Bangladesh has felt offended over Pakistan reminding it of its founding father’s promise contained in the 1974 tripartite agreement under which Dhaka had agreed not to proceed against those whom it had accused of ‘war crimes’ during the 1971 separation.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Dhaka Shuja Alam was summoned by Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Mijanur Rahman on Monday to receive a protest over a statement issued by Pakistani Foreign Office in which it regretted executions of two Bengali leaders related to 1971 events and had called for reconciliation in Bangladesh in accordance with the spirit of Pakistan, India, Bangladesh Agreement of April 9, 1974. The FO had further said that it was “deeply disturbed at this development”.
Bangladesh’s foreign secretary told High Commissioner Alam that Pakistani comments are tantamount to interference in his country’s internal affairs. The resumption of the trial of the ‘war crimes’ accused by Prime Minister Hasina Wajid’s government in 2009 had soured the bilateral ties. The latest spat follows the execution of senior Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Jamaat-i-Islami’s secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid on Sunday. The two had been convicted of genocide and rape by a domestic ‘war crimes tribunal’ called International Crimes Tribunal (ICT), which had been set up under a 1973 legislation that was amended in 2009 to resume the trials.