Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia will perform Umrah at a convenient time during Ramadan or after Eid-ul-Fitr, the party'sspokesperson Asaduzzaman Ripon said on Thursday.
Khaleda Zia was scheduled to leave Dhaka on July 8 for Saudi Arabia, where her son Tarique Rahman was also expected to arrive from London, his abode in exile, with his wife to perform Umrah and for a family reunion.
"That she postponed her Umrah visit is absolutely her personal decision," Dr Ripon told reporters, without making any reference to Tarique Rahman's plan to meet his mother in Makkah during the religious rites.
"She will visit Saudi Arabia during or after the month of Ramadan to perform Umrah," said Ripon, adding quickly that "Khaleda Zia may not go for Umrah this year as her health condition is not good."
Like in every other year, the Saudi government sent an invitation to Khaleda Zia to perform the Umrah as their guest of honour, Ripon said.
The BNP spokesman accused that different media of giving out speculative news regarding postponement of Khaleda Zia's visit.
Some media outlets published reports that Khaleda Zia was not going for Umrah this year as her son Tarique Rahman did not get a Saudi visa, which Ripon said was 'untrue."
Ripon also hit back at Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for telling parliament that Ziaur Rahman, Khaleda's husband and founder of BNP, had tried to obstruct her homecoming.
"The Prime Minister's information, no matter from which sources she got it, has no basis."
He said Zia had never believed in annihilating his opponents to cling to power. "He believed in multiparty democracy and knew it that Awami League was necessary to keep the multiparty democracy vibrant," Ripon added.