Tarique Rahman

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Tarique Rahman
তারেক রহমান
Leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party
Assumed office
9 February 2018
Preceded byKhaleda Zia
Personal details
Born (1967-11-20) 20 November 1967 (age 51)[1]
Dhaka, Pakistan (now In Bangladesh)
Political partyBangladesh Nationalist Party
Spouse(s)Zubaida Rahman
ChildrenZaima Rahman
MotherKhaleda Zia
FatherZiaur Rahman
RelativesArafat Rahman (brother)
ResidenceLondon, United Kingdom

Tarique Rahman (also spelled as Tareq Rahman; born 20 November 1967) is a Bangladeshi politician. He is the current acting chairman of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).[2]

Background and education[edit]

Rahman addressing a grass-roots council

Rahman is the son of Ziaur Rahman and Begum Khaleda Zia. He was born on 20 November 1967 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His father was the 7th President of Bangladesh and his mother served as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.

He studied at Saint Joseph Higher Secondary School (Dhaka) and Dhaka Residential Model College after he passed SSC from the DRMC. At first, he enrolled at Dhaka University in Law in 1984 then shifted to Public Administration Department of the University. But he couldn’t complete the education, being dropped out from the study, picked up business as a career and invested in garments business.[3]

Political career[edit]

In 1988, Rahman started his political career as a primary member of the party's Gabtali Upazila and later Bogra District committee member.[4]

Rahman actively assembled support for the party during the national elections of 1991, when the transition was taking place from the autocratic ruling to the democratic government. He was a member of the BNP’s National Campaign Strategy Committee, and was also responsible for coordinating the election campaigns in five constituencies from which his mother Khaleda Zia was contesting.[5] During that period, he proactively organized the BNP units of Bogra and changed the inherent cultures to make politics more production and development oriented.[5]

After the BNP's success in the national elections of 1991 and the formation of the new government, Rahman was offered a senior role in the party as recognition of his contributions. However, he was reluctant to take up a higher position in order to have enough time to strengthen the party at the grassroots level. For many years, he remained active in developing the Bogra units of the BNP. During the national elections of 1996, the party grassroots and the senior leadership requested Rahman to contest a constituency from Bogra. But he declined the offer with a view to furthering his work at the grassroots levels and coordinating the election campaigns for his mother.[6]

During the ruling of the Awami League government in 1996–2001, Rahman mobilized movements against the actions of the government. He actively campaigned to address issues of economic deprivation and started championing a countrywide consultation program aimed at publicizing the plight of the people living in rural areas.[4]

This large-scale program, the first in the history of Bangladesh of this nature, drove mass mobilization against the government, which in turn, played an instrumental role in fostering the return of the BNP to power. He established the secret ballot system in Bogra to elect leaders through open council.[7]

In the national elections held in 2001, the party won a landslide victory with a two-thirds majority.[8] There was immense pressure on Rahman from the party grassroots, as well as the national leadership, to assume a position within the government. But he repeatedly refused and pledged to keep working within the party.

In June 2002, he was appointed as Joint Secretary General of BNP by its Standing Committee. After taking office as the Senior Joint General Secretary, Rahman launched a program called "Grassroots Level Conference" in every district of the country as well as "Divisional conferences" and "Upazila Conferences" aiming to be aware of the view of party workers. He also attended hundreds of party meetings all over the country, with leaders of the party accompanying him in those meetings.[citation needed]

While visiting in 2002, Tungipara Upazila of Gopalganj District, Rahman visited the tomb of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation of Bangladesh and paid respects on behalf of the BNP showing political tolerance.

Tarique Rahman, is the prime convict to be the mastermind of 21 August 2004 terrorist grenade attack on a public rally organized by the then-opposition party Awami League. The notorious terrorist attack using military grade Arges grenade targeted the entire top leadership of Awami League including current prime minister Sheikh Hasina and killed 24 Awami league leaders and workers including Ivy Rahman, President of Women Awami League and wife of late President Zillur Rahman. The attack also injured hundreds of victims and many became permanently crippled. He has been sentenced to life imprisonment by Bangladesh Court.[9][10]

The 5th national council of BNP 2009 elected Rahman Senior Vice-Chairman of the party.[11]

Rahman also contributed towards establishing various welfare organizations.[5] He visited several parts of the country to motivate the poor people to be self-reliant in many ways by establishing like poultry, dairy and fish farm.[12]

On 4 January 2014, in a video message posted on YouTube,[13] Rahman called for a boycott of the January 5 general election in Bangladesh. He said "The time has come for all of us to prevent and boycott the 5 January polls. Not for personal interest but for the sake of the country's existence"[14]

Exile and asylum[edit]

Following the release of Tarique Rahman's mother Khaleda Zia on 11 September 2008, he was set to fly for London, United Kingdom for to overseas treatment at Wellington hospital, an independent private hospital in St. John's Wood. The 1/11 interim government backed by the army confirmed that Mr. Tarek Rahman gave written bond of not to indulge in any future politics and was allowed to go abroad

The Anti corruption Commission filed 12 cases against Rahman and his friend and business partner, Giasuddin Al Mamun, which BNP claims is politically motivated and cases are being filed as part of the conspiracy of the immediate past caretaker government to prevent Rahman from participating in Bangladesh politics. On 16 October 2009 the High Court issued a rule asking the government and the Anti Corruption Commission Bangladesh to explain why the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case against Khaleda Zia and Rahman should not be quashed on a petition filed by Zia.[15] On November 9, 2017, the Bangladesh Supreme Court dismissed Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman's petition seeking stay on trial proceedings on the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. The lower court now has no legal bar to continue the corruption case against Khaleda and Tarique.[16]

On 20 November 2009, BNP student front Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) organized a seven-day celebration program in observance of 42nd birthday of Rahman at his paternal district, Bogra. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia attended the program as the chief guest.

Khaleda Zia said her son would take part in active politics upon his return from abroad after completing treatment. She addressed a few public meetings on her way to Bogra and alleged that the present government is trying to harass her son so that he cannot return to the country. She said, "Tareque worked for the development of the country, but a lot of cases were filed only to destroy him as a part of national as well as international conspiracies" She also added, "On March 7, 2007, he was picked up in a car right in front of me. But after the custody my son had to be sent abroad in a stretcher for treatment... Doctors have said his recovery will take more time..."[17] She alleged that the last caretaker government lodged false cases against Rahman and tortured and sent him abroad to make her party lose in the general elections. Speaking on the occasion, BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain said popularity of the present government had hit rock bottom and they now consider Tareque Rahman as a threat. "New cases are being filed so that he cannot return," he added.[18]

On 8 December 2009 in The 5th National Council of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Rahman was declared as the Senior Vice Chairman of the party.[19] He also appeared through the giant screen from London and made a short speech to the people of Bangladesh and the activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Rahman admitted that his treatment is still ongoing. He hoped to join with the activists on his return to Bangladesh after recovery.[19]

On 25 July 2013, Rahman was invited to an iftar party in London arranged by the expatriate supporters of the party. He shared his ideas and gave an outline to carry out development programs to develop Bangladesh.[20]

In September 2013, some representatives from the Government of United States of America met Rahman and discussed some bilateral issues. Rahman assured them of his stand against militancy.[21]


Money laundering case[edit]

On 7 June 2007 a money laundering case was submitted against Rahman and his friend and business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun by the Bangladesh Anti Corruption Commission at a court in Dhaka. In a verdict given on 18 November 2013 by the court, Rahman was acquitted in the case involving BDT 20.41 crore.[22] The Bangladesh Anti Corruption Commission member Mohammad Shahabuddin rejected the verdict, saying: "Tarique and Mamun had equal footing in the crime. So, legally there was no scope to differentiate."[23]

BNP officials and leaders claimed that this judgement is a proof of his innocence and he had no involvement with corruption, and that all the cases against Rahman were "politically motivated".[24]

On July 21, 2016 Tarique Rahman was found guilty by the Bangladesh High Court overturning a lower court verdict that acquitted him earlier. He was sentenced to seven years of imprisonment and fined Tk 20 crore by the Court. One interesting thing to note in this case here is right after delivering the controversial not-guilty verdict, the lower court judge fled the country. Tarique Rahman's money laundering case was the first case in the country's history where an FBI agent testified and produced evidence against a defendant in Bangladeshi court.[25] However, FBI has never confirmed this claim by the news paper Daily Star of Bangladesh.

On 3 November 2008, a leaked US Embassy cable said that the Embassy in Dhaka believed Rahman was "guilty of egregious political corruption that has had a serious adverse effect on US national interests'".[26]

August 21 Grenade attack case[edit]

Tarique Rahman has been awarded life imprisonment in the case of 2004 Dhaka grenade attack on October 10, 2018.[27] He was termed as the "mastermind" of the attack by Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader. However, the claim was refuted by BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.[28]


Bangladesh Policy Forum Cambridge, a non-profit organization, published a collection of 17 articles titled The Political Thought of Tarique Rahman in 2013.

Personal life[edit]

Rahman presently lives in suburban London.[14] He is married to Sylheti physician Zubaida Rahman, a gold medalist graduate of Dhaka Medical College Batch K-43.[29] She is the youngest daughter of Rear Admiral Mahbub Ali Khan, former Chief of Naval Staff of Bangladesh Navy. They have one daughter, Zaima Rahman, who as of December 2013 was studying at a school in London.[30]


  1. ^ "The Official Site of Tarique Rahman". www.tariquerahman.net. Archived from the original on 2014-01-03. Retrieved 2015-02-07.
  2. ^ "Tarique 'gave up Bangladesh nationality'". The Daily Star. 2018-04-23. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  3. ^ "Personal life". Tarique Rahman. Archived from the original on 2016-01-16. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
  4. ^ a b জয়কে নিয়ে অন্ধকারে আ.লীগ নেতারা. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 13 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  5. ^ a b c "The Political Thought of Tarique Rahman"
  6. ^ "Bangladesh, Begum Khaleda Zia Head Of Bangladesh National Party, Appointed First Woman Prime Minister". ITN Source. 1991-03-18. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  7. ^ হাসিনাপুত্রের অতিথি-রাজনীতি!. Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 2013-08-07. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-12-24. Retrieved 2013-12-22.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "It was Hawa Bhavan Plot". The Daily Star. 2009-10-26. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  10. ^ "19 sentenced to death, 19 to life imprisonment in 2004 grenade attack in Bangladesh". The Economic Times. 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  11. ^ Liton, Shakhawat; Suman, Rakib Hasnet (2009-12-09). "Tarique made powerful senior vice-chairman". The Daily Star.
  12. ^ "Financial Express :: Financial Newspaper of Bangladesh". Financial Express (Bangladesh). Archived from the original on 2013-12-15. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  13. ^ "Tarique Rahman's London Speech | 3rd January 2014". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  14. ^ a b "Tarique calls for poll boycott". bdnews24.com. 2013-09-14. Retrieved 2014-01-04.
  15. ^ "HC asks why Zia Trust case will not be cancelled". bdnews24.com. 2009-10-15. Archived from the original on 2012-02-20.
  16. ^ "Graft case: SC clears way for trial against Khaleda". The Daily Star. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2017-11-09.
  17. ^ "Tarique coming back to politics". The Daily Star. 2009-11-21.
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^ a b "Tarique made senior vice chair". bdnews24.com. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  20. ^ "Tarique shares his ideas in London". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  21. ^ Rashidul Hasan (2008-11-03). "BNP to fight militancy | Tarique assures US embassy official". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  22. ^ "Money Laundering Case, Tarique acquitted". The Daily Star. 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2013-11-28.
  23. ^ "Money Laundering Case | Tarique acquitted | Mamun jailed for 7 years; surprised BNP finds 'a brave judge in subservient judiciary'". Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-12-26.
  24. ^ Verdict proves Tarique innocent, The Daily Star, 2013-11-18, retrieved 2013-11-28
  25. ^ "Tarique convicted, jailed for 7 years". The Daily Star. 2016-07-22. Retrieved 2016-07-22.
  26. ^ Shakhawat Liton and Shamim Ashraf (2011-09-09). "Tarique symbol of violent politics". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
  27. ^ "Babar, 17 others get death; Tarique awarded life". The Daily Star. 2018-10-10. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  28. ^ "Tarique mastermind of August 21 grenade attack: Quader". The Daily Star. 2018-10-09. Retrieved 2018-10-10.
  29. ^ Rashidul Hasan. "Is Zubaida joining politics?". Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
  30. ^ "Sons, grandchildren greet Khaleda". bdnews24.com. 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2013-12-22.
Political offices
Preceded by
Nazmul Huda
Senior Joint Secretary General, Bangladesh Nationalist Party
Succeeded by
Mirza Fakrul Islam Alamgir
New creation Senior Vice Chairman, Bangladesh Nationalist Party
Succeeded by