Zia and Hasina's families have been rotating power for over 30 years, each taking retribution against the perceived iniquity of their predecessors. Sadly, the country's toxic cyclical politics is now being played out again.
The day I met Sheikh Hasina, I thought for a fleeting moment she was one of my aunts. She smiled at me in that distinct, maternal manner I associate only with Bangladeshi women of a certain age; her silk sari wrapped neatly around her body, her hairline revealing no attempt to hide the greys.
It is now clear that Bangladesh is mired in an intractable political crisis. The main opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has boycotted next month's general election.
It is up to anti-death penalty advocates like the British government to now make their voices heard. The ICT's first round of executions may start in less than a month. If they are not halted, Bangladesh may enter a dark chapter in its history.
The British Government has one task - to remain steadfast in their call to the government of Bangladesh to protect the right of free speech. Labour MPs, many whom represent sizeable Bangladeshi communities, must apply similar pressure on Ministers.
What a few weeks it has been for that Machiavellian matriarch Sheikh Hasina. She swished into London in August to bookmark the Olympic Games (opening and closing ceremony tickets for Bangladesh's premier - no messing around with an either/or scenario).