BNP leaders are requesting to remove Tarique Zia from the party. After the verdict of the 21 August grenade attack case, Tarique is not under the leadership of the party. Top leaders are pressing for a quick decision about that. It is learned that at least two members of the BNP standing committee and a number of influential leaders of BNP have suggested that Tarique be removed from the leadership. Lt Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman is one of the members of BNP standing committee. After the verdict of the grenade attack on August 10, he told the party`s secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir that BNP`s reaction after the verdict is fair. However, in the legal battle, BNP participated and lost. For now, it would be a prudent decision to remove Tarique from the top position of BNP. For the sake of argument, he told the party`s secretary, it is not acceptable at the international level. It would not be acceptable to the international community the way we are talking about the judges that they have not been neutral or given a fair verdict. It will not be accepted internationally. For this reason, Tarique should now be removed from the leadership for the sake of rebuilding the image of BNP.
Another member of the standing committee Abdul Moyeen Khan expressed a similar opinion. Yesterday, he held a meeting with a number of officials of the Indian Embassy. He shared his personal opinion at the meeting. He said that he also believes Tarique should no longer be the acting chairman. He gave two reasons for this. One is the verdict of 21 August grenade attack case. The other is that Tarique has been abroad for a long time. He thinks that during this crisis, there should be an acting chairman who can be available always and make decisions. Tarique is unable to meet his party leaders due to his current situation. Moyeen Khan told the diplomats, "Even though I think the verdict on August 21 was not completely neutral or free from any influence."
Another influential leader of BNP Major (Retd) Abdul Hafiz told the party`s secretary general that Tarique should be removed from the leadership for the interest of the party`s image. He believes that this verdict might be influenced or biased. But Tarique has no option other than removing himself from the position to keep his party`s image clean to the international community. He believes because of Tarique, the image of BNP is getting slandered. People cannot accept BNP. He also believes that in the international arena, the acceptability of BNP is coming down to zero due to Tarique`s `terrorist` image. Tarique will have to step down as acting chairman of the party temporarily. He told the secretary general, if Tarique removes himself, it will be systematical. If he does not feel the obligation to step down, we should request him to step down. Several other BNP leaders also agreed to remove Tarique from his current role.
Discomfort and objections regarding Tarique at the international and national level are not unknown to anyone. But nobody dares to say this to Tarique. However, recently Koko`s wife Syeda Sharmila Rahman Sithi came to Dhaka. Within a day or two, she will meet Begum Khaleda Zia. Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir conveyed the party`s attitude to Sithi. However, Khaleda Zia will take the final decision in this regard, a credible source confirmed.
Sithi, Dr. Mahabub, and Shamim Iskander will meet Khaleda Zia. They will ask for Khaleda`s opinion on this matter. If Khaleda says `yes`, perhaps, Tarique is likely to step down.