Islamabad: Pakistan today summoned Bangladesh’s envoy to protest Dhaka’s charges of its complicity in atrocities during the 1971 liberation war, days after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina dismissed Pakistan’s criticism over the execution of two top opposition leaders. “It is regrettable that attempts have been made by the government of Bangladesh to malign Pakistan, despite our ardent desire to develop brotherly relations with it,” the foreign office said as it summoned the acting high commissioner of Bangladesh.
Rejecting insinuation of “complicity in committing crimes or war atrocities” during 1971 war, the foreign office said that the Bangladesh envoy was told that “nothing could be further from the truth.” Tension has surfaced between the two countries after Bangladesh hanged the two top opposition leaders for alleged war crimes and Pakistan voiced deep concern and anguish over the executions.
Bangladesh had dismissed as unacceptable Pakistan’s criticism and summoned its envoy to protest Islamabad’s remarks over the executions of Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary-General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, and key-opposition BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury. The foreign office in a statement said, “Pakistan believes that the people of both countries not only want to maintain but also further strengthen ties but the government of Bangladesh does not seem to respect these sentiments.”
It said the “1974 tripartite agreement involving Pakistan, Bangladesh and India was the bedrock of relations between the two countries and as part of the agreement, Bangladesh had decided not to proceed with the trials as an act of clemency.”
It said Pakistan reiterates its desire for further enhancing relations with Bangladesh. The foreign office also said that people of the two countries played role in the struggle for the establishment of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the South Asian sub-continent.
“It is, therefore, imperative to move forward in the spirit of goodwill, friendship and harmony for the collective good of the peoples of Pakistan and Bangladesh,” it said.