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Action on date in due course: Foreign Minister

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Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud said steps will be taken at the appropriate time to bring back BNP Acting Chairman Tarek Rahman, who is staying in London with a prison sentence in mind. He said this to reporters after a courtesy meeting with British High Commissioner Sarah Cook at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday afternoon.

The foreign minister said, ‘Our government is determined to carry out the punishment of any convicted accused. Tariq Rahman is also a convicted accused. The government will take action on that too at the appropriate time.’

Former Prime Minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s eldest son Tariq Rahman has been staying in the UK since 2008. He is leading the team from there.

Of the numerous cases filed against Tariq Rahman, he has been convicted in four so far. The government has been trying to bring him back to the country and execute the sentence. However, it was not possible as he was under political asylum in the UK. The government has discussed this with the representatives of the country several times. But the result did not match.

Tariq was acquitted by a trial court in 2013 in a money laundering case, but was later sentenced to 7 years in prison by the high court. In 2018, he was sentenced along with his mother Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Tarek was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In October of the same year, Tareq was sentenced to life in prison under several counts of the August 1 grenade attack case. He was also sentenced to 20 years imprisonment under another section of the Explosives Act.

Last year on August 2 last year, the court sentenced BNP Acting Chairman Tariq Rahman to 9 years imprisonment on the charge of acquiring wealth outside of known income. In the same case, his wife Zobaida Rahman was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.

Greetings from David Cameron

British High Commissioner Sarah Cook presented the greeting message of UK Foreign Minister David Cameron to the newly appointed minister in a courtesy meeting with Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmood.

In the greeting letter, David Cameron expressed hope that ‘bilateral relations with Bangladesh will deepen in the future’.

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmood told reporters, ‘UK has always been one of our development partners and friends. Even today, information and communication technology, cyber security, increasing investment, reducing inflation, combating the impact of climate change, increasing the ratio of taxes to GDP, and repatriation of Rohingyas have been discussed with the high commissioner.

The minister said, ‘The ratio of tax to GDP in our country is very low. It is also almost the lowest in the subcontinent. While the ratio of taxes to GDP in European countries is about 30 percent, our ratio is probably less than 10 percent. Discussions have been held on how to increase it and they are ready to cooperate.’

Hashan Mahmud said that the United Kingdom is sincerely cooperating in solving the Rohingya problem, “I also said in today’s meeting that the most important thing to solve the Rohingya problem is to ensure their citizenship rights and repatriate them to Myanmar.”

British High Commissioner Sarah Cook told reporters, ‘We have emphasized on strengthening bilateral relations. Besides, there were discussions about increasing trade and investment, strengthening security partners. In addition, the United Kingdom will work with Bangladesh on the effects of climate change, migration, Rohingya crisis.



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