No apology for 1971 war crimes, Hasina opts out of Pak summit

Bangladesh has opted out of a key summit in Pakistan over the refusal of Islamabad to formally apologise for its actions in the 1971 war that led to the independence of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajid informed her Pakistani counterpart about her non-participation in the D-8 summit for developing countries, which is to be held later this month in Islamabad, say officials here.

During an earlier visit of Pakistan foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Dhaka, the Bangladesh foreign minister has handed over a list of demands for normalisation of relations between the two countries, officials in Islamabad said.

The demands included a formal apology by the Pakistani head of state to the people of Bangladesh over the atrocities committed by the Pakistan army as well as putting on trial former military and political personalities who had played a role in the army action in then East Pakistan.

Pakistan has continued to ignore this demand. In 2000, then president General Musharraf said it was "unfair" to put on trial the generals involved in the action in Bangladesh.

Now the government of Bangladesh wants more clarity from Pakistan on the issue, say observers. It has not started to link its relations with Islamabad on Pakistan's acceptance of its actions.


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