Pakistan on Wednesday condemned setting its national flags on fire by protesters outside its High Commission in Dhaka and called upon the Bangladeshi government to ensure security of the high commission and its staff members. “We condemn the torching of our national flag by Bangladeshi protesters in front of our High Commission in Dhaka”, said Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, while talking to reporters after meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs.
She said that it is responsibility of the Bangladeshi government to ensure security of the High Commission and the staffers. Earlier in a statement, the spokesperson said that Bangladesh needs to avoid blame game, adding that both the countries should try to strengthen their relations. She said that Bangladesh is our neighbouring Islamic country and Pakistan wants to strengthen ties with it.
Foreign Secretary (designate) Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, during proceedings of the committee on Foreign Affairs, told the members that the protesters who were staging demonstration against the resolution passed by National Assembly on the execution of Jamaat-i-Islami Bangladesh leader Abdul Quader Mollah, torched Pakistani national flag and demanded withdrawal of the resolution besides tendering an apology.
The committee seemed divided when Minister of State for Commerce and Industries, who was attending the meeting on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs, expressed the desire that the panel should reiterate the stance voiced in the National Assembly resolution. The move was resisted by Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Dr Fehmida Mirza, saying that since the resolution was not passed unanimously and any such response should come from the parliament instead of the committee.
“Parliament is bigger platform and if you want to give any response to the demonstration in Bangladesh (against NA resolution), it must come from the parliament”, said Fehmida Mirza, former Speaker National Assembly and PPP’s nominee in the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs. When some members pointed out that National Assembly is an independent and a sovereign forum to express concern on certain human rights violation like the execution of Mollah, Fehmida Mirza stated that Bangladesh is also an independent and a sovereign state.
On Tuesday, Bangladesh government summoned Pakistan’s High Commissioner Mian Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi Qureshi in Dhaka to lodge its protest over the resolutions adopted by the National Assembly and Punjab Assembly. The Pakistani High Commissioner was conveyed in “unequivocal terms” that the war crimes trial in Bangladesh was an internal matter and as such the “uncalled for” resolutions on the verdicts of the war crimes trial tantamount to interference in the domestic affairs of Bangladesh.