For one year, Dhaka mum on new Pakistan high commissioner | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 31, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:55 PM, January 30, 2019

For one year, Dhaka mum on new Pakistan high commissioner

Dhaka has apparently not accepted the nomination of the new high commissioner of Pakistan to Bangladesh by not responding to the proposed nomination in the last 11 months.

Highly placed diplomatic sources said the Pakistan foreign ministry sent the proposed nomination of its envoy to Bangladesh, Saqlain Syedah, in early March but Bangladesh was yet to respond to the appointment.

Dhaka has neither accepted nor rejected the nomination, foreign ministry officials said here yesterday.

“We have not received any intimation so far from the Bangladesh Foreign Office…its [been a] very long time since we sent the proposal for the new high commissioner,” a Pakistani diplomat in Dhaka told The Daily Star yesterday.

Asked whether the Pakistan government was going to propose a new name, the diplomat replied, “How can we do so unless we have any response from Bangladesh side?”

The Express Tribune of Pakistan on January 29 carried a new item with the headline “Dhaka refuses to accept new Pak envoy” and reported that “Diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Bangladesh stooped to new lows after the latter on Tuesday refused to accept Saqlain Syedah's documents as Pakistan's High Commissioner to the country and sought a new name for the post.”

Diplomatic sources told The Express Tribune that the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina did not mention any reason for the refusal.

According to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, it is mandatory to get acceptance letter from the receiving state before formal announcement of new Ambassador. It is essential to get concurrence from the host country.

The nomination of any ambassador may be accepted or rejected and it is the sovereign decision of the host country.  The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations clearly states that the host country may decline to approve the nomination of the proposed name by showing any reason.

Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, foreign ministry officials said they were not aware of Dhaka's formal refusal to accept Saqlain Syedah's “Agreement” (documents related to proposal of nomination) as Pakistan's High Commissioner.

“No response as of yet,” said a senior official under the condition of anonymity.

An unusual delay in approving nominations can be interpreted as non-acceptance, sources said.

Generally approval is given within a couple of months, but if there is no response for a few months, it automatically gives a negative signal and the sending country proposes new name for acceptance, one senior official at the ministry said.

The post had fallen vacant after the retirement of Pakistan High Commissioner to Bangladesh Rafiuzaman Siddiqui in February 2018. Afterwards, Syedah was named as his replacement and the relevant documents were sent for Dhaka's approval.

Diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan have soured since the beginning of the trial and execution of war criminals in Bangladesh.

Despite Dhaka's repeated calls to Pakistan to not interfere in the internal matters of Bangladesh, Pakistan's national and provincial parliaments adopted a resolution against the trial of war criminals.

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