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1st President issue

Duncan surprised at Tarique's claim

By UNB, DHAKA
02nd-Apr-2014       
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Visiting UK Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan expressed surprise over BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman's claim that his father Ziaur Rahman was the first President of Bangladesh, says State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam.
"They're surprised. They're also not getting any explanation why a political party suddenly comes up with a distorted version of history.  They expressed their surprise," Alam told reporters quoting Duncan as saying on Tuesday.
He was talking to the journalists after a meeting with Duncan at his office. The Junior Minister also said the issue came up for discussion when he raised it saying Tarique Rahman made a statement in London and what they (British govt) think of it.
"I wanted to know why Tarique Rahman came up with such a strange information and strange idea," Alam said.
British High Commissioner in Dhaka Robert W Gibson was also present at the meeting.
Responding to a question on bringing back Tarique Rahman, he said there is no warrant against him right now. "There're certain procedures. Once warrant is issued then only we can act," he said adding the Home Ministry will look into the matter.
Duncan who arrived here on Monday to check the progress on health and safety standards in the garment industry also met Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Labour Minister Mujibul Haque Chunnu before meeting the State Minister for Foreign Affairs. He will also press for political dialogue to strengthen democratic accountability in Bangladesh during his stay in Dhaka. Duncan will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Opposition Leader Raushan Ershad, and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
With the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in April 24, Duncan is keen to see how the garment industry has responded, how it is looking after those affected and improving working conditions to prevent further tragedies. He will meet people involved in the garment supply chain to discuss progress and challenges remaining. As the largest bilateral grant donor in Bangladesh, the UK government is committed to supporting Bangladesh's development and progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Alan Duncan was appointed Minister of State for International Development in May 2010. He has been the Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton since 1992. Duncan last visited Bangladesh in June 2013.  This is his fourth visit in his current role.

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