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Pak must accept the truth of 1971, says Bangladesh

Bangladesh said it wanted a constructive and forward-looking engagement with Pakistan, but Islamabad should accept the truth of the 1971 Liberation War.

world Updated: Aug 22, 2009 21:08 IST

Bangladesh on Saturday said it wanted a constructive and forward-looking engagement with Pakistan, but Islamabad should accept the truth of the 1971 Liberation War.

Foreign Secretary Mizarul Quayes said Pakistan might be "embarrassed" by the initiative but Dhaka was determined to stage the trial of the 1971 war criminals.

"They (Pakistan) could naturally be embarrassed with our initiatives (but) the indication of maturity lies with the attitude of facing the truth with courage," he told a press conference in Dhaka.

Quayes said Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani had last month expressed his country's willingness for a future-looking engagement with Bangladesh during his meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the sidelines of the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM) summit in Egypt.

Asked to comment on the recent remarks of a senior government leader that Bangladesh was faced with "internal and external pressures" for abandoning plans to try the collaborators of Pakistani atrocities, he said: "Bangladesh has decided to try them and it is its sovereign right".

"Those who opposed Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War could have reasons to be embarrassed," he said on a question referring to Pakistan, China and Saudi Arabia.

Quayes's comments came after Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said Islamabad wanted talks with Dhaka. Moni had said that Pakistan could be concerned with the trial process as it possibly feared it could retrieve many bitter issues.