Pakistan-Bangladesh Relations | Dr. Ashish Shukla - angelfirenm.info
of relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh were: (I) The repatriation of Niazi of the Pakistan Army had surrendered on December 16, to the. Bangladesh and Pakistan are South Asian countries. Following the end of the British raj, the two countries formed a single state for 24 years. The Bangladesh Liberation War in resulted in the secession of East. Pakistan was hostile to Bangladesh in the early s, but by it was apparent that the Diplomatic relations were established in January , followed by the In a agreement, Bangladesh accepted half of Pakistan's pre
Apparently raped, shot and hung by heels from fans. Workmen who forced dig one of the two mass graves at Dacca U. Other grave equally as large Army broadcasts monitored here indicated one unit in desperate situation near Pabna on March Called for help, including air strikes. Justice Hamdoor Rahman Commission report in its finding too confirmed brutalities by the Pakistani military.
Niazi himself testified before the commission on the role of his predecessor Lt. Tikka Khan in continuing the crackdown on the innocent citizens.
Pakistan-Bangladesh relationship strained | Bangladesh | Al Jazeera
He categorically stated that: On the assumption of command I was very much concerned with the discipline of troops, and on 15th of April,that is within four days of my command, I addressed a letter to all formations located in the area and insisted that loot, rape, arson, killing of people at random must stop and a high standard of discipline should be maintained. I had come to know that looted material had been sent to West Pakistan which included cars, refrigerators and air conditioners etc.
The commission recommended trials for senior officers found guilty by the commission. In its supplementary report the commission noted that: Then the commission recommended: Mitha should be publically tried for being party to a criminal conspiracy to illegally usurp power from F. Mohammad Ayub Khan in power if necessary by the use of force.
In furtherance of their common purpose they did actually try to influence political parties by threats, inducements and even bribes to support their designs both for bringing about a particular kind of result during the elections ofand later persuading some of the political parties and the elected members of the National Assembly scheduled to be held at Dacca on the 3rd of March, They, furthermore, in agreement with each other brought about a situation in East Pakistan which led to a civil disobedience movement, armed revolt by the Awami League and subsequently to the surrender of our troops in East Pakistan and dismemberment of Pakistan.
Such brutal crackdown led millions of Bengalis to flee into the Indian Territory. Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi accused Pakistani establishment of settling its internal problem with the use of brutal force and appealed the international community for help.
The situation in these areas can very easily become explosive. The influx of refugees thus constitutes a grave security risk which no responsible government can allow to develop. Soon Awami League declared independence and established a government in exile. It is no secret that India provided help and training to Mukti Bahini but had been quite careful in monitoring and supervising their activities. It never allowed radical and extremist elements to take charge of the force and ensured that moderate faction of Awami League led the movement.
However, the reality is different and very few Pakistanis accept that. For Pakistan, the loss of half of the territory and population was like a trauma that posed a big question mark on its national identity and ideology.
- Pakistan-Bangladesh relationship strained
Bangladesh too was in no position to forget the sufferings easily. The problem was that the two leaders, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Shaikh Mujib-ur-Rahman set conditions for talking to each other. Mujib-ur-Rahman ruled out any discussion with Bhutto until Pakistan recognised Bangladesh, while the latter linked the recognition of Bangladesh with the resolution of all major issues, especially the repatriation of Prisoners of War PoWs.
The most complicated issues, immediately after the end of war, were: Division of Assets between Pakistan and Bangladesh. Repatriation of Pakistanis, commonly referred as Biharis, stranded in Bangladesh.
Repatriation of Bengalis from Pakistan to Bangladesh. These issues were not easy to resolve. Bangladesh wanted to try at least PoWs on charges of genocide while Pakistan wanted all the PoWs back as soon as possible. As per Geneva ConventionPoWs were required to be released unconditionally soon after the cessation of hostilities. Pakistan wanted all issues to be resolved before settling the issue of recognition. Bangladesh too was in no mood to be soft on the issue. With the passage of time, international pressure grew on India to resolve the PoWs and other issues that came to the fore because of the war with Pakistan.
In JulyIndia and Pakistan signed Simla Accord which provided a set of mutually agreed guiding principles that were to be followed by both countries in their future relationship. Later India persuaded Bangladesh to de-link the repatriation and recognition issue. This joint declaration was followed by a formal agreement between India and Pakistan in New Delhi on 28 August which devised a three-way repatriation scheme.
Repatriation of all PoWs, except held by Bangladesh for trial, and civil internees held in India to Pakistan. Repatriation of all Bengalis in Pakistan to Bangladesh. Repatriation of all non-Bengalis, who opted for Pakistan, stranded in Bangladesh to Pakistan. Pakistan, however, agreed to take only four categories of Pakistanis;26 A.
Persons of West Pakistan domicile. Central government employees and their family irrespective of their domicile. Members of divided families irrespective of domicile. And some hardship cases. The question of recognition of Bangladesh by Pakistan could not be resolved even after this agreement because the former wanted to try PoWs on the charges of war crime, but the latter wanted all of them back unhurt before settling the recognition question.
We know that the Bengalis passed on information during the war. There will be specific charges. How many will be tried, I cannot say. Initially there was no enthusiasm on the part of Bangladesh but Shaikh Sabah Al-ahmad al Jaber, Foreign Minister of Kuwait who led a seven member delegation to Bangladesh, persuaded Mujib to participate in the summit.
Bhutto used the occasion of summit to officially recognise Bangladesh. In his first visit to independent Bangladesh, he held discussions with Mujib-ur-Rhaman on a range of issues which resulted in signing of two agreements to resume trade relations and stop hostile propaganda against each other.
However, nothing tangible could come out on the more complicated issues such as division of assets and repatriation of stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh which gave an impression of failure of these talks. On the question of repatriation, Bhutto was of the view that since Biharis, as the stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh are called, had originally migrated to East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, why should Pakistan take them back. Since Mujib-ur-Rahman had linked the division of assets and repatriation of Biharis with establishing formal diplomatic relations, the two countries could not move forward to establish resident diplomatic missions.
Mujib- ur-Rahman tried hard diplomatically and raised the issue at various international fora, including United Nations and Commonwealth, to push Pakistan but with no success.
In a tragic event on 15 August Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman along with his family members, except his two daughters Sheikh Hasina Wajed and Sheikh Rehana, was assassinated. The military coup, conducted by junior officers, brought Khundkar Moshtaq to power. Some scholars suggest that the donation of 50, tons of rice and 15 million yards of cloth by Pakistan to Bangladesh was because Pakistan wanted Bangladesh to adopt some Islamic nomenclature.
Zia-ur- Rahman to the presidency. Under the new military regime in Bangladesh, diplomatic missions of the two countries assumed their responsibility in January With this the initial engagement between the two countries got institutionalised. In AugustTobarak Hussain, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, visited Pakistan and held discussions with Pakistani leaders over a number of important issues.
During their discussion, leaders of the two countries emphasised the shared past and common religio-cultural linkages and agreed to strengthen brotherly relationship between Pakistan and Bangladesh. In their view strengthening of relationship between the two South Asian countries would significantly contribute to peace and stability of the region.
On the economic front, both parties agreed to increase overall trade volume. There was no substantial progress on the contentious issues of division of assets and repatriation of non-Bengalis to Pakistan. The visit is considered to be a watershed in Pakistan-Bangladesh relations, as it paved the way for cooperation and engagement in multiple sectors such as trade, banking, shipping, telecommunication, air services etc.
Later, showing some generosity, Pakistan gifted a Boeing, 28 railway carriages, and 8, tons of cement to Bangladesh. After his death, army supported a civilian regime for a while and later in March Gen. Ershad imposed martial law. Ershad visited Islamabad and held discussions with Gen. At the end of the visit, agreements regarding trade and cultural exchanges were concluded. The two countries also signed a memorandum of understanding reciprocally exchanging plots in diplomatic areas in Islamabad and Dhaka so that a building could be constructed for the diplomatic mission of each country.
Changing his earlier attitude, in JulyGen. The trust had the responsibility of mobilising funds to repatriate aroundBiharis. However, with the death of Pakistani President in an air crash inthe repatriation got postponed. Military did not want the daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, earlier executed by Gen. Zia-ul-Haq without a fair trial, to lead the country.
Benazir herself mentions in her autobiography how generals tried to create hurdles in her way. More or less same was the case with Nawaz Sharif regime. Both Benazir and Nawaz Sharif, during the democratic interlude, served as Prime Minister twice, yet military dominated from behind the veil.
Both the leaders during their tenures were preoccupied in political problems at home and relations with Bangladesh could not become a priority. On the economic front, in August Pakistan-Bangladesh Economic Commission met for the third time in Dhaka in which it was agreed that both the parties would work to widen and diversify their trade and economic relations. This visit was publicised as introducing a new era of closer cooperation between the two countries.
In official circles, it was maintained that Pakistan was very much willing to cooperate with Bangladesh in almost all areas. During the visit, Benazir said that: We can do much in matters of commerce, trade and economic development to better the lot of our peoples.
Over the years, we have traversed a journey, which at times was difficult, at times traumatic. We in Pakistan follow, with great interest your effort to promote prosperity and well- being of your people. These words undoubtedly pleased many in Bangladesh. However, a careful analysis suggests that nothing of that sort happened which could be termed path-breaking or ushering a new era in the relationship.
In fact, the visit was near failure as nothing concrete could come out in the end. The two countries only signed an agreement for cultural exchanges. Given, her political weakness at home, Benazir is reported to have even requested Dhaka to resettle Biharis permanently in Bangladesh and agreed to secure financial assistance for the purpose through contributions by Pakistan and other Islamic countries.
Nawaz Sharif, during his first tenure in office, made some progress on the repatriation issue and constituted three committees to accelerate the process. Soon it was agreed that a symbolic repatriation would take place by December with a batch of Biharis coming back to settle permanently in Pakistan. In August Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia came to Pakistan on an official visit and held talks with her Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif over a variety of issues including the repatriation of Biharis, sharing of assets and liabilities.
The joint statement issued by Pakistan and Bangladesh stated that the repatriation would begin soon. However, growing domestic pressure in Pakistan against the repatriation blocked the process. Later with the dismissal of Nawaz Sharif government the situation changed and the issue was put into cold storage. Benazir Bhutto, during her second term in office, visited Bangladesh in October to participate in a conference of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.
However, nothing concrete could come out of that meeting. During his second tenure in office, Nawaz Sharif in January visited Bangladesh to attend India-Bangladesh-Pakistan business summit. However, the reaction in Pakistan was quite opposite and in a way hostile too. During her meeting with Nawaz Sharif, Sheikh Hasina Wajed made it quite clear that the Biharis were unacceptable to Bangladesh and her government could not support them indefinitely.
Pervez Musharraf came to power in Octoberhe faced the problem of legitimacy. Not much had happened on the external front till September 11, terrorist attack that brought Pakistan back into the focus of international attention.
Under intense international pressure, Musharraf agreed to make Pakistan a frontline state in the US-led war on terrorism. Responding to the parliament attack, Indian government launched Operation Parakram and mobilised its forces at the border with Pakistan. After its armed intrusion into Kargil, Pakistan was once again on the brink of war with India. The situation was brought under control after Musharraf under international pressure agreed to withdraw the armed intruders.
He banned some of the terrorist outfits and promised not to let them use Pakistani soil to create trouble for India. As regards relations with Bangladesh, even in such an environment, Musharraf decided to visit Bangladesh in July In her interaction with the President, Khaleda Zia invited Musharraf to visit Bangladesh to which he agreed.
The July visit was portrayed as highly successful because of the fact that Pakistani President, who happened to be the Chief of Army Staff as well, expressed his regret for the events of We wish this land and its people peace, progress and prosperity Your brothers and sisters in Pakistan share the pain of events of The excesses committed during the unfortunate period are regrettable.
Keeping India out of Pakistan-Bangladesh relations
Let us bury the past in a spirit of magnanimity. Let not the thought of future be dimmed. Let us move forward together; courage to compromise is greater than the courage to confront. Later speaking at the banquet the next day, he stated that: As a result of this tragedy a family having common religious and cultural heritage and united by a joint struggle for independence and a shared vision of the future, was torn apart.
We feel sorry for this tragedy, and the pain it caused to both our nations. But wounds do heel with time. We shall always stand by our Bangladeshi sisters and brothers. Prime Minister Khaleda Zia thanked Musharraf for his candid expression and expressed hope that it would help mitigate the old wounds.
It was not a formal and unconditional apology but was an important development because Musharraf was not only the President of Pakistan but chief of an institution that had committed all the crimes and excesses against the innocent East Pakistanis. Some welcomed the statement, while others accused Musharraf of using the words carefully to placate both Bangladeshis and Pakistanis and thus, demanded a formal apology from Pakistan. The two sides signed a number of trade agreements and a cultural exchange programme and also agreed to hold regular foreign ministerial meetings.
Pakistan, for its part, agreed to allow duty-free access to Bangladeshi jute and tea and the two parties also decided to extend the existing defence cooperation treaty. On the question of sharing of assets, he categorically told Himalayan and Central Asian Studies Vol.
Bus drivers targeted during Bangladesh strikes Bdnews On Wednesday, protestors provided a hour ultimatum to Bangladesh's government to severe ties with Pakistan as a reply to the resolution. When the deadline passed on Thursday, they began to move toward the embassy in Dhaka's Gulshan diplomatic zone.
Some protestors claimed that the demonstration was a peaceful one. Some witnesses mentioned that protestors tried to fight back when the police charged.
Joy pointed out that at least 9 to 10 protestors have been arrested by the police. Ganajagaran Mancha has announced a protest programme at Shahbagh of Dhaka on Friday afternoon. It was at Shahbagh where the platform had initiated an "Occupy Wall Street"-styled movement, to protest against a life-term imprisonment verdict to Mollah on February 5, after he was found guilty for killing a student, a family of 11 members and for collaborating with Pakistani forces to kill others in during Bangladesh's war of independence.
Ganajagaran Mancha has been demanding the maximum punishment for all war criminals. Over the past four decades, Bangladeshi authorities have maintained that during the nine-month long bloody war, the Pakistani army and their local collaborators killed at least three million people and raped more thanwomen in what was once East Pakistan.
Jamaat-e-Islami, Mollah's political party, was against the formation of Bangladesh at the time.