Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accused main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia of receiving money from Pakistani spy agency ISI ahead of 1991 general elections in the country.
"You (Zia) sold the country (interest) by taking money from those who resorted to genocide. The people of Bangladesh won't forgive you. Why did you take money from the defeated forces?," Hasina said on Wednesday at a huge rally organised by her ruling Awami League.
"People want to know. One day you have to answer to the people," she said.
Hasina's comments came four days after the UAE-based Khaleej Times reported that ISI paid Zia Rs 50 crore ahead of the 1991 elections "to help her in polls against Hasina Wajid's (Wajed's) Awami League generally perceived by Pakistan's security establishment as pro-India".
BNP, however, rejected the report with its senior standing committee member Rafiqul Islam Mia calling it "absolutely false and ridiculous".
"It is beyond imagination that a party like BNP would take money from a foreign organisation for election campaign," Mia said.
But Hasina alleged that after accepting the money Zia became obligated to defend the Bengali-speaking perpetrators of 1971 Liberation War time "crimes against humanity" that was why she was now desperately trying to obstruct their trial process.
"You (Zia) will not be able to save the war criminals... The trials will be completed on the soil of Bangladesh," she added.