Ex-Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia visits Tower Hamlets

The controversial former Prime Minister of Bangladesh Khaleda Zia is visiting East London this-afternoon to meet Tower Hamlets’ Bangladeshi-born mayor Lutfur Rahman at the Town Hall.

It is part of her state visit to London where she has been meeting MPs at Westminster.

She was eager to include Tower Hamlets on her itinery, which has Britain’s largest Bangladesh community.

Khaleda Zia has been Prime Minister of Bangladesh three times, after becoming active in politics in 1981 following the assassination of her husband, President Ziaur Rahman, who had led his country to independence from Pakistan a decade before.

She assumed the leadership of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party In 1984 and was arrested repeatedly during the dictatorship of Hossain Ershad in the 1980s, but in 1991 led the opposition to victory and became the first woman Prime Minister, the second in the Muslim world after Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan.