Is Tarique Rahman being unwanted in the UK?

Tarique Rahman,  Vice chairman of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party

Tarique Rahman, Vice chairman of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party

Recently, the United Kingdom and Bangladesh have signed a 'Fast Track Return' agreement aimed at expediting the repatriation of illegal immigrants and certain criminal elements from the UK to Bangladesh. This agreement is part of a broader effort by Bangladesh to address illegal immigration and enhance bilateral cooperation with the UK, particularly concerning the return of individuals engaged in criminal activities and those granted political asylum under questionable circumstances.

According to reports by British newspapers, The Telegraph and The Standard, approximately 11,000 Bangladeshi nationals had entered the UK under various pretexts, including travel and work, and subsequently applied for political asylum. However, UK immigration authorities have approved only about 5 percent of these applications. Consequently, around 10,000 Bangladeshi applications have been rejected, and these individuals are now set to be deported back to Bangladesh under the terms of the 'Fast Track Return' agreement.

The 'Fast Track Return' agreement between the UK and Bangladesh stipulates that- 

  1. Illegal immigrants from Bangladesh residing in the UK will be swiftly repatriated.
  2. The agreement covers not only illegal immigrants but also convicted criminals, and those spreading misinformation against the Bangladeshi state.
  3. The UK will assist in revoking political asylum status for individuals involved in criminal activities or anti-state actions.

The Case of Tarique Rahman

A significant aspect of this agreement relates to the efforts to repatriate Tarique Rahman, a prominent political figure and convict in Bangladesh. Tarique Rahman has been sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the August 21 grenade attack and to seven years in prison for money laundering by the High Court of Bangladesh. Despite these convictions, he has been residing in the UK under political asylum.

The Bangladeshi government, led by the Awami League, views the repatriation of Tarique Rahman as a critical component of its political strategy. The government alleges that Rahman has been involved in anti-Bangladesh activities from London, including inciting violence during visits by the Prime Minister and orchestrating an attack on the Bangladesh Embassy in the UK. Diplomatic sources indicate that the fast track agreement was partially motivated by the desire to facilitate his return to Bangladesh.

Diplomatic and Legal Considerations

The repatriation of Tarique Rahman remains a sensitive and complex issue. Despite the agreement, there are significant legal hurdles to overcome. Rahman's asylum status is based on claims that his life would be in danger if he returned to Bangladesh. This claim adds a layer of complexity to the repatriation process, as the UK must carefully consider the human rights implications before revoking asylum and proceeding with deportation.

While the agreement sets a framework for expedited returns, the actual implementation, especially in Rahman's case, may face delays and legal challenges. Nonetheless, the Bangladesh government is expected to continue its diplomatic efforts to bring Rahman back.

The 'Fast Track Return' agreement between the UK and Bangladesh marks a significant step in bilateral cooperation on immigration and criminal justice issues. While it promises to streamline the deportation process for illegal immigrants and criminals, the high-profile case of Tarique Rahman underscores the complexities involved in such agreements. As Bangladesh navigates these challenges, the effectiveness of the agreement in achieving its broader political and legal objectives remains to be seen.

This report aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the recent developments regarding the UK-Bangladesh 'Fast Track Return' agreement and its implications, particularly in the context of the efforts to repatriate Tarique Rahman. Further monitoring of the situation and diplomatic negotiations will be necessary to assess the full impact of this agreement.


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