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B’desh slams Pak reaction to war crimes trial, summons envoy

world Updated: May 09, 2016 21:44 IST

Jamaat-e-Islami Activists march in a protest against the death sentence for Motiur Rahman Nizami in Islamabad on Sunday.(AFP)

Bangladesh on Monday summoned the Pakistani high commissioner to lodge a protest over Islamabad’s reaction to a Supreme Court judgment that confirmed the death penalty for Jamaat-e-Islami chief and 1971 war crimes convict Motiur Rahman Nizami.

“The statement issued (earlier) by Pakistan Foreign Office is totally unacceptable,” secretary of bilateral affairs in Bangladesh foreign office Mizanur Rahman said.

During the meeting, Rahman handed over a note verbale to Pakistan’s high commissioner Shuja Alam.

Read: Bangladesh Islamist party leader to hang for war crimes

Read: Jamaat chief shifted to Dhaka Central Jail, execution imminent

Officials familiar with the meeting said the envoy met Rahman for 15 minutes as Dhaka conveyed its distress over the Pakistan foreign office’s statement on May 6 that expressed “deep concern” over the dismissal of Nizami’s review petition by the Bangladesh Supreme Court.

They said Alam told Rahman that he would convey the protest to Islamabad.

The envoy was summoned a day after Bangladesh’s junior foreign minister Shahriar Alam said “We are disappointed with Pakistan’s reaction. We never welcome anyone interfering in our internal issues”.

“I find this a serious issue, as these war criminals are trying to assure future generations with the notion that Pakistan as a state will be by their side. Otherwise why would Pakistan be so saddened by Nizami’s death penalty?” he said.

The Pakistani statement had said “there is a need for reconciliation in Bangladesh in accordance with the spirit of tripartite agreement of April 1974 which calls for a forward looking approach in matters relating to the events of 1971”.

Read: Nizami death penalty: Stop interfering, Bangladesh tells Pakistan

“We (Islamabad) have also been following the reaction of the international community and human rights organisations to the ‘controversial’ trials in Bangladesh, related to events of 1971,” it said.