The Bangladeshi caretaker government on Wednesday imposed ban on former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's return to the country from the United States in apprehension of jeopardizing law and order, stability, public security and economic life.
Hasina, President of Awami League (AL), Bangladesh's main political party, was scheduled to return home on April 23 ending her more than a month long private visit to the United States.
The ban on Hasina came within days of local newspaper reports that immediate past Prime Minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia would go for exile in Saudi Arabia before April 22.
A press note issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday said all immigration departments at air and land ports, all flight operating authorities to Bangladesh and all other concerned authorities have been apprised of taking necessary actions in this respect.
The press note said the Foreign Ministry, Civil Aviation Authority and the Inspector General of Police were requested to take necessary measures to stop Hasina to return home.
Explaining the government decision, the press note said the government was learnt from reliable sources that Sheikh Hasina might return home from the United States on April 23.
It said, recently, under Hasina's leadership, Awami League and different political parties resorted to irresponsible non-stop movement and activities that battered public discipline and put security and economic life at stake. Consequently, the state of emergency was promulgated in the country on Jan. 11 this year.
The press note said while staying abroad Hasina addressed different meetings and rallies and gave interviews to national and international media when she issued provocative and divisive statements against present Bangladeshi caretaker government and law enforcing agencies.
Under the circumstances, the press note said if Sheikh Hasina returned home this time, she might make provocative remarks like the past and create hatred and confusion through her activities against the public discipline.
As a result, the press note said, law and order might be deteriorated, prevailing stability disturbed and public safety and economic life jeopardized.
The press note mentioned that Hasina herself is concerned about her personal security and requested the government for special security measures.
For these reasons, the press note said the government has taken special cautionary measures about Hasina's return home at this time in the public interest.
This measure is temporary, said the press note.
Immediate comments from Hasina or her party on the government ban was not available.
According to Bangladeshi Constitution, a caretaker government supervises the country's general elections within three months after it takes office. The former ruling BNP-led four-party government headed by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia ended its five-year tenure on Oct. 27, 2006 and handed over power to the caretaker government headed by Bangladeshi President Iajuddin Ahmed.
As the two major parties, BNP and AL, could not make consensus on a series of problems, the political crisis deteriorated in the country. Under this situation, President Iajuddin Ahmed had to declare a state of emergency, canceling the election and banning political activities, and resigned from the post of chief advisor of caretaker government on Jan. 11 this year.
Former central bank governor Fakhruddin Ahmed took oath as the new chief advisor of caretaker government on Jan. 12.