Asked whether BNP would take part in the upcoming general election on any condition keeping the party chairperson in jail or leaving her sick, secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, "We want to state it clearly that BNP will not join any election in Bangladesh keeping Sheikh Hasina in power. Question of condition or compromise doesn't arise at all."
The BNP leader urged the government to let the party's ailing chairperson Khaleda Zia go abroad for advanced treatment as soon as possible by ensuring a senior citizen's fundamental and constitutional rights.
"Receiving proper treatment is a fundamental right of a citizen. Begum Khaleda Zia is a senior citizen of the country. The constitution guarantees her right to life-saving treatment," he said.
Addressing at a press conference, on behalf of the BNP standing committee, at the party chairperson's Gulshan office, he said it is tantamount to ignoring the constitution by preventing Khaleda Zia from going abroad to get treatment for diseases that cannot be treated in the country.
“In fact, our leader (Khaleda) is being denied the medical protection enshrined by the Constitution. It's unfair, inhumane and unconstitutional,” the BNP leader said.
He said there is no scope to deprive a critically ill former prime minister, Begum Khaleda Zia, of advanced medical treatment abroad on the pretext of laws.
Fakhrul said the BNP chief's treatment is impossible in the country. "The government is pushing her towards death by depriving her of medical treatment on the excuses of the law with an ulterior motive."
He warned that the consequences for unjustly putting a political opponent to death can never be good. So, we again appeal to the government to allow our leader to go abroad for medical treatment as soon as possible by ensuring her basic and constitutional rights as a citizen."
Otherwise, the government will be held responsible for denying the constitutional rights of an important and popular senior citizen and for showing an illegal, inhumane and cruel attitude towards her.
On September 5, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's brother Shamim Iskandar submitted an application to the government, seeking her unconditional release and permission to take her abroad for her treatment at an "advanced medical centre" on an urgent basis to save her life.
However, the law ministry denied her permission to go abroad for better treatment, suggesting that she must first return to jail and apply to the court to get permission in this regard.
Khaleda has been undergoing treatment at Evercare Hospital in Dhaka since August 9 as she has been suffering from various ailments, including liver cirrhosis, arthritis, diabetes, kidney, lung, heart, and eye problems.
Asked what BNP may do as the government has denied Khaleda permission to go abroad, Fakhrul said the doctors are trying to provide her with the best possible treatment available in the country.
"We can’t forcibly take her abroad. It is not possible for us…we believe that the government's fall will be ensured through the people's movement and then it will be possible to ensure her better treatment," he said.
Fakhrul said Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal leader ASM Abdur Rob, who was in jail while serving a 10-year sentence in 1979 during the rule of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman, was allowed to go to Germany for treatment.
Similarly, he said Awami League leader Mohammad Nasim, who was sentenced to 13 years, was given scope by the 1/11 government to go abroad for treatment in 2008. "There are more such instances."
BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan and vice chairman Barkatullah Bulu were present at the press conference.