Pakistan parliament adopts resolution against Bangladesh’s war crimes trial

Pakistan’s parliament has passed a resolution ‘strongly’ condemning the hanging of war criminal Mir Quasem Ali, according to its website.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 7 Sept 2016, 05:13 PM
Updated : 7 Sept 2016, 05:13 PM

The Radio Pakistan reported that the resolution moved by Sher Akbar Khan MP on Wednesday was passed “unanimously”.

It claimed the execution of the Jamaat-e-Islami leaders was “contrary” to the tripartite agreement signed by Pakistan, India and Bangladesh in 1974.

The parliament asked Islamabad “to seriously raise at all the international forums the sentencing of political opponents in Bangladesh”.

Bangladesh’s foreign ministry earlier on Sep 4 summoned the acting High Commissioner of Pakistan in Dhaka Samina Mehtab and handed over a protest note against her foreign ministry’s statement following execution on Sep 3 night.

Mir Quasem was a prominent leader of Jamaat-e-Islami that opposed Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan in 1971 and collaborated with the occupation forces to crush the freedom struggle with genocide, rape of Bengalis and forcible conversion of Hindus.

The International Crimes Tribunal handed down the maximum penalty to him for torturing freedom fighters to death as Chittagong’s Al-Badr commander.

He met his fate after exhausting all legal options including review of the appeal verdict at the top court.

Pakistan had earlier issued similar statements after the execution of war criminals. Dhaka reacted to those statements by summoning the high commissioner to the foreign office.

The government on Sep 4 said despite Bangladesh’s repeated overtures, the “malicious campaign” by Pakistan against the trials of the crimes against humanity and genocide in Bangladesh is continuing.

“This is an impediment to the bilateral relations.”

Bangladesh had also reminded Pakistan time and again that it was presenting a “misleading, limited and partial interpretation” of the underlying premise of the Tripartite Agreement which is “totally unacceptable”.

The essential spirit of the Agreement was to create an environment of good neighbourliness and peaceful co-existence for ushering in long term stability and shared prosperity in the region.

The 'clemency' mentioned in 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, the foreign ministry earlier said.

“The Tripartite Agreement in no way restricted Bangladesh from prosecuting its own nationals for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.”

“The scope of the 1974 agreement was limited to repatriation of 195 Pakistani war criminals and remaining Pakistani prisoners of war, and the return of the Bangalis stranded inside Pakistan,” the foreign ministry had said.

In no way had the 1974 Agreement given clemency to the Bangladeshi war criminals, including the members of Razakar, Al-Badr and Al-Shams, Dhaka added.

Even after the 1974 agreement until the end of 1975, a large number of Bangladeshi war criminals were in different jails of Bangladesh facing trials, and Pakistan had never expressed its concerns by relating those trials with 1974 Agreement.

Those criminals were released only after the brutal murder of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975.

“Repeated misquoting of the provisions of Tripartite Agreement of 1974 and its misinterpretation is totally unacceptable,” the foreign ministry had earlier said in a protest note.

The government also referred to the wounds and trauma inflicted on Bangladesh’s national psyche by those crimes and stated that “this can be healed and put behind only through ensuring justice.”

Bangladesh’s freedom fighters and Ganajagaran Mancha, a secular platform of youths demanding maximum punishment of war criminals, had erupted in protests against Pakistan’s interference in the war crimes trial.

They even demanded severing ties with Islamabad.

Pakistan parliament earlier in 2013 had adopted a similar resolution denouncing the hanging of war criminal Abdul Quader Molla.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher