12:00 AM, July 20, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 20, 2014

Trip to serve 3 purposes

Trip to serve 3 purposes

Staff Correspondent

It's a three-in-one tour.
There will be Umrah, family reunion and political meetings when Khaleda Zia visits Saudi Arabia this week with her two sons -- Tarique Rahman from the UK and Arafat Rahman Koko from Malaysia -- joining her there.
Khaleda left for Saudi Arabia in an Emirates flight around 9:45 last night at the invitation of the Saudi government.
Tarique and Koko along with their families will also go to Saudi Arabia this week, turning the Umrah tour into an occasion for a family reunion after more than six years.
Following the 1/11 political changeover in 2007, Khaleda and her sons were arrested in different graft charges. After their release in 2008, Tarique along with his wife and daughter went to London while Koko flew to Thailand for treatment with his family members.
Since then Tarique, senior vice-chairman of BNP, has been staying in London while Koko later moved to Malaysia and has been staying there.
Khaleda met Koko in Singapore in 2012 and Tarique in London the same year. But the whole family could not be together since 2007.
The BNP chief and her elder son Tarique will also discuss a range of political issues that will include holding a council of the party, overhauling the organisation and forging an anti-government movement after Eid, party sources said.
Tarique, who is now playing a major role in determining BNP's strategic decisions, will try to convince her mother to wage the movement and carry on the revamp process simultaneously, sources close to Khaleda said.
The former premier usually performs Umrah as a royal guest of the Saudi government every year.
Apart from Khaleda's family members, her personal staff and some BNP leaders are accompanying her during the Umrah. Khaleda is expected to return home on July 25.



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