Bangladesh Jails Former Prime Minister Ms. Zia

Khaleda Zia, a former Prime Minister of Bangladesh, has been jailed for five years on charges of corruption.

The security forces in Bangladesh, however, clashed with tens of thousands of her supporters yesterday as her guilty verdict was announced.

Khaleda Zia, however, denied the charges brought against her that she misused the international funds donated to Prime Minister’s orphanage funds when she was elected Prime Minister for the first time in 1991.

Ms. Zia had been the Prime Minister of Bangladesh for three times. But Yesterday’s guilty verdict might bar her from parliamentary polls due later this year.

The long-time rival of the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has dozens of more cases pending which the opposition alleges as politically motivated.

The opposition parties in Bangladesh, have been going through catastrophe during the tenure of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as some of the top leaders of opposition political parties have either been jailed or sentenced to death amid erupting violence that continued during most of her tenure.

The latest guilty verdict of Khaleda Zia may lead the country to another phase of violence, political experts from Bangladesh fear.

Ms. Zia’s political party BNP, against the public perception, didn’t call for strikes what Bangladeshi opposition parties practice regularly.

When the top leaders of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, another opposition party, were jailed and sentenced to death, the country went through the days-long shutdown and enormous violence followed.

Following the election in 2014, boycotted by the opposition parties, Bangladesh Awami League and the allies turned out to be the only representative forces in the parliament of Bangladesh.

Jatiya Party, another ally of the main ruling Awami League party, became the opposition party and claimed some ministerial positions at the same time.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its allies, the main opposition forces, rejected the 2014 election and continued protests for months.

The protests turned deadly as the security forces of Bangladesh engaged in violence with the opposition activists.

The streets of Bangladesh saw a lot of cars getting burned and many people were wounded and burned even died, which the ruling Awami League accused the BNP of being responsible.

The BNP, however, accused the ruling party and its political wings of doing the violence to put a stigma in the anti-government protests; an accusation that Awami League denied.

After a Court in Bangladesh announced Khaleda Zia and her son, a senior vice chairman of the political party that she chairs, Tarique Rahman’s guilty verdict, instead of calling for strikes, BNP announced a peaceful public procession on Friday.

The political experts from Bangladesh believe that the arrest of Khaleda Zia and the reaction of his political party BNP probably reflects their political understanding from the violence of 2014 election when the party’s image was severely damaged because of the ensuing violence.


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