Sympathy for war criminals: Bangladesh daily raps Pakistan

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Dhaka, Nov 24: Bangladesh feels "insulted that the official line of Pakistan should be one of commiseration with those convicted of crimes that should be condemned by any civilised nation", said a leading daily which expressed its outrage at Pakistan's concern for war criminals.

An editorial "Pakistan's statement on hanging of war criminals uncalled for and unacceptable" in the Daily Star on Tuesday said: "We are outraged by Pakistan foreign ministry's statement expressing 'deep concern and anguish' over the execution of two war criminals who collaborated with the Pakistani forces to perpetrate the most heinous crimes against the Bengalis in 1971."

Bangladesh

"The active participation of these war criminals in these crimes against humanity has been proven in the International Crimes Tribunal following standard proceedings with enough scope for the accused to prove the allegations wrong. In such circumstances we find Pakistan's official stand not only a dishonour to the martyrs of the Liberation War but also unacceptable interference in a country's internal affairs," said the daily.

Two Bangladesh opposition leaders were executed in the early hours of Sunday for war crimes committed during the 1971 Independence struggle against Pakistan. Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury, 67, and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, 68, were hanged in Dhaka's central jail.

The editorial noted this is "not the first time that Pakistan has officially condemned the carrying out of sentences handed down to other war criminals".

"As a nation we feel insulted that the official line of Pakistan should be one of commiseration with those convicted of crimes that should be condemned by any civilised nation. Instead of issuing a formal apology to the people of Bangladesh for the war crimes committed by their own army, Pakistan's government has chosen to side with those collaborators who are part of this shameful history," it added.

The daily went on to say that it seems "the bigotry and racism that prompted the Pakistani occupying forces to unleash a wave of terror on ordinary people have been carried over by some Pakistani officials since 1971".

"We had hoped that, after 45 years, Pakistan would have shed this mindset and moved on. Regrettably that has not happened. This has only served to jeopardise any possibility of reconciliation."

IANS

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