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Pakistan denies war crimes, atrocities

7Rejecting insinuation of complicity in committing crimes or war atrocities in 1971, Pakistan yesterday summoned Bangladesh acting High Commissioner in Islamabad, apparently in retaliation to the summoning of its envoy to Dhaka about a week ago.
“The Acting High Commissioner of Bangladesh was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today (Monday) 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,” said a press release issued by the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan yesterday.
“Pakistan also rejected insinuation of complicity in committing crimes or war atrocities. Nothing could be further from the truth,” it said.
On November 23, Bangladesh foreign ministry summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Dhaka Shuja Alam to lodge a strong protest with Islamabad against the remarks made by spokesperson of the Pakistan’s foreign ministry over the executions of BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Jamaat Secretary General Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid.
A day earlier, Qazi M Khalilullah, spokesperson of the Pakistan foreign ministry, expressed Islamabad’s ‘deep concern and anguish’ at the executions.
Acting Foreign Secretary Mizanur Rahman handed over a strongly-worded note verable to the envoy stating Bangladesh’s position.
Responding to the misleading reference by Pakistan to the Agreement of 1974, the High Commissioner was told that the agreement never implied that the masterminds and perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide would continue to enjoy impunity and eschew the course of justice.
At a regular press briefing at the Foreign Ministry on November 26, Spokesperson Khalilullah told a questioner, “Pakistan has noted the demarche given to our High Commissioner in Dhaka and the press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bangladesh. These have several elements which warrant a response. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would call in the Bangladesh High Commissioner to respond to these points.”
Pakistan’s foreign ministry press release further said, “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 Bangladesh.”
“Pakistan believes that the peoples of both countries not only want to maintain but also further strengthen the bonds of friendship and brotherhood. However, sadly, the Government of Bangladesh does not seem to respect these sentiments,” it said.
“The 1974 tripartite Agreement is the bedrock of relations between the two countries. 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,” said the release.
“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,” it said.
“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,” said the release.
“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 added.
No official comments regarding the day’s development from the government were available.
“Yes, we are aware of the fact that our envoy to Islamabad was called to the Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry,” a government source told The Independent.
“It happens as part of diplomatic activities,” he said, refusing to comment as to what will be Bangladesh’s next course of action over the matter.
According to sources at the foreign ministry, acting High Commissioner Moushumi Rahman was called as High Commissioner to Pakistan Suhrab Hossain is now in Bangladesh.