Khaleda likely to embark on 2-week UK tour this month

346 desk, July 7: BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is likely to go to the United Kingdom (UK) in the third week of this month on a personal tour for nearly two months, reports UNB.

BNP leaders close to Khaleda said she may return home from the UK after celebrating the Eid-ul-Azha there with her family members, including her eldest son and party senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman, who has long been living there.

According to the leaders, BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, vice chairman Abdul Awal Mintoo, executive committee member Tabith Awal and one or two young leaders are also expected to visit the UK during her stay there.

BNP special secretary Asaduzzaman Ripon who was also scheduled to go the UK on July 14 cancelled his tour due to professional businesses.

Khaleda had first planned to go to the UK on July 7 (today), but it was rescheduled for July 15 as she could not decided on party’s some organisational issues as she is going to stay there for a long time.

Party leaders said she may change her schedule again, but she will surely go there by the third week of this month.   Contacted, Ripon said Khaleda will go to the UK for her eye treatment soon. “It’s her quite personal tour. She’ll receive treatment there and pass time with her family members. Her visit has no political link.”

He also said two or three personal staff of the BNP chief may go with her to the UK. “But no political leaders will be included as her entourage since it’s a private tour.”

Ripon, however, said some BNP leaders may go to the UK at the same time for their personal affairs and engagements.   The BNP leader said the British Parliament invited Amir Khasru to join a seminar on Bangladesh there, which is scheduled to be held on July 18. “But I won’t be able to join it for my personal engagement here.”

Asked when the BNP chief is going to the UK, he said it is not before July 13 as she will have to appear before the court on that day. “It’s crucial for her to go to the UK to receive her eye treatment. So, party senior leaders are suggesting her to go to the UK as soon as possible for the treatment.”

Replying to another question if she may return home after Eid, Ripon said it is not decided yet, but it may take some time for her treatment and its follow up check up.

He said the BNP chief also celebrated Eid-ul-Azha there with her family members when she went to the UK for treatment in 2015.   Amir Khasru said he is going to the UK on July 14 to join the British Parliament’s seminar. “But, the exact schedule of our chairperson’s tour is not finalized yet.”

BNP standing committee member Khandaker Mosharraf said there is no possibility of presenting their party’s proposal on election-time supportive government now as Khaleda is going to London shortly.   On her return home from there, he said Khaleda will unveil it before people.

Another party standing committee member, wishing anonymity, said the BNP chief will finalise some crucial decisions on the next election, waging movement, filling the vacant posts in the standing committee and executive committee and formation of some important district committees and selecting party candidates for next election in consultation with Tarique Rahman during the visit.

“Our party’s strategies for the fresh movement and next general election will be finalised during her visit,” the BNP leader added.

Earlier on September 16, 2015, Khaleda went to London for her eye treatment and celebrating Eid-ul-Azha there with her family members.   Though it was a two-week tour, Khaleda returned home on November 21, over two months later, triggering various speculations.