Director General (DG) of Department of Immigration and Passports (DIP), Brigadier General Md Masud Rezwan, said there is no correlation between a person’s passport and citizenship.
“A Bangladeshi national staying abroad can return home anytime, even if he or she lacks a passport” he said, adding that BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman currently has no passport.
Masud Rezwan made these comments while addressing a press briefing held at the DIP Conference Hall in Dhaka’s Agargaon area, Thursday morning.
The DIP DG said: “Tarique Rahman currently does not have his passport. He returned his passport in 2014 but did not apply for its renewal.
He is staying in the UK without it, and only the British government knows how Tarique was allowed to stay there.”
“Tarique left Bangladesh in 2008. He did not have a machine readable passport at that time. His passport expired in 2010, and he surrendered it in 2014. He cannot apply for a new passport without his national ID card (NID) and he has to come home to get it.”
Masud Rezwan added: “If Tarique Rahman decides to return home he will have to get a travel pass from the Bangladesh High Commission in London.”
“However, coming back home is entirely his decision. If the Bangladesh government wants to bring Tarique back it will have to figure out a legal way to do so.”
Pointing out that Tarique Rahman is a convicted criminal, the DIP DG said: “Under the Passport Act, a convicted criminal jailed for more than two years cannot get a passport. So, we will not issue a passport to Tarique.”
“The law also dictates that passports of such convicted criminals must be seized and they are not allowed to leave their home country.”