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‘Rejection of Bangladeshi citizenship will not pose a barrier to Tarique’s return’

  • Published at 08:07 pm April 24th, 2018
  • Last updated at 03:13 am April 25th, 2018
‘Rejection of Bangladeshi citizenship will not pose a barrier to Tarique’s return’
Even if the Acting Chairman of BNP Tarique Rahman boycotted his Bangladeshi citizenship, it will not pose a barrier for his return to the country, said former Law Minister Shafique Ahmed. “Although a British citizen, Tarique committed crimes as a Bangladeshi, and received the verdict on those crimes,” said Shafique in a press briefing held in his own chamber in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. When questioned whether an individual’s citizenship is revoked after the submission of the passport or not, Shafique replied: “Tarique went to the UK with a visa. However, his visa soon expired. Then the question can be raised: how is he living there now without a visa? Maybe that is why the State Minister assumed that Tarique had submitted his passport, to extend his term of residence there. “But we need to find out the truth behind such an act,” continued Shafique. “Did he surrender the passport, or did he just submit it for extending his visa’s term? We also need to find out whether Tarique has boycotted his Bangladeshi citizenship in favour of a British citizenship.” Explaining the legal aspects of the issue, the former law minister further said: “All passports have an expiration date. If it expires, who is going to renew it? Tarique obtained the passport from the Bangladesh government. If he wants to renew it, he has to do it with the Bangladesh government. The British government will not issue a passport.” Shafique said that the State Minister might have made a presumption that Tarique had submitted his passport to the British government to prove that he had lost his Bangladeshi citizenship. “If Tarique has indeed given up his Bangladeshi passport to the British government, then he will not remain a citizen of this country anymore,” said Shafique. “But we will only get proper information on this matter after the British government issues a statement. Or if the Bangladesh government investigates the matter further and provides us with the accurate information.” Replying to reporters’ questions about whether the state minister had provided information based on assumptions rather than facts, Shafique said: “The state minister only said that Tarique had submitted his passport. He did not say anything about what happened after that.” Asked about the validity of the legal notice sent to the state minister and three others in defense of Tarique Rahman, the former law minister said: “The legal notice would only have been valid if the state minister had not based his statement upon facts. The notice mentioned that actions based on civil and criminal codes of conduct will be taken if the notice goes unanswered. “There is no civil code of conduct involved here, as nobody was harmed,” said Shafique. “What crimes were committed here? The state minister only provided a statement of fact that Tarique has submitted his passport.” Talking about the steps that must be taken to bring Tarique back even after receiving a British citizenship, he said: “Tarique has not yet said that he has revoked his Bangladeshi citizenship. But even if he did, he committed crimes as a Bangladeshi, and the verdict on his crimes was declared in Bangladesh. “The Bangladesh government might as well want to bring him back through diplomatic discussions. There will be discussions on why the British government is not willing to return Tarique to Bangladesh.”
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