Hasina ally approves of probe against her, Zia
May 2, 2007 - 2:52:24 PM

London/Dhaka, May 2 - Signalling a shift in loyalties, former Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina's long-time ally Kamal Hossein is supporting the current government's attempts to conduct probes against her and rival Khaleda Zia.

`Analysts said this indicates a possible parting of ways, even as Hasina prepares to return home from London after an abortive attempt by the government to exile her.

Both Hasina and Hossein, also in London, have expressed diametrically opposite views on political and constitutional issues raised at meetings of expatriate Bangladeshis.

While Hasina said the constitutional basis of the interim government led by Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed was 'weak' and demanded early elections, Hossein, a legal luminary, told another meeting that the government was 'constitutionally valid', United News of Bangladesh - news agency reported from London.

'Since the basis of the present caretaker government is weak, it can't stay in power for long,' she told a meeting organised by the Britain unit of the Awami League in East London.

Hasina said people fought for a free and fair election and they do not want any delay in holding the polls. She demanded early elections to maintain the democratic process.

However, Hossein held that both Hasina and Zia must 'answer for their deeds' when they were in power and the Ahmed regime was right in conducting probes into their governments' working, The Daily Star said.

Zia was prime minister twice, between 1991-96 and 2001-06. Hasina was in power in the intervening five years -.

Hossein's Gono Forum was part of the 14-party alliance that battled the Zia government and then the caretaker government last year. But Hossein's differences with Hasina, whose father he had served as Bangladesh's first law minister in the early 1970s, are well known.

'You all know why the elections could not be held within 90-day timeframe... So, this caretaker government cannot be stated illegal,' he said at a discussion with Bangladeshi expatriates at Malbury School in East London.

He said the people of Bangladesh would have to take appropriate decision to save the country, which is now in 'intensive care unit'.

'Corruption and terrorism have afflicted the society and now the mass awareness has been created like that of 1971 to get rid of this situation,' Hossein said.

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