Bangladesh ex-PMs differ on foreign medical care

Hasina has been suffering from high blood pressure, eye problems and hearing impairment caused by grenade blasts in 2004 as Khaleda suffers from arthritis and problems in her knees, party officials and doctors

Bangladesh ex-PMs differ on foreign medical care
Detained former Bangladesh prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia ruled out on Sunday the possibility of going abroad for medical treatment, as was suggested by specialist doctors.

Another detained former prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, who like Khaleda faces corruption charges, told a court separately on Sunday that she would accept what doctors suggest in regard to overseas treatment.

If allowed to leave, it is unclear if the military-backed interim government would block their return ahead of elections planned for December.

"I won't go abroad for health treatment. I don't see a need to," Khaleda told lawyers and reporters during a court hearing of graft charge against her.

"Bangladesh has many good doctors. They can help in case of need," said Khaleda, dismissing speculation in the media and among officials that she might be going abroad soon.

But a lawyer quoted Khaleda's fellow ex-prime minister Hasina as telling a court: "I will follow what the doctors think would be best for me."

Hasina has been suffering from high blood pressure, eye problems and hearing impairment caused by grenade blasts in 2004. Khaleda suffers from arthritis and problems in her knees, party officials and doctors told reporters.

Government-appointed medical boards examined Hasina, Khaleda and her younger son Arafat Rahman separately in jails over the past two days, and suggested they might be sent overseas for further treatment.

Khaleda's elder son and likely political heir, Tareque Rahman, has also been sick in detention and his doctors told reporters on Sunday they might want him treated abroad.

Prison officials said doctors' reports had been sent to the Home (Interior) Ministry for a decision if they would send Hasina and Kaleda abroad, and when or where.

The former premiers, dozens of their ex-ministers and party colleagues, and Khaleda's sons were arrested after the interim government took over in January 2007, vowing to fight corruption.

Khaleda served two five-year terms as prime minister while Hasina served one. They are likely top contenders in the December polls if still in the country.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Haziran 2008, 08:21
YORUM EKLE