BNP leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka, who is living in the United States, said, ‘Tarique is a big player. Those consider him insignificant have lost before. The verdict of 21 August grenade attack is the outcome of ‘underestimating’ Tarique Zia.’ Today morning, Khoka expressed his feelings among the expatriates in New York.
The former president of BNP Dhaka Metropolitan is currently staying in New York for his cancer treatment. Although he is away from the country, he passes his time discussing politics with this close friends. While the court was delivering its verdict on the 21 August grenade attack case, at least five BNP workers were in his house. In New York time, the verdict was announced after midnight. Hearing the verdict, Khoka burst into laughter. He said, ‘Babar and Pintu only followed the direction of Tarique Zia. If the followers of the order were given death sentence, how could the person who directed the order get the life sentence?’ The workers also agreed with his remarks. Later, he narrated the story of misdeeds of Tarique Zia. He said, ‘He is a talented person, but he uses it in doing evil deeds. Earlier, the lower court acquitted Tarique in the money laundering case. He may live in London; he keeps each development of Dhaka.’
Expressed grief for Lutfozzaman Babar he said, ‘He wanted to resign. But he was forced to do this.’
Dr. Kamal Siddiqui, principal secretary to former prime minister Khaleda Zia, also was surprised hearing the verdict. The former bureaucrat, who is now a professor at Monash University in Australia, said, ‘If all the planning were made in the Hawa Bhaban, it proves everything. And if Tarique is the main plotter, this verdict should surprise us a little.’ He said, ‘I cannot express anything without seeing the whole verdict. But, the way I saw the incident, Tarique and Harris Chowdhury should have been sentenced to the highest punishment.’ He believes Tarique ran the party from 2001 to 2006. He treated Babar and Pintu like servants. He said, ‘Frankly speaking, I was surprised to see the penalties. But I should not comment on this without reading the whole verdict.’
However, both Khoka and Dr. Kamal Siddiqui see this verdict as a big event for the country.