Bangladesh Asks Pakistan to Apologize for Genocide in 1971

Dhaka has asked Islamabad to apologize for acts of genocide committed during the nine-month long Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam raised the issue when the newly appointed High Commissioner of Pakistan to Bangladesh Imran Ahmed Siddiqui paid a courtesy call on him at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.

During the meeting, the State Minister reiterated the importance of resolving outstanding bilateral issues with Pakistan, including offering of an official apology from Pakistan for the genocide committed in the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

He also sought completion of repatriation of Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh, and settling the issue of the division of assets.

The State Minister cordially welcomed the High Commissioner and highlighted that enhancing relations with all neighbouring countries was a foreign policy priority of the Government, said the Foreign Ministry in a press statement.

''In line with that spirit, we look forward to engaging with Pakistan'', Shahriar Alam said.

He also urged Pakistan to grant access to more Bangladeshi products by utilizing the existing SAFTA provisions, relaxing the negative list and removing trade barriers. The current trade balance tilts towards Pakistan.

High Commissioner Siddiqui conveyed the very best wishes of the people and the Government of Pakistan to the State Minister and said that he would give due diligence to advancing bilateral relations in every possible area of cooperation.

Both sides agreed on the need to hold the long-pending Foreign Office Consultations, which was last held in 2010, reads the Foreign Ministry release.

The State Minister assured the High Commissioner of all cooperation and assistance during his tenure in Dhaka. 

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