Law Minister Anisul Huq on Thursday claimed that BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman is no longer a Bangladeshi citizen.
"As long as Tarique Rahman had been in possession of a valid passport, he was a Bangladeshi citizen, but he surrendered his passport to the British government... How could he remain a Bangladeshi citizen?" he asked the question, while talking to reporters at his Bangladesh Secretariat office.
"When a Bangladesh national stays in the country, he or she does not have to have a passport. But when a Bangladeshi stays abroad, the only identity document is his or her passport."
Anisul further said: "I've heard of the ongoing debate over the issue. Tarique Rahman surrendered his passport to the British government and sought political asylum, which means he is no longer a Bangladeshi citizen.”
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The minister, however, added that they did not have any information about whether or not Tarique was granted political asylum there.
“Tarique is not a Bangladeshi citizen at this moment. But, that does not mean he will not be able to get back his citizenship.”
Responding to a question about broadcasting and publishing the BNP leader’s statements and speeches, Anisul urged the print and electronic media outlets to follow the High Court order that put an embargo on broadcasting, publishing and disseminating speeches and statements of Tarique.
Asked about the detention and subsequent release of bdjobs.com Chief Executive Officer AKM Fahim Mashroor under Section 57 of the Information and Communication Technology Act, the minister said he would ask law enforcers to carry out investigations before detaining anyone under this law.