Convicted BNP leader Tarique Rahman, who has been living in Britain on exile since 2007 is facing tremendous pressure from a large number of leading figures of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for immediately returning to Bangladesh to his ailing mother, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who too is serving imprisonment on corruption case and charges of stealing orphanage fund. Meanwhile, according to highly-placed source in the UK Home Ministry, Tarique Rahman is going to receive his British passport sometime next month, as he already has started pursuing to expedite the process of issuance of it. Earlier, Tarique Rahman’s daughter Barrister Zaima Rahman has obtained British passport.
Back in 2018, Tarique Rahman, his wife Dr. Zubaida Rahman and daughter Zaima Rahman, had gained permanent residency there.
The source has confirmed that Tarique Rahman has received Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) from the British government, which allows him to stay in UK for an indefinite period of time. The insider, on condition of anonymity, revealed that Tarique applied for political asylum in Britain after he visited the country for medical care in 2008. Taking his physical condition and other issues under consideration, the United Kingdom Immigration Service gave Tarique permission to stay in Britain for two and a half years. He later applied for extending his visa, which was granted by the British government. After five years, Tarique Rahman was granted permanent residency in 2013, as per the country’s immigration law.
The process that allowed Tarique Rahman to gain permanent residency in the UK is, under the existing laws of the United Kingdom, the government can permit a person seeking political asylum to stay, while a person can also get a visa on humanitarian grounds, even if his or her application for political asylum is not granted. If a person is granted asylum, he will initially get a visa for a five-year stay. Later, the person will get indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as per the immigration law, which is basically the same as permanent residency in Britain. If a person is allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds, he would get a six-year visa in two phases. After that period is over, the person will get ILR in the UK. So, as per the British law, Tarique Rahman should get permanent residency or the ILR by now.
According to the British immigration law, one year after getting the indefinite leave, a person becomes eligible for UK citizenship.
A credible source inside BNP also has confirmed stating, “Tarique Rahman is a legal resident of the UK”.
Tarique Rahman, who has been serving as the acting chairman of the BNP, is engaging in diplomatic maneuvers, either by himself, or through his advisors. He also had managed to get visas from numerous countries, and visited Saudi Arabia and several European countries in the past years.
In 2018, a Canadian court had termed the BNP as terrorist organization, while delivering verdict in a case filed over immigration of a former Chhatra Dal leader. Tarique Rahman reacted by sending one of his advisors [who is a lawyer] to Canada. The advisor submitted various documents at the Canadian High Court during a review of the case. Due to Tarique’s initiatives, the Canadian High Court declined to term the BNP a terrorist organization.
Tarique Rahman unwilling to return to Bangladesh
A source said, despite massive pressure from a number of key figures of BNP, Tarique Rahman is unwilling to return to Bangladesh at this moment. The source further said, Tarique Rahman and his key aide Mia Nuruddin Opu and friend Giauddin Mamun have been telling few of their contacts that he [Tarique] will only return to Bangladesh by the end of 2022, stating, they have been told by Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Agency (ISI) of a “favorable atmosphere”, which would be created in Bangladesh by that time.
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