Bangladesh protests Pakistan home minister’s remarks on war crimes trials

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Additional Foreign Secretary (Bilateral) Md Mizanur Rahman told acting High Commissioner Ahmed Hussain Dayo that Dhaka was disappointed with the “unwarranted and inappropriate” comments.

He also handed over an ‘aide memoire’ to the Acting High Commissioner.

He said the comments amounted to “directly interfering with the internal affairs of Bangladesh”.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan expressed his concern and reservation over Bangladesh awarding the death penalty to Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami.

“Though what happens in Bangladesh is that country’s internal matter, yet Pakistan cannot remain divorced from references to 1971 and its aftermath,” Nisar said.

“It is highly unfortunate that almost 45 years after those tragic chain of events, the Bangladeshi government still seems to be living in the past and totally ignoring the time tested virtue of forgive and forget,” he said.

Nisar said he was perplexed by the fact that Bangladesh remains hell bent on digging up the graves of the past and reopening old wounds.

This is the second time Dhaka has summoned Islamabad’s high commissioner in the course of the ongoing war crimes trials.

Last December, the High Commissioner was summoned after Pakistan’s National Assembly adopted a resolution expressing concern over the hanging of Bangladesh’s war crimes convict Abdul Quader Molla.

Bangladesh won independence from Pakistan in 1971 after nine months of gruesome war.

The Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami had sided with Pakistan during the war.

Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami had opposed Molla’s trial and said he was hanged because “he was loyal to Pakistan and supported the Pakistani army during the 1971 war”.

The foreign ministry said Dayo was “called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and conveyed the disappointment of the Government of Bangladesh”.

It said it protested the comments by “a senior and important Cabinet member of the Government of Pakistan regarding the recent verdict by the International Crimes Tribunal, Bangladesh (ICT-BD) without appreciating the true perspective”.

The foreign ministry also advised lobbies in Pakistan not to meddle in Bangladesh’s affairs.

“Vested quarters in Pakistan were advised to mind their own business and set their house in order instead of trying to interfere with Bangladesh’s domestic matters,” read the foreign ministry statement.

The additional foreign secretary also pointed out that the trials had the support of the people of Bangladesh and the wider international community to break the tradition impunity shown for the crimes against humanity and genocide committed in 1971.

“It was only through ensuring justice that the wounds and trauma inflicted by those crimes in our national psyche can be healed and put behind,” he added.

About the demonstrations and provocative statements by the Jamaat-e-Islami in Pakistan, he stated that “Bangladesh expects that, as a friendly neighbour, Pakistan would refrain from such activities that may hurt the sentiments of the people of Bangladesh and offer misplaced sympathies for otherwise undeserving entities”.

The Pakistan government was requested to take serious note of these issues.

Source: Bd news24