Khaleda Zia Height Weight Bra Size Age Biography Family Wiki Net Worth, Affairs, Marriage & much more. Khaleda Zia (born Khaleda Khanam Putul in 1945) is a Bangladeshi politician who served as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 1991 to 1996, and again from 2001 to 2006. She was the first female prime minister of Bangladesh. She was the wife of former President of Bangladesh Ziaur Rahman. She is the current chairperson and leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) which was founded by Rahman in 1978.
After a military coup in 1982, led by Army Chief General Hussain Muhammad Ershad, Zia helped lead the movement for democracy until the fall of Ershad in 1990. She became the prime minister following the BNP party win in the 1991 general election. She also served briefly in the short-lived government in 1996, when other parties had boycotted the first election. In the next round of general elections of 1996, the Awami League came to power. Her party came to power again in 2001. She has been elected to five separate parliamentary constituencies in the general elections of 1991, 1996 and 2001.
She developed a reputation as the “Uncompromising leader” due to her staunch opposition against military dictatorship of Ershad in the 1980s and her commitment to restore democracy in Bangladesh. She was put under house arrest several times by Ershad government, and later by Sheikh Hasina led government. She was honored as “Fighter for Democracy” by the New Jersey’s State Senate in 2011.
In its list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World, Forbes magazine ranked Zia at number 14 in 2004, number 29 in 2005, and number 33 in 2006.
Following her government’s term end in 2006, the scheduled January 2007 elections were delayed due to political violence and in-fighting, resulting in a bloodless military takeover of the caretaker government. During its interim rule, it charged Zia and her two sons with corruption.
Since the 1980s, Zia’s chief rival has been Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina. Since 1991, they have been the only two serving as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
Zia was jailed for a total of 17 years for the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case and Zia Charitable Trust corruption case in 2018. A local court handed her the verdict for abusing power as the prime minister while disbursing a fund in favor of newly formed Zia Orphanage Trust. Referring to the international and domestic legal experts, the U.S. State Department in its 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices opined that “lack of evidence to support the conviction” suggests the case was a political ploy to remove her from the electoral process. Amnesty International raised concerns that her “fair trial rights are not respected.”
Zia was transferred to a hospital for medical treatment in April 2019. In March 2020, she was released for six months on humanitarian grounds with the conditions that she would stay at her home in Gulshan, Dhaka and not travel abroad. The 6-month period suspension was granted for the fifth time in March 2022.
Personal life and family
Early life and education
Khaleda Khanam “Putul” was born in 1945 in Jalpaiguri in the then undivided Dinajpur District in Bengal Presidency, British India (now in Jalpaiguri District, India). She was the third of five children. She was the daughter of tea-businessman Iskandar Ali Majumder, who was in turn the son of Salamat Ali Majumdar, who was the son of Azgar Ali Majumdar, who was the son of Nahar Muhammad Khan, who was the son of Murad Khan, a 16th-century Middle Eastern immigrant. Her mother, Taiyaba Majumder, was from Chandbari (now in Uttar Dinajpur District). After the partition of India in 1947, they migrated to Dinajpur town (now in Bangladesh). Khanam first attended Dinajpur Missionary School and later completed her matriculation from Dinajpur Girls’ School in 1960. In the same year, she married Ziaur Rahman, then a captain in the Pakistan Army. She then used the name “Khaleda Zia” or “Begum Khaleda Zia”. Zia then studied at Dinajpur Surendranath College until 1965 when she went to West Pakistan to stay with her husband. In March 1969, they moved from Karachi to Dhaka. Following Rahman’s posting, the family then moved to Sholoshohor area in Chittagong. She was a prisoner at Dhaka Cantonment in 1971 at the time of Freedom Fight/Liberation War of Independence under custody of Pakistan Army’s Major General Jamshed.
Zia’s first son, Tarique Rahman (b. 1967), got involved into politics and went on to become the acting chairman of Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Her second son, Arafat Rahman “Koko” (b. 1969), died of a cardiac arrest in 2015. Zia’s sister, Khurshid Jahan (1939–2006) served as the Minister of Women and Children Affairs during 2001–2006. Her younger brother, Sayeed Iskander (1953–2012), was also a politician who served as a Jatiya Sangsad member from the Feni-1 constituency during 2001–2006. Her second brother, Shamim Iskandar, is a retired flight engineer of Bangladesh Biman. Her second sister is Selina Islam.
Khaleda Zia Age Husband Children Family Biography & More
Involvement in politics
On 30 May 1981, Khaleda Zia’s husband, the-then President of Bangladesh Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated. After his death, on 2 January 1982, she got involved into politics by first becoming a member of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) – the party which was founded by Rahman. She took charge of the vice-chairman position in March 1983.
- Saudi Arabia: Zia made some high-profile foreign visits in the later part of 2012. Invited to Saudi Arabia in August by the royal family, she met with the Saudi crown prince and defence minister Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to talk about bilateral ties. She tried to promote better access for Bangladeshi migrant workers to the Saudi labour market, which was in decline at the time.
- People’s Republic of China: She went to People’s Republic of China in October, at the invitation of the government. She met with Chinese leaders including Vice President Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China’s international affairs chief Wang Jiarui. Xi became China’s Paramount Leader in 2012.
Talks in China related to trade and prospective Chinese investment in Bangladesh, particularly the issue of financing Padma Bridge. At the beginning of 2012, the World Bank, a major prospective financier, had withdrawn, accusing government ministers of graft. The BNP announced that the Chinese funding for a second Padma Bridge was confirmed during her visit.
- India: On 28 October 2012, Zia visited India to meet with President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a number of officials including foreign minister Salman Khurshid, national security adviser Shivshankar Menon, foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai and BJP leader and leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj. Talks were scheduled to cover bilateral trade and regional security.
Zia’s India visit was considered notable as BNP had been considered to have been anti-India compared to its rival Awami League. At her meeting with Prime Minister Singh, Zia said her party wanted to work with India for mutual benefit, including the fight against extremism. Indian officials announced they had come to agreement with her to pursue a common geopolitical doctrine in the greater region to discourage terrorists.
Zia has been suffering from chronic kidney conditions, decompensated liver diseases, unstable haemoglobin, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and other age-related complications. In April 2021, several staff members in Zia’s home tested positive for COVID-19. Zia also found to have contracted the virus but she exhibited no symptoms and recovered later. On 28 November, the medical board formed for Zia’s treatment announced that she had been suffering from liver cirrhosis. Plea for allowing to fly abroad for medical care has been denied by the court. Zia underwent treatment at Evercare Hospital in Dhaka during 27 April–19 June 2021, 12 October–3 November 2021 and again since 14 November 2021. On 9 January 2022, Zia was transferred from critical care unit (CCU).
Birth date discrepancy
Zia claims 15 August as her birthday, which is a matter of controversy in Bangladesh politics. 15 August is the day many immediate family members of Zia’s political rival, Sheikh Hasina, including her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman were killed. As a result of the deaths, 15 August is officially declared National Mourning Day of Bangladesh. None of Zia’s government-issued identification documents show her birthday on 15 August. Her matriculation examination certificate lists a birth date of 9 August 1945. Her marriage certificate lists 5 September 1945. Zia’s passport indicates a birth date of 19 August 1945. Kader Siddiqui, a political ally of Zia, urged her not to celebrate her birthday on 15 August. The High Court filed a petition against Zia on this issue.
Awards and honours
On 24 May 2011, the New Jersey State Senate honoured Zia as a “Fighter for Democracy”. It was the first time the state Senate had so honoured any foreign leader and reflects the state’s increasing population of immigrants and descendants from South Asia.