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Apologise over 1971 killings: B'desh to Pak

Pakistan must say sorry for the atrocities its army committed in Bangladesh in 1971, a minister said in Dhaka.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2010 14:49 IST

Pakistan must say sorry for the atrocities its army committed in Bangladesh in 1971, a minister said in Dhaka.

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said the Pakistan government must offer an apology for the atrocities its army committed in Bangladesh in 1971 if it wanted good relations with Dhaka, New Age newspaper reported.

"Without removing the irritants, it will be difficult to strengthen trade ties between the two countries," Faruk Khan said after his two-hour meeting with Pakistani envoy Ashraf Qureshi.

Pakistan envoy in Dhaka has said the issue of an apology should be sorted out "through talks".

Qureshi said the question of seeking formal apology by Pakistan "has to be decided through discussion between the two countries", United News of Bangladesh (UNB) news agency reported.

Bangladesh has also said it will try only its own citizens for "war crimes".

Clarifying Dhaka's position Thursday, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said her country would not dispense "Victor's Justice."

The process of holding trial for "war crimes" began last month with the appointment of a three-judge panel assisted by investigators and public prosecutors.

Dhaka says three million people perished during its nine-month freedom movement. Of them, thousands were killed at the behest of then East Pakistan regime of Islamist militia.