B’desh-Pakistan spat gets worse; B’desh recalls envoy

RSTV Bureau

pa-bangladesh-mapThe ongoing diplomatic spat between Bangladesh and Pakistan just got worse. Bangladesh has recalled its High Commissioner Suhrab Hossain from Pakistan after Islamabad withdrew an alleged “terror-linked” diplomat from Dhaka.

“Yes, the High Commissioner has been asked to return home in quickest possible time,” a Foreign Ministry official in Bangladesh told PTI.

Bangladesh’s move comes a week after Islamabad withdrew a female diplomat posted in Dhaka amid an uproar over her suspected links to Islamist militants, nearly 12 months after Bangladesh expelled another Pakistani on identical charges.

According to reports, Second Secretary in the Pakistan High Commission Fareena Arshad left Dhaka two days after Bangladesh sought her withdrawal.

Reports say that a detained operative of the outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh had confessed that she maintained links with the outlawed outfit.

Pakistan had withdrawn diplomat Fareena Arshad but denied that she had links with any terrorist outfit in Bangladesh.

Of late, Dhaka- Islamabad ties have been steadily deteriorating after Islamabad’s “audacious” reactions following executions of two major 1971 war crimes convicts, who were found guilty of carrying out atrocities during the Liberation War siding with the Pakistani troops.

Just last week, Dhaka University scrapped its ties with all Pakistani universities over the same issue.

Pakistan was outraged over the execution of BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Jamaat-e-Islami’s Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujaheed for committing war crimes.

After the executions, Pakistan Foreign Ministry had voiced “deep concern and anguish” and said, “Pakistan is deeply disturbed at this development (executions)”.

The reaction prompted Dhaka to summon Islamabad’s envoy and strongly protest the comments. In a tit-for-tat, Islamabad also summoned Bangladesh’s acting High Commissioner in Pakistan.

(With inputs from agencies)