In a secret cable to Washington, the US ambassador in Bangladesh had quoted the then Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Kamal Uddin Siddique had dubbed Khaleda Zia’s protecting corrupt son Tarique Rahman as her biggest failure.
Published by WikiLeaks on Aug 30, the Mar 14, 2005 cable titled “PMO PRINCIPAL SECRETARY SPEAKS CANDIDLY” sent by the then US ambassador to Dhaka, Harry K Thomas to Washington, revealed his findings following a meeting with the then principal secretary at the PMO, Kamaluddin Siddiqui.
The issue came up after the ambassador “advised Siddiqui that prime ministerial first son Tarique Rahman’s request via confidants for meetings with senior USG officials in Washington could not be accommodated for protocol and other reasons”, the cable read.
“Siddiqui also described Khaleda’s indulgence and protection of her “corrupt” son as her biggest political failure.
The ambassador also commented in the cable that “Siddiqui often projects himself as personally sympathetic to USG [United States Government] views and interests.”
He added that the principal secretary is “strongly loyal” to Khaleda and that he “defends her with sometimes strained logic.”
“In that context, his denunciation of Tarique Rahman represents exceptional candor,” the cable read.
The BNP senior vice-chairman has 14 cases against him on a slew of corruption and extortion charges.
Following his arrest on Mar 7, 2007 during the state of emergency, Tarique secured bail and flew to London with his family for medical treatment on Sep 11, 2008. He has since been living there.