Dhaka, Oct 19 (UNI) Bangladesh Army chief General Moeen Ahmed, presently visiting the United States, said he has no personal grudges against detained former Prime Ministers Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina.
''I have nothing against them. We respect them. One is the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and another is wife of slain President Ziur Rahman,''he said.
Gen Moeen made the remarks to Bangladesh-born American journalists in New York yesterday, according to UNB news agency.
Khaleda and Hasina were arrested by the current army-backed caretaker government on charges of extortion and corruption.
Gen Moeen said he would not call them corrupt. If the corruption charges are not proved against them, ''they will come out free,''he added.
He said the Army was only helping the government in improving law and order and preparing electoral roll, but ''it appears some people want us to declare martial law.'' Asked whether Pakistani model is being followed in Bangladesh, Gen Moeen appeared annoyed and said ''we left them 36 years ago.
The Bangladesh Army fought against the Pakistani Army and we liberated our country.'' Disclosing his future plan, the Army Chief said he wants to retire from the Army respectfully and dedicate himself to the service of the orphans.
Asked about lifting of the state of emergency imposed in Bangladesh on January 11 to quell political violence over an abortive general election, he said the caretaker government will decide it.