'Khaleda sent no article to Washington Times'

The BNP has said Chairperson Khaleda Zia did not send any article to The Washington Times even though the newspaper said it published the commentary only after being sure about its author.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 2 July 2013, 11:24 AM
Updated : 2 July 2013, 12:44 PM

Her Press Secretary Maruf Kamal Khan reacted late on Tuesday night to an exclusive bdnews24.com report ('Khaleda wrote it: Washington Times') that cited the confirmation by American newspaper.

"Washington Times never asked for any write-ups from the Leader of the Opposition. She (Khaleda) did not send any articles to that newspaper," he told bdnews24.com.

"I look after her media affairs. All her articles and statements go through me. Therefore, no such write-ups were sent to The Washington Times."

The Jan 30 post in the paper kicked up fresh controversy after Khaleda denied having written it five months into its publication.

সংসদে ২৯ জুন বক্তৃতারত খালেদা জিয়া

However, in an email, The Washington Times' Executive Editor David S Jackson said they were "confident in its (the article's) authenticity".
The article immediately drew severe criticism from ruling leaders.
Earlier on Friday, the ruling MPs blamed BNP Chairperson and her article for the Obama administration suspending GSP status for Bangladesh.
Then on Saturday, Khaleda said in Parliament, "It is said that I stopped this facility with a letter. But, I sent no letter."
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was waving a copy of the article from her seat during the speech for which Khaleda Zia said, "This is not mine. I wrote no such things".
When reached, the American publication’s Executive Editor David S Jackson said they were “confident in its authenticity”.
“The article that appeared in The Washington Times was submitted to us by Mark Pursey, a London-based intermediary acting on behalf of Begum Khaleda Zia. We have been in touch with Mr. Pursey both before and after the publication of the article,” he said.
Pursey is one of the partners of London's public relations firm BTP, who act as lobbyists.
Maruf Kamal Khan denied appointment of any institutions or individuals by Khaleda to lobby. "The Washington Times said the article was sent with name from an institution and an individual – this is not true."
The Press Secretary claimed that the GSP status suspension had no ties with the article published bearing the name of Khaleda. "The US administration clearly explained the reason about the suspension of GSP facility for Bangladesh. Nowhere does it mention about the letter of the opposition leader."
Khan said it the ruling leaders were waging propaganda against the opposition leader in an attempt to hide government's failure to retain the GSP facility.