BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Sunday lamented that their party Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia is now on her deathbed for lack of necessary advanced treatment abroad.

Speaking at a doa and milad mahfil, he also accused Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of intentionally depriving Khaleda of advanced medical treatment overseas out of personal political vendetta, with the intention of leading to her death.

“It’s our misfortune that our leader Khaleda Zia is now in critical condition on her deathbed without receiving any (necessary) medical treatment (abroad),” the BNP leader said.

He alleged that the BNP chief has been imprisoned for a long period due to the vindictiveness of the current “oppressive fascist” government.

"In completely fabricated cases, she has been imprisoned with the intention to remove her from politics. Although she was allowed to stay at home, she is actually under complete confinement and remains imprisoned," Fakhrul said.

He said Khaleda fell ill while staying in Old Dhaka Central Jail, but no medical treatment was provided to her there.

"She complained repeatedly, but the government did not pay heed and did not provide her with medical care. Later, when she was taken to the hospital (by the jail authorities), she did not receive any proper treatment there either," the BNP leader said.

He said the government had granted Khaleda permission to stay at her residence in Gulshan, with the stipulation that she could not leave the country and must receive treatment locally.

“The medical board at Evercare Hospital has consistently stated that treating Madam's (Khaleda's) illness here in Bangladesh is not possible. To address her various problems, she requires treatment at a multidisciplinary hospital in a developed country," Fakhrul said.

He also said their party, Khaleda’s family, civil society members, foreign missions, the EU, and international organisations have consistently appealed to the government to authorise her treatment at a specialised medical facility abroad.

“But Sheikh Hasina out of her personal political vendetta has denied Khaleda access to better medical treatment in order to kill her and to remove her from politics,” alleged the BNP leader.

Describing the BNP chairperson's physical condition as 'alarming,' he said Khaleda Zia is enduring great suffering. “She now stands at the crossroads of life and death.”

Fakhrul urged opposition leaders and workers to wholeheartedly pray for Khaleda's well-being and her speedy recovery. "Not only must we pray for her, but we must also do whatever we can for her proper treatment."

He recalled that Khaleda led the nation in the movement to restore democracy, eliminating autocracy, and strengthened democracy in this country by introducing parliamentary democracy.

“She ensured the voting rights of the people by incorporating the caretaker government system in the constitution. She worked for the economic emancipation of the people. That’s why foreign newspapers used to brand Bangladesh as an emerging tiger,” the BNP leader said.

In an emotion-choked voice, Fakhrul appealed to the party leaders and workers to pray to Almighty Allah for Khaleda's swift recovery and return among them, to lead the nation in defeating the current government. "Let us pray to Allah for His grace and blessings so that we can stand on our own feet."

As part of the party’s countrywide programme, BNP arranged a doa and milad mahfil at its Nayapaltan central office.

BNP's Standing Committee members Mirza Abbas, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Nazrul Islam Khan, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, Vice-Chairmen Abdul Awal Mintoo, Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Asaduzzaman Ripon, Chairperson’s Advisory Council Member Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Joint Secretaries General Shahiduddin Chowdhury Anne, Syed Emran Saleh Prince, and Abdus Salam Azad, among others, were present.

Earlier on Saturday night, the party announced that its all city and district units would arrange prayers like doa and milad mahfil on Sunday, seeking divine blessings for Khaleda’s speedy healing.

Khaleda Zia was rushed to Evercare Hospital in an ambulance at around 3:30 am on Saturday as she suddenly fell ill at her residence, 'Firoza' in Gulshan. She was quickly admitted to the CCU, where her medical treatment began under the supervision of a medical board.

The former prime minister, aged 79, has long been battling various ailments, including liver cirrhosis, arthritis, diabetes, and issues related to the kidney, lung, heart, and eyes.

Since her conditional release from prison in 2020, the BNP chief has been receiving medical care frequently at the hospital under the supervision of a medical board headed by cardiologist Prof. Shahabuddin Talukder.

Khaleda's doctors have been advising sending her abroad since she was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis in November 2021.

On October 26 last year, three US specialist doctors completed a hepatic procedure known as the transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS procedure) to stop water accumulation in Khaleda’s stomach and chest, and bleeding in her liver.