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'Formal Pak apology on 1971 could improve ties'

B'desh believes that a formal apology by Pak for crimes committed against Bangladeshis in 1971 could strengthen their ties.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Dhaka
UPDATED ON MAY 21, 2007 12:36 PM IST

A formal resolution in Pakistan parliament seeking apology for crimes committed against Bangladeshis in 1971 could help improve bilateral ties, the foreign affairs adviser of Bangladesh's interim cabinet has said.

"What Pakistan did against the Bengalis in 1971 can be well dubbed as a crime, not a mistake," media quoted Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury as telling newsmen at a briefing at his office on Sunday.

He was responding to a question on the recent remarks of Pakistani senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed that Pakistan should apologise "for crimes committed against the Bangladeshi brethren".

"The world is changing. Japan apologised to China. Pakistan should also come up with an apology," Chowdhury said appreciating the Pakistani senators' comments.

Some civil society groups in Pakistan have demanded that Islamabad formally seek an apology for the atrocities committed by their troops against Bangladeshis in 1971.

Sayed, chairman of the Pakistan senate's foreign relations committee, at a Pakistan-Bangladesh media seminar on Monday said, "There is nothing to hide in what happened in 1971." After nine months of Liberation War backed by India, Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation on December 16, 1971.

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