Islamabad’s sympathetic views over the recent executions of two Bangladesh war criminals have prompted Dhaka to review its relationship with Islamabad, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said Sunday.
He made the disclosure while participating in a discussion on ‘Relationship between Bangladesh and India in the touchstone of time’ to mark the 44th anniversary of the recognition of Bangladesh as an independent country, the newspaper Daily Star reports.
After the execution of Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid of the Jamaat-e-Islami and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 liberation war, Pakistan’s foreign ministry, on November 22, voiced its “deep concern and anguish” over the act.
Bangladesh immediately summoned the Pakistan envoy in Dhaka and lodged a formal protest against Islamabad’s stand.
In an apparent tit-for-tact move, on November 30, Pakistan summoned the acting high commissioner of Bangladesh Maushumi Rahman to its foreign ministry and denied committing any war crimes or atrocities during the 1971 liberation war.
Pakistan also dismissed Bangladesh’s statement on Islamabad’s concern over the two executions.
Ali said that since Pakistanis had already admitted to crimes committed during the liberation war, it is ridiculous for Pakistan to start denying them now.
Three JuM members arrested
Bangladesh detained three suspected members of a banned militant group as security forces stepped up hunt for Islamists behind a spate of recent attacks, Reuters reports.
Bangladesh has suffered from a wave of Islamist violence, with two foreigners, four secular writers and a publisher killed this year. Some of the attacks have been claimed by Islamic State (IS).
The three men, who were active members of the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, were caught in an overnight raid in the capital, Dhaka, Monirul Islam, a police joint commissioner, told reporters, as the handcuffed men were paraded before the media.
A mobile phone network jammer and jihadi books were found in their possession, Islam said. Preliminary investigation showed the jammer was used during meetings to avoid leaking information, he said.
The group was believed to be behind a series of recent attacks, including bombings of a Shi’ite shrine and the killing of a policemen, police said.
Tension has been rising in Bangladesh since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched a crackdown on militants, putting several leaders on trial for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence.
IS also claimed responsibility for an attack late last month on a Shi’ite Muslim mosque that killed a cleric and wounded three other people at prayers, the second attack on the country’s tiny Shia Muslim community in a month.
The government has denied IS presence in the country and blames Islamist political opponents for instigating the violence.