The Government of Bangladesh has conveyed its strong protest against the remarks of the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan made on 22 November 2015 concerning the executions of two individuals, Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mujahid, convicted of crimes against humanity and genocide in Bangladesh. The High Commissioner of Pakistan to Bangladesh Shuja Alam was called today and Acting Foreign Secretary Mizanur Rahman handed over a note verbale to him.
The note stated that by openly taking the side of those convicted of crimes against humanity and genocide, Pakistan has once again acknowledged its direct involvement and complicity with the mass atrocity crimes committed during Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971. It further stated that the unsolicitous comments were nothing less than brazen interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh, which was unacceptable.
Refuting Pakistan’s labeling the judicial process as ‘flawed trials’, it was reiterated that the verdicts against the convicted individuals had been handed down through an independent, sound, fair, impartial and transparent judicial process, and without any political interference. The trials took solely into consideration the crimes committed by them and had nothing to do with their political identity or affiliation. Pakistan should no way make biased, borrowed and unfounded comments about the independent judiciary of a sovereign country, the note stated. Responding to the misleading reference by Pakistan to the Agreement of 1974, the High Commissioner was told that the agreement never implied that the masterminds and perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide would continue to enjoy impunity and eschew the course of justice. It was further pointed out that it was rather Bangladesh that consistently advocated for regional peace, harmony, reconciliation and integration.
It was reminded that it was Pakistan that has systematically failed in its obligation to bring to justice those of its nationals identified and held responsible for committing mass atrocity crimes in 1971, and Pakistan could not escape the historic obligation it owed to the people of Bangladesh as well as to the international community. Bangladesh deeply regretted continued malicious campaign by Pakistan against the trials of the crimes against humanity and genocide and stated that this would not augur well for the friendly bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The High Commissioner was told to take serious note of the points raised by Bangladesh and bring those to the attention of the competent authorities in Pakistan. The Government of Bangladesh expected that the quarters/authorities in Pakistan would act responsibly and would refrain from continuing such uncalled for statements, the note added.