Bangladesh’s Protests Against Pakistan Show Old Wounds Run Deep

by
Sameera Ehteram
Enraged protesters gathered outside the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka and threatened to attack the building if the Bangladeshi government failed to end diplomatic ties with Islamabad within 20 hours.

Enraged protesters gathered outside the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka and threatened to attack the building if the Bangladeshi government failed to end diplomatic ties with Islamabad within 20 hours.

Ties between Pakistan and Bangladesh were further strained when the former’s National Assembly adopted a resolution against the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah, the assistant secretary general of the Jamaat-e-Islami party. He was charged with war crimes committed in 1971 and put to death last week.

The civil war between West and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) caused the countries to split in 1971. Tension between the two governments has existed ever since.

The Pakistan National Assembly passed the resolution as it believed Abdul Quader Mollah was executed due to his loyalties towards Pakistan.

On the other hand, Bangladesh's foreign ministry said that Mollah’s trial and punishment was the country’s internal affair and the resolution adopted by Pakistan was uncalled for.

 

 

Bangladesh has also summoned Pakistan's High Commissioner in Dhaka for a meeting to discuss the resolution.

After Bangladesh’s inception, Pakistan sought China's help in blocking its entry into United Nations till 1974 when Islamabad eventually the independence of the state. The atrocities committed in the 1971 war remain etched in the memory of the Bangladeshi people, who are in no hurry to forget them.

Meanwhile, Pakistan feels that the Bengalis betrayed them by fighting for independence. Any wounds that may have been healed over time have been reopened by the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah.

Farhana Haider a BBC World journalist explains the animosity the best when she says, “An old conflict is coming back to life in Bangladesh as people accused of taking part in atrocities during the war of independence four decades ago are finally prosecuted.

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