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Tarique Zia lost legal, moral grounds to lead a party

BNP now in leadership crisis!

Published : Friday, 12 October, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 555
Observer Special

Given the sensational verdict on the August 21 grenade attack case delivered on Wednesday - the title of our commentary logically merits the question - BNP truly has become a party without a leader.

Analyzing the legal details of the verdict, it appears, the party is now without a leader. BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia is now in jail being convicted on a corruption case and she gave the party leadership to her son Tarique. Her fugitive son, now living in exile in London to escape  a sentence in corruption case, has lost his legal and moral ground  to lead BNP because of a life imprisonment sentence in the August 21 grenade attack case. It has been reported in media that he has surrendered his passport and sought  political asylum in the UK. He can't return and contest the life sentence ruling as he can not avail the opportunity to appeal. It is least likely that he will return and surrender before the court.

In fact, Tarique Zia's fate now appears to be interestingly familiar to Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in some respects. The former Pakistan PM had lost his premiership, party leadership and barred to contest
the recent election on legal grounds. After the party leadership was handed over to Tarique Zia by his mother, and following the technicalities of his conviction now, it's clearly understandable that BNP is now facing a serious leadership crisis. The lukewarm party response following the Wednesday's verdict indicates that BNP leaders and workers are not much enthusiastic to launch a serious movement against Tarique's conviction.

Analyzing from a different perspective, there are two key points which needs to be taken into serious consideration. First  according to the Election Commission's rule convicted persons cannot contest in local or national polls, and secondly on both legal as well as moral grounds convicted political leaders cannot lead a party.  On that note, Begum  Zia and her son in exile are both convicted political leaders and they lost legal and moral grounds to lead BNP.

The upcoming national polls is knocking at our door, and following the latest conviction of Tarique Zia, BNP has manifestly become a party without a leader.  It is now the duty of BNP leaders and workers to decide whether they will keep convicted persons as their party leaders and contest the ensuing general election with a clean image?



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