BNP today sought assistance from the government to bring back its vice chairman Sadeque Hossain Khoka from USA where he is undergoing treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan of New York.
“We want to urge the government that it should take initiative so that Khoka can come back to Bangladesh. We think the government should take this initiative,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
The party organised a doa seeking recovery of the former mayor of undivided Dhaka at the ground floor of the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters. The leaders also urged the people of the country to offer prayers for him.
Fakhrul said Khoka told his relatives and friends that he wanted to be buried in Bangladesh. Khoka’s son called Fakhrul saying they want to fulfil the wish of his father, he said.
Fakhrul said Khoka is fighting with his life in the hospital. “He was not only a leader of BNP but was a very popular politician across the country.”
“I met him (Khoka) several times in New York. At all times he said if he was not ill, he would return home and go to jail. But he has to go to doctor every week for check-up.”
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.
Ishraque said that Khoka and his wife Ishrat 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 was also fisheries and livestock minister, along with his wife went to the USA with travel visa for cancer treatment.
Khoka, who is also a freedom fighter, stepped into politics through Mawlana Bhasani’s National Awami Party (NAP).
Later, he joined BNP, and was made the party’s Dhaka city unit president.
Khoka was first elected MP in 1991. Later, he contested Dhaka City Corporation election in 2002 and was elected mayor. He held the post for nearly nine years.