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1971 WAR CRIMES PUNISHMENT

Dhaka lodges protest with Islamabad

Diplomatic Correspondent

Some protesters under the banner of ‘Civil Society Islamabad’ hand over a protest memorandum to the officials of Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday. The protesters gathered outside the embassy to condemn the hanging of war crimes convict, Abdul Quader Molla, also a leader of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. — AP photo  Some protesters under the banner of ‘Civil Society Islamabad’ hand over a protest memorandum to the officials of Bangladesh High Commission in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Tuesday. The protesters gathered outside the embassy to condemn the hanging of war crimes convict, Abdul Quader Molla, also a leader of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. — AP photo

Bangladesh on Tuesday expressed outrage over the uncalled for resolutions adopted by Pakistan National Assembly and the Punjab Provincial Assembly on the execution of Jamaat leader Quader Molla for his 1971 war crimes.
Foreign ministry secretary for bilateral affairs Mustafa Kamal summoned Pakistan high commissioner in Dhaka Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi and conveyed the outrage in a protest note.
Mustafa conveyed Bangladesh’s strong protests to Pakistan for its unsought for  reaction to the sentence handed to the war offender by the International Crimes Tribunal.
‘Strong protests’ were lodged against the resolutions adopted by the legislatures in Pakistan and the remarks made by a senior Cabinet Minister of Pakistan on the verdict given by the ICT, said Mustafa.
He made it clear to Pakistan that the ICTs were established to fulfil prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s 2008 election pledge.  
The war crimes trials are not taking place with any specific intention to rake up the memories of 1971 as is being misconstrued by some quarters in Pakistan but to put a legal closure to the injustice and pain suffered by the victims’ families and the Bangali nation as a whole, said Mustafa.
He also said that the trials were taking place to meet longstanding demands and aspirations of the people of Bangladesh.
Mustafa conveyed the message to Pakistan in unequivocal terms that the war crimes trial in Bangladesh was an internal matter and as such the uncalled for resolutions tantamount to ‘interference in the domestic affairs of Bangladesh.’
Meanwhile, information and cultural affairs minister Hasanul Haq Inu on Tuesday termed the resolutions taken by the legislatures of Pakistan against the execution of war crimes convict Quader Molla terming them as violations of diplomatic norms and as tantamount to interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs.
‘Pakistan’s attitude towards war crimes trial shows that they have not shifted from their policy of the mass killings during the 1971 Liberation War,’ Inu told reporters at an impromptu press conference at the secretariat.
He called upon the Pakistani authorities to publicly apologize for the crimes committed by the occupation army of Pakistan in 1971. 
Inu dismissed as baseless a statement of a Pakistani minister which described Quader Molla’s hanging as judicial murder.
He said in an open trial Quader got all the opportunities to defend himself.
He said that the war crimes trials would continue despite pressure from abroad.
The foreign ministry blasted Pakistan for the campaign of genocide it launched against the unarmed people of Bangladesh on the midnight of March 25, 1971.
Pakistan army and its cohorts like convicted war criminals Quader Molla had unleashed a reign of terror against the unsuspecting population of  Bangladesh in the subsequent months, recalled the foreign ministry.




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