Pakistan denies involvement in war crimes

BD_Liberation_1971_Daily_Dhaka_TimesDaily Dhaka Times: The Pakistan government has denied the country’s involvement in committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War, 44 years after the genocide and mass rape took place in Bangladesh.

The Pakistan authorities summoned the acting high commissioner of Bangladesh in Islamabad on Monday and made the claim.

A press release of Pakistan Foreign Ministry issued on Monday, also termed the November 23 note verbale, which protested remarks made by the Pakistan authorities over the execution of two war criminals, “baseless and unfounded assertions of Bangladesh against Pakistan.”

The statement comes at a time when the 44-year-old nation is demanding unconditional apology from Pakistan for the crimes in 1971.

The press note reads: “The Acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today by Director General (SA & SAARC) and was informed that the Government of Pakistan rejected the baseless and unfounded assertions of the Bangladesh Government conveyed vide its Note of 23 November 2015.

“Pakistan also rejected insinuation of complicity in committing crimes or war atrocities. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Claiming that such attempts have been made in order to “malign Pakistan,” the note further stated: “It is regrettable.”

Mentioning that “the government of Bangladesh does not seem to respect the sentiments of people in both countries,” it stated: “Pakistan believes that the peoples of both countries not only want to maintain but also further strengthen the bonds of friendship and brotherhood.”

Saying that the 1974 tripartite Agreement is the bedrock of relations between the two countries, the release added: “As regards the Bangladesh Government’s contention that Pakistan presents a misleading interpretation of the Agreement of 1974, it needs to be emphasized that, as part of the Agreement, the Government of Bangladesh had decided not to proceed with the trials as an act of clemency.”

“Pakistan reiterates its desire for further enhancing relations with Bangladesh, because we believe that the hearts of the people of Pakistan beat in unison with the people of Bangladesh,” said the statement.

“It is important for the two countries not to forget the role played by their people in the struggle for the establishment of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the South Asian sub-continent.”

It also expressed Pakistan’s “ardent desire to develop brotherly relations with Bangladesh,” and said: “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.”

– Sheikh Shahariar Zaman


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