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Bangladesh Lifts Restrictions on Former PMs


Bangladesh's military-backed interim government has lifted all restrictions on the country's two most powerful politicians.

In a statement on Wednesday, the government said it has dropped the ban imposed on former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that prevented her from returning to Bangladesh.

On Sunday, Ms. Hasina was blocked from boarding a flight from London to Bangladesh following a private visit to the United States.

The government statement also denied reports that officials were pressuring the country's most recent prime minister, Khaleda Zia, to go into exile.

Together, the two women have alternatively governed Bangladesh since 1991. Critics accuse both of misrule, leading to widespread violence and political chaos.

The military-backed interim government had been trying to exile the bitter rivals as part of its campaign to clean up the country's notoriously corrupt politics. Both women currently head two political parties.

Ms. Hasina has been charged with the murder of four political activists and extortion. In an interview with VOA, she denied the allegations and vowed to return to Bangladesh to fight them. A warrant for her arrest has been withdrawn.

Media reports say Ms. Zia would likely face corruption charges if she stayed in Bangladesh.

Amir Khasru has more on the story.

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