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Hasina exiled, Zia continues to resist

The Govt succeed in blocking the return of Sheikh Hasina, from London, telling the British Airways not to issue her a boarding pass.

world Updated: Apr 23, 2007 15:34 IST

Uncertainty continues in Bangladesh's political arena as Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed's government and its military backers face continued resistance from former prime minister Khaleda Zia to be sent out to Jeddah as part of a "deal".

On Sunday evening, Khaleda was staunchly resisting intense persuasion from the authorities to go into exile.

However, the government has succeeded in blocking the return of another former premier, Sheikh Hasina, from London, telling the British Airways not to issue her a boarding pass.

The British airliner let it be known that Dhaka had conveyed that there would be difficulties in operations to and from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Air Force was deployed at the Zia International Airport and was placed in charge of all security arrangements, the Daily Star said on Monday.

Reports from London said "a tearful Hasina" vowed to "return home for sure", being "the daughter of the Father of the Nation".

"Today an arrest warrant has been issued against me. Before that they imposed a ban on my return. I am ready to accept any consequences in the country. I want to be back with my people on my own soil. Whatever be my fate, I will return to Bangladesh," she said.

She would remain in London and plan her moves.

This is Hasina's second exile. She was in Germany with her family when her father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, then Bangladesh president, was assassinated in a military-led coup on Aug 15, 1975. She moved to India and lived in New Delhi under tight security for nearly six years.

However, the Bangladesh government's plans to send Zia into exile received a serious setback when the Dhaka High Court on Sunday asked the government to explain within five days if she was interned at home.

Responding to a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of Zia, a division bench of the court issued a rule upon the government to explain within five days why she should not be brought before the court "to satisfy that she is not interned in her Dhaka cantonment residence", Star Online reported.

The bench comprising Justices MA Wahhab Mian and Emdadul Haque gave the ruling as the government side "apparently could not satisfy" the court that Zia was not house-confined.