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Profile: Bangladeshi former prime minister Khaleda Zia
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15:27, September 03, 2007

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Bangladeshi former prime minister Khaleda Zia and her younger son Arafat Rahman were arrested by joint forces Monday on corruption charge and sent to a makeshift jail inside the Parliament.

Khaleda Zia was born is 1945 in Dinajpur district, 285 km northwest of capital Dhaka. She was married to Zia Rahman in 1960 when she was a college student.

Khaleda entered into politics after the assassination of her husband who was president at that time on May 30, 1981.

In 1984, Khaleda was elected as the chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) which was founded by her husband Zia Rahman in 1978.

She was elected as member of parliament during the 1991 elections while BNP won the majority.

Khaleda formed the cabinet and became the first female prime minister in Bangladesh's history.

The BNP lost elections in 1996 to Awami League led by Sheikh Hasina and became the main opposition during 1996-2001.

BNP won the elections again in 2001 and Khaleda became prime minister for the second term.

Khaleda finished her term as prime minister on October 27, 2006, and handed over power to a caretaker government headed by President Iajuddin Ahmed on Oct. 29, 2006, which according to Constitution, will organize the next elections within three months.

Because the two major parties -- BNP and Awami League -- couldn 't make consensus on a number of issues relating to election, the political situation deteriorated. President Iajuddin Ahmed had to declare state of emergency on Jan. 11, 2007.

The new caretaker government led by Chief Adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed launched massive anti-corruption drive since taking office on Jan. 12, 2007. A lot of former ministers and MPs have been arrested.

Khaleda Zia's older son Tarique Rahman was arrested on March 8 on corruption charges.

Source: Xinhua

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