Bid to oust Zia, Hasina a wrong decision: Bangladesh
Apr 27, 2007 - 11:49:14 AM
Dhaka, April 27 - Efforts to keep out former Bangladesh prime ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina followed 'a wrong decision', a top official said, adding that the government had the 'courage to correct its mistakes'.
'The government took a temporary decision after considering the present situation... It is indeed a courageous government that does not hesitate to correct its decision if it has made a mistake,' said Mainul Hosein, an adviser to the law, justice and parliamentary affairs ministry who performs ministerial functions in Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed's interim government.
The New Age newspaper Friday said the official was replying to queries about the sudden change in the government decision to keep Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina out of the country and to compel Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia to leave the country for 'a prolonged stay' in Saudi Arabia.
Efforts to send out Zia and her family members did not succeed as the Saudi Arabian embassy declined to issue visas, and Qatar and the United Arab Emirates - followed suit, as the perception was that she was being sent out against her wishes after a 'deal' that was never acknowledged by the government.
Media reports said Zia supposedly agreed to the 'deal', then played for time and finally backed out.
The interim government Wednesday lifted the ban imposed earlier on Hasina's return to Bangladesh and then said that there was no bar on the movements of Zia - who was until now being confined in her house.
The home affairs ministry said it had withdrawn the press note issued April 18 that imposed a ban on Hasina's return from the US.
Meanwhile, the government has ordered the Bangladesh Bank, the country's central bank, and commercial banks to furnish details of accounts held by the two women leaders and 82 other high-profile politicians and businessmen.
Quoting unnamed sources, media reports Friday said Zia had 48 bank accounts, while Hasina, with 'huge balances', operated fewer accounts, mostly with state sector Sonali, Janata and Agrani banks.
'She - has a 'huge balance' with different branches of the state-run Agrani Bank,' a central bank official told the United News of Bangladesh - news agency. However, she has 'very negligible amounts' in other banks.
The commercial banks also submitted account statements of Hasina's younger sister Sheikh Rehana to the central bank, the official added.
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