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Bangladesh protests Pak resolution over 1971 war crimes trial

PTI 26 Nov 2014, 9:35:15 AM IST

Dhaka: Bangladesh yesterday issued a diplomatic note to Pakistan strongly protesting a recent resolution of its provincial assembly that criticised the conviction of Islamabad-backed war criminals accused of genocide during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

“It was a brazen denial of justice for the victims of the heinous crimes committed by the convicted individuals and that the KPK assembly chose to speak for Bangladesh's (Islamist) Jamaat-e-Islami,” read the note sent to Pakistan's high commission here.

The note advised the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) assembly “not to make such sweeping, biased, misinformed and politically motivated remarks about the independent legal system of a foreign country”.

“By so doing the KPK assembly seriously undermined its standing as a responsible, credible and representative body speaking on behalf of its constituency,” it said adding that the resolution was tantamount to direct interference in the domestic affairs of Bangladesh.

According to newspaper reports, the KPK assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution calling as “partial” the trial of Bengali-speaking war criminals who sided with Pakistani troops in 1971 and condemned the death sentence and life imprisonment to leaders of Bangladesh's Jamaat-i-Islami, which was opposed to the country's independence from Pakistan.

The KPK resolution was tabled by a Pakistani Jamaat-i-Islami lawmaker and carried signatures of lawmakers of almost all parties in the assembly, days after Bangladesh's Supreme Court cleared the execution of Jamaat leader Quamaruzzaman for crimes against humanity during the war.

“It was deeply regretted that despite repeated overtures made to Pakistan, the misleading, motivated and malicious campaign against the trials of the crimes against humanity and genocide in Bangladesh continued unabated within different quarters in Pakistan,” the foreign ministry note said.

Bangladesh issued the note less than three weeks after the foreign office summoned Islamabad's envoy in Dhaka to denounce the Pakistani home minister's comments against the war crimes trials and asked “vested quarters in Pakistan to mind their own business and set their own house in order”.

The Pakistani minister had made the comments after a special tribunal in Dhaka sentenced to death Jamaat chief Matiur Rahman Nizami in October for war crimes.

That was the second time the Pakistani envoy was summoned since December last year when hundreds of protesters besieged Islamabad's embassy in Dhaka over a Pakistani parliamentary resolution condemning the execution of Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah in the war crimes trials.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the time had also slammed Pakistan saying that it had “never accepted the victory of Bangladesh in the liberation war of 1971”.