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Pak dismisses Bangladesh's 1971 apology demand

world Updated: May 15, 2009 01:21 IST

PTI
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Pakistan on Thursday dismissed Dhaka's fresh demand that Islamabad formally apologise for the atrocities committed by its Army in 1971, saying the issue was settled under a tripartite agreement between the two countries and India in 1974.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni in a meeting with Pakistan's envoy Alamgir Alamgir Bashar Khan Babar on Tuesday had asked Islamabad to offer a formal apology for the "genocide" committed by its army against people of the then east-Pakistan during the Liberation War of 1971.

Commenting on the demand, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said the issue was addressed and settled under a tripartite agreement signed by Bangladesh, India and Pakistan in April 1974.

The then Minister of State for Foreign Affairs had stated that Pakistan condemns and regrets any crime that may have been committed, Basit said.

Pakistan attaches "immense importance" to its relations with Bangladesh and wants to move ahead for the sake of mutual benefit, he said, pointing out that a former Pakistani President during his visit to Bangladesh in 2002, also expressed regret for past events.

It has been alleged that three million Bangladeshis were killed and nearly 300,000 women raped at the hands of the Pakistani army in 1971. Pakistan, however, does not recognise the killing of three million Bangladeshis.