DHAKA  – Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accused main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia of receiving money from Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) ahead of 1991 general elections in the country.

“You (Zia) sold the country (interest) by taking money from those who resorted to ‘genocide’. The people of Bangladesh won’t forgive you. Why did you take money from the defeated forces?,” Hasina said at a huge rally organised by her ruling Awami League.

“People want to know. One day you have to answer to the people,” she said. Hasina’s comments came four days after the UAE-based Khaleej Times reported that ISI paid Zia Rs 500 million ahead of the 1991 elections “to help her in polls against Hasina Wajid’s (Wajed’s) Awami League generally perceived by Pakistan’s security establishment as pro-India”.

BNP, however, rejected the report with its senior standing committee member Rafiqul Islam Mia calling it “absolutely false and ridiculous”.

“It is beyond imagination that a party like BNP would take money from a foreign organisation for election campaign,” Mia said.