Dhaka Snubs Islamabad, Says Stop ‘Interfering’


Dhaka: Dhaka has urged Islamabad not to interfere in internal affairs of Bangladesh after Pakistan expressed concerns over rejection of Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizamis’s review plea against death sentence .

“We are disappointed with Pakistan’s reaction. We never welcome anyone interfering in our internal issues,” Shahriar Alam, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, told a media briefing on Sunday .

Pakistan’s ‘concern’

Pakistan has been critical of Bangladesh’s war crimes trials that began in 2010, ending impunity enjoyed by those who had committed crimes against humanity during the Liberation War of 1971. Bangladesh’s Supreme Court had given its final verdict on Nizami on May 5.

On Friday, Pakistan foreign office had issued a statement which read, “We are concerned over Bangladesh Supreme Court verdict that rejected Jamaat-e-Islami leader Motiur Rahman Nizami’s petition to review his death penalty.” The statement also termed the trial “controversial”.

Reacting to it, Mr. Alam remarked, “Despite repeated reminders, they are still doing it [interfering in our issues]. They keep saying they are saddened by the verdict. But those being tried are Bangladeshi citizens after all.” Mr. Alam also asked Pakistan “to stop misinterpreting” the 1974 tripartite agreement — between India Pakistan and Bangladesh — which was referred by Islamabad while reacting to the war crimes trial.

He explained that as per the pact, 195 Pakistani war criminals who were repatriated to Pakistan, along with 93,000 Pakistani Prisoners of War, were to be given immunity. However, Bangladeshi nationals who committed war crimes could be tried.

Meanwhile, the 24-hour hartal called by Jamaat e Islami to protest the apex court’s verdict, failed to evoke much response. In Dhaka, traffic was thin in the morning but picked up as the office rush began. Though long-distance buses were not running, short-distance ones remained active.