The BNP yesterday sought assistance from the government to bring back its vice chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka, who is now in a critical condition at the New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
“We want to urge the government to take an initiative for bringing Khoka back in Bangladesh,” said Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary general of the party.
The party yesterday organised a doa mehfil seeking recovery of the former mayor of undivided Dhaka City Corporation at its Nayapaltan headquarters.
Fakhrul said Khoka told his relatives and friends that he wanted to be buried in Bangladesh.
He said Khoka’s son had told him over phone that he wanted to fulfil the final wish of his father.
“He was not only a leader of BNP, but a politician with nationwide popularity,” the BNP secretary general said.
He also requested the countrymen to pray for Khoka’s recovery.
Khoka’s son Ishraque Hossain yesterday told that Bangladesh consulate in New York informed them it will issue travel documents to Khoka and his wife to come to Bangladesh.
Ishraq said that Khoka and his wife Israt Hossain submitted their passports to the Bangladesh consultant office in New York for renewing those two years back but they were not given those until yesterday.
On May 14, 2014, Khoka, who also served as a fisheries and livestock minister, and his wife went to the USA with travel visa for cancer treatment.
The freedom fighter stepped into politics through Moulana Bhasani’s National Awami Party. Later, he joined the BNP, and was made the party’s Dhaka city unit president.
Khoka was elected as an MP in 1991. Later, he contested Dhaka City Corporation election in 2002 and was elected mayor. He held the post for nearly nine years.
The government has said its Mission in New York is ready to issue ‘travel permit’ if the family of former mayor of Dhaka City Corporation Sadeque Hossain Khoka applies for that.
“Our Mission (in New York) will take necessary steps if Sadeque Hossain Khoka’s family applies for travel permit,” State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said in a message shared on his Facebook wall on Sunday.
GOVT TO ISSUE TRAVEL PERMIT
Meanwhile, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam yesterday wrote in his Facebook wall that the Bangladesh Mission in New York is ready to issue “travel permit” for Khoka and his wife if the family applies for it, reports UNB.
He said travel permit is the only internationally-recognised method for sending Khoka and his wife back to Bangladesh as they do not have valid passports.
“I’ve conveyed the decision to our Consulate in New York,” said the state minister.