Pakistan not influencing war crimes trial in Bangladesh, says official

Shakhawat Liton
The Daily Star Publication Date : 22-05-2012

Pakistan is not influencing the ongoing trial of war criminals in Bangladesh, a senior official of Pakistan foreign ministry said yesterday.

“We have full respect for your [Bangladesh] laws, and holding the trial is an internal affair of Bangladesh. So, we don’t have many words to say on the issue,” the official, who preferred not to be named, said while talking to a visiting Bangladeshi media delegation in Islamabad.

He denied the allegations categorically.

Replying to a query, the official however agreed that some may refer to allegations.

Meantime, talking to the delegation from Bangladesh at the foreign ministry, Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan, Pakistan state minister for foreign affairs, disclosed that the country’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar was planning to visit Bangladesh anytime this year to boost ties between the two countries.

“Our foreign minister is very keen to visit Bangladesh. She has already been invited by her Bangladesh counterpart [Dipu Moni]. And she is now seriously considering the invitation,” he said.

“The visit may take place before or after the coming Ramadan [which begins mid-July],” Khan said.

The state minister also stressed the need for increasing high-level talks to boost relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan.

He mentioned that the two countries have good relations. And Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani is very pleased with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he added.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni sent an invitation to Hina Rabban Khar in January to visit Dhaka, according to Pakistani officials.

“The foreign minister was immensely busy since she had to look after alone all the affairs. After the appointment of Nawabzada Malik Amad as the state minister last month, the foreign minister is now considering making a visit to Dhaka,” an official said.

He however indicated that the possibility of a visit to Dhaka either by the president or the prime minister of Pakistan was still very slim.