Former Bangladesh PM Khalida Zia's British Legal Counsel Denied Entry Into India

The attack on an Awami League rally on August 21, 2004 targeted Sheikh Hasina, now the prime minister of Bangladesh.

New Delhi: British parliamentarian Lord Alexander Carlile, a top British lawyer and legal counsel for former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khalida Zia, was denied entry India on Wednesday.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, Raveesh Kumar said, "Lord Carlile arrived in New Delhi on July 11, 2018 without having obtained the appropriate Indian visa. His intended activity in India was incompatible with the purpose of his visit as mentioned in his visa application."

Carlile was denied entry into India and was deported soon. He was expected to hold a press briefing on Thursday afternoon at Delhi's Hotel Le Meridien. It is believed that his press briefing was regarding the ongoing cases against his client and chief of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Khalida Zia.

Bangladeshi media had reported earlier quoting BNP leaders that the party would facilitate a press briefing in Delhi where Lord Carlile would talk about the present political situation of Bangladesh and why Zia was put behind bars.

Zia has been lodged in jail on charges of corruption since February. The 72-year-old former Prime Minister of Bangldesh has not been appearing for court hearings due to poor health.

In the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case she managed to get yet another bail citing ill health. However, sitting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has alleged that Zia is faking her illness.

Sheikh Hasina is largely perceived as a friend of India. She has been tackling forces inimical to India with deft. She has also come down heavily on hardliners in her country. But Zia's party has been alleging that cases against their leader are politically motivated to keep her out of the electoral arena.

Bangladesh media also reported that Lord Carlile was supposed to physically appear on May 8 at the hearing for Zia in the Appellate Division in Dhaka. He was, however, denied a visa. It was after this that the BNP decided to facilitate a press conference in Delhi.