The Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Wednesday said that the government was pushing the party’s imprisoned chairperson Khaleda Zia towards death and now the party’s main task was to save her life.

The party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a press briefing after a joint meeting of the party at its central office at Naya Paltan in Dhaka said,  ‘Saving madam’s (Khaleda) life is now the main task for us because the government is taking madam towards death in a planned way.’

‘We want to free her. We want to save her life. We want to take her to the people after her recovery from illness. We are going to the people to mobilise them to free her. As a political party, this is our task now,’ he said.  

Fakhrul made the comment a day after family members met Khaleda at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University. After the meeting, Khaleda’s sister Selima Islam had told reporters that she was seriously ill and the doctors were giving untrue information about her health. She asked the government to free her without any condition for advanced treatment.

On Tuesday, Khaleda’s brother Shamim Iskander submitted an appeal to BSMMU vice-chancellor seeking the university’s recommendation to the government for taking her abroad for advanced treatment at the cost of the family.

Vice-chancellor Kanak Kanti Barua told New Age that the issue was involved with the court as the former prime minister was under the jail custody and that advanced treatment for Khaleda was possible at BSMMU.

He said that he would forward the letter to the medical board formed for Khaleda’s treatment and they would sit in a meeting over the issue at a suitable time.

Asked about the move by Khaleda’s family for her treatment abroad or was there any chance of Khaleda’s seeking parole, Fakhrul said that the party was unaware about the family’s correspondence with the BSMMU authorities and the family did not inform them anything about it.

He said that the party central committee, as per their scheduled countrywide demonstration demanding Khaleda’s release, would bring out a procession from the central office on Saturday at 2:00pm and the procession would end at National Press Club after parading the main city streets.

He said that the party was trying to release her through legal ways.

Fakhrul said that they had met the home minister over Khaleda’s release as she was seriously ill and that the party MPs also raised the issue in parliament.

‘Now, the whole issue depends on the government. The ball is in their court,’ he said.

BNP leaders Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, Khairul Kabir Khokon, Habib-un Nabi Khan Sohel, and Mir Sharafat Ali Sapu, among others were present.

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