Prior to the 2001 national election, Tarique Rahman took initiatives of setting up the information and research cell of Bangladesh Nationalist Party [BNP]. During the poll, Tarique Rahman had carried out a cross-country creative electioneering that helped the BNP-led Four-party Alliance to form government on 10 October winning 215 seats in the parliament. As per a decision of the standing committee of the party in 2002, he was elected senior joint general secretary of the BNP. After his assumption of the responsibility, Tarique Rahman initiated a new trend in BNP politics and began a massive mass contact with the party leaders, workers and supporters at the grassroots level. Participating in numerous meetings of the BNP and its front organizations like Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal, Jatiyatabadi Chatra Dal and Jatiyatabadi Swechchhasebok Dal, he shared his views with leaders and workers and also received opinions and suggestions of the party men at the grassroots. Holding development councilors’ conferences at 23 places across Bangladesh, Tarique Rahman had consolidated the BNP organizationally. On receipt of opinions and suggestions from the grassroots leaders, he had submitted those before the then Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia in the form recommendations for active consideration of the government. In the midst of multifaceted organizational initiatives, Tarique Rahman became the future destination of the BNP. In those meetings, Tarique Rahman had elaborate exchanges of opinion with leaders and activists on the constitution, aims and objectives and future plans of the party. Most prominent issues on the agenda of the elaborate exchanges of opinion were which could be done by the BNP for materializing the ideals of its founder Ziaur Rahman and as a ruling party which the BNP can do in ensuring the overall development and progress of the country. Because of this creative mass campaign, the moral strength of the leaders and workers of the BNP was heavily boosted up. Getting rid of his only identity of being the son of BNP founder and a prime minister, he shot into prominence as an efficient organizer and active leader of the BNP.
Making Bangladesh a self-reliant resourceful nation by awakening the country and people, giving a strong footing to Bangladesh as modern and powerful state, flourishing politics keeping the marginal people in the frontline, and infusing dynamism into the lifeline of democracy were his dreams, which were virtually an updated expansion of the deals of Shaheed Zia. In line with heartiest links of Zia family’s stride for protecting country’s independence and sovereignty and building a sound economy, Tarique Rahman has become an invincible stable successor. With in intense eagerness, he embarked on a set of missions for the development of agriculture, flourishing agri-based industries, upgrading and expanding education, development of technology, supplying developed seeds to farmers and polarity raising by poor people. He had carried out village-wise surveys to determine the state of production of fish, paddy, fruits etc. Turning alluvial soil emerging out of the sea and river into gold is not out of his dream. Spreading the working policy- “A little initiative, little effort would bring success”-, he wanted development of humanism in every community, all become for each other.
Arrest and Physical Repression
On & March 2007, in connection with false and fabricated charges of corruption Tarique Rahman was arrested from his Moinul Road resident at Dhaka Cantonment. As he was produced before a Dhaka court a few days after his arrest, the fragile health condition of Tarique Rahman drew the attention of the country men. His lawyers alleged complained to the court that he was tortured in the custody in the name of interrogation. Under instruction from the court, a team of doctors conducted examination of his heath and accordingly certified that Tarique Rahman was physically tortured. At the beginning, the lawyers appealed to the court that Tarique Rahman should not put on remand for interrogation. But the court rejected the appeal. But on competition of the remand, later it was observed that of Tareque’s health condition continued deteriorating. At one stage, he could not appear before the court on feet. Subsequently ambulances instead of prison vans were used to produce him before the court. Stretchers were also used to place him in the dock. At one stage, the court was compelled to relax the remand order reducing the duration to one day. The court also instructed the investigators to exercise caution while grilling Tarique Rahman. In the wake of his deteriorating health condtion, Tarique Rahman was shifted to Bangabandhu SheikhMujiburRahmanMedicalUniversity from the central jail.
At that time, Tarique Rahman fell victim to unprecedented media hostility. This planned malicious media campaign was carried out against him by a section of journalists, civil society and Awami Leaguers. During the tenure of BNP government, Tarique Rahman did not play any role in curtailing human rights of any citizen, arresting any newsman for reporting against him and putting any newspaper under lock and key. He did not do anything beyond political norms. He upheld the tradition of democracy and newspaper friendly Zia family.
Freedom from Captivity
On 25 August 2007, news spread across the country that Tarique Rahman suffered critical injuries by slipping his feet in his hospital room. Doubt and confusion arose over the veracity of the news. A notion was running high among members of the public that the very news was circulated to hide the tortures that the law enforcement agencies had meted out to Tareque. This incident sparked instant protests in different part of the country, including DhakaUniversity, ChittagongUniversity, RajshahiUniversity, DhakaCollege and MymensinghMedicalCollege.
The lawsuits filed against Tarique Rahman gained pace in the courts in August 2008. After languishing in jail for long 18 moths, he was freed on 3 September 2008 after receiving bail against all the cases. While undergoing treatment he was freed from prison cell of Bangabandhu SheikhMujiburRahmanMedicalUniversity.
At this moment, the charges of corruption against Tarique Rahman have taken the center stage of debate in the national political arena. Boundless allegations of corruption were brought against Tarique Rahman at a particular time. But the concerned authorities after conducting a long legal battle have been failed to produce any proof his corruption before the courts. And this has undoubtedly proved that the allegations brought against Tarique Rahman were completely false and politically motivated.
Treatment and Staying Abroad
On her release from the special prison on 11 September 2008, Begum Zia went to Bangabandhu SheikhMujiburRahmanMedicalUniversity to see her son Tarique Rahman. On the night of that very day Tareque left Dhaka for the UK for improved treatment. He is now undergoing treatment at SouthWellingtonHospital and LondonHospital. For the convenient his treatment, Tarique Rahman is now living with his family at Edmond in central London.
Tarique Rahman is married. His wife Dr. Zobaida Rahman has received higher degree in physiology from reputed LondonImperialCollege with the distinction of being the first. Tarique Rahman is the father of one daughter.