Khaleda is ‘mentally strong’, Fakhrul says after meeting in jail

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is ‘mentally strong, but not doing well physically’, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has said.

The party’s secretary general visited the former prime minster in the old jailhouse on Nazimuddin Road in Dhaka on Saturday afternoon.

“Madam (Khaleda) is sick, very sick. Her condition hasn’t improved since I saw her the last time. It seemed to me that she was in pain,” Fakhrul told reporters after the meeting that lasted about an hour.

“But she is mentally very strong. She also urged the people not to lose mental strength,” he added.

The BNP leader last met the party chief on Apr 6. The former prime minister has been in jail since Feb 8 after a special court sentenced her to five years in prison for corruption in Zia Orphanage Trust.

The jail authorities allowed six of Khaleda’s relatives, but no BNP leaders, to meet her on the Eid-ul-Azha on Wednesday.

The authorities contacted Fakhrul on Saturday morning to inform him about the permission to meet her later in the day.

The BNP secretary general said he would sit with the party’s policymakers to discuss the details of the meeting.

“Madam urged the people to continue the struggle for democracy,” he said.

He also criticised the authorities for not allowing her relatives to take any food for her on the Eid day.