would withdraw the expulsion order of ex-BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and joint secretary general Ashraf Hossain and accommodate the pro-reformist faction of the party.
The BNP leadership, of course, claims there was no deal regarding the releases of both Khaleda and Tarique, and that they were released completely on the merit of the legal process.
A competent source within the government said that Khaleda, prior to her release from the makeshift sub-jail, agreed that she would first make it clear to the public that Tarique is to go abroad for treatment and remain away from politics till he recovers fully.
A top ranking BNP leader, not wishing to be named, admitted that Tarique's absence from the next election was part of the deal between Khaleda and the government.
He, however, said that the BNP chairperson would not remain in the sidelines but be a frontrunner in the December election.