Dipu Moni seeks formal Pak apology
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has sought a formal apology from Pakistan for the genocide and atrocities committed by the Pakistani military in Bangladesh in 1971.
Dipu Moni also called for Pakistan's understanding and recognition of Bangladesh's position on a resolution of outstanding issues, including repatriation of stranded Pakistanis, division of assets and war reparations.
“An early resolution of the outstanding issues will enable the existing friendly relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan to make a great leap forward and create a wider space for cooperation,”
she told the new Pakistan envoy of Pakistan.
Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi, the newly appointed Pakistan High Commissioner to Bangladesh, made his first call on the Foreign Minister at her office yesterday afternoon, said a foreign ministry press release.
On the issue of a waiver for Pakistani products into EU markets in light of the recent floods in Pakistan, Dipu Moni said that Bangladesh, frequently visited by even more devastating natural disasters, was fully sympathetic toward the flood victims of Pakistan.
She, however, noted that giving trade preference to a country solely on account of natural disasters is unprecedented.
The foreign minister said that a number of countries, including those from Latin America, opposed the initiative even before Bangladesh did.
Bangladesh's decision in this regard would be considered on the merits of the proposal and not on whether other countries lent support to the initiative, she added.
The process of discussion was still continuing at the EU and the WTO, and Bangladesh would remain engaged in the process and take a decision based on how the process evolved, she stated.
Both sides emphasised the need for an early convening of the Joint Economic Commission (JEC) meeting. The Pakistan side has already desired to know of the convenience of the Bangladesh authorities for holding the JEC.
Minister Dipu Moni said that she had talked with the commerce minister in this regard and the latter would visit Islamabad for holding the JEC at the earliest opportunity. A set of suitable dates will soon be communicated to Islamabad for the JEC through diplomatic channels.