Khaleda Zia has left for London for a medical check-up and will return home after spending the Eid-ul-Azha with her eldest son Tarique Rahman.
The BNP chairperson boarded an Emirates Airlines regular flight with several family members and it took off from Shahjalal International Airport at around 9:35pm on Tuesday.
She was accompanied by her younger brother Shamim Eskander, his wife Kaniz Fatema, Khaleda’s Personal Secretary ABM Abdus Sattar and maid Fatema Akhter.
The former prime minister entered the airport through the VIP gate after senior BNP leaders saw her off.
Her spokesperson Maruf Kamal Khan earlier told bdnews24.com: “Appointments for her eye treatment and check-up in the UK have already been fixed.”
Khaleda’s late younger son Arafat Rahman Coco’s wife Sharmila Rahman Sithi and two daughters Jahiya Rahman and Jaisa Rahman are also expected to fly to London from Malaysia to spend the Eid there.
This is the BNP chief’s second visit of the UK after 2006. She dropped by at London in 2011 to visit Tarique while returning from the US.
The BNP senior vice-chairman has been living in London since 2007 and is wanted for the attempt on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s life (Aug 21 grenade attack).
Tarique had met Khaleda last year when she went to Saudi Arabia for Umrah. They have not met since.
Arafat Rahman Coco, who lived in Malaysia since 2011, died on Jan 24 this year.
Khaleda was scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia this year, too, for Umrah but changed plans at the last moment, citing the detention in jail of top party leaders.
In August, she had made preparations to go London but dropped her plans, sparking speculation in political circles.
Before her departure on to Tuesday, she met senior party leaders at her Gulshan office Sunday night and urged them to speed up the formation of grassroots-level committees.
Ruling Awami League leaders claim Khaleda was going to London to ‘plot more conspiracies’.