Zia gets Saudi visa, Hasina back home in a week
Apr 27, 2007 - 1:03:38 PM

Dhaka, April 27 - Former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia has been given a three-month Saudi visa to perform 'umra', while her arch rival Sheikh Hasina won't be home from London for another week or so, media reports said Friday.

Awami League leaders fear that their chief Hasina could be 'harassed' on return, since the government has pressed murder and extortion charges against her.

Zia's itinerary was not known, but she received her visa from the Saudi embassy Thursday. The Saudi authorities had withheld a decision on the visa following representations on her behalf that she was being forced out of the country.

Restrictions on the two former prime ministers were recently removed by the caretaker government - while Zia was being sent to Saudi Arabia on virtual exile, Hasina had been barred from boarding the flight to Dhaka.

With the curbs lifted, Zia received leaders of her Bangladesh Nationalist Party - and visited the home of her brother, Major - Syed Mohammed Iskander in downtown Dhaka, New Age newspaper said Friday.

Awami League leaders said they were preparing a welcome reception for Hasina.

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