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Hasan raises 1971 genocide issue with Pak envoy

UNB . Dhaka
21 Apr 2024 18:06:56 | Update: 21 Apr 2024 19:42:20
Hasan raises 1971 genocide issue with Pak envoy
Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud — UNB File Photo

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud on Sunday raised the issue of genocide committed by Pakistan's military during the War of Liberation in 1971 during his courtesy meeting with the High Commissioner of Pakistan to Bangladesh Syed Ahmed Maroof.

“Naturally, there was a discussion about the genocide that took place here in 1971. I also shared my personal sufferings,” Minister Hasan told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs while responding to a question.

Bangladesh seeks an official apology from Pakistan for the genocide committed during the 1971 Liberation War in Bangladesh.

During the meeting, both sides emphasized that cooperation can be expanded in trade and commerce, agricultural cooperation, and people-to-people contact, according to the MoFA.

They also agreed to work together at the United Nations and other International Organizations to promote common interests.

'Indian FS’s visit postponed'

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud on Sunday said the planned official visit of Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra to Bangladesh was postponed due to their various internal reasons.

"Look, elections are underway there (in India). It (visit) was postponed because of various internal (India's) reasons," he told reporters when asked about the reasons behind the postponement of the visit.

The foreign minister said it has not been conveyed to Dhaka yet when the visit will take place.

The visit, which will take place on a mutually convenient new date, is part of high-level exchanges between Bangladesh and India and to review progress in two countries' bilateral cooperation agenda, said a diplomatic source.

Though there was no official announcement from Dhaka and New Delhi regarding the visit, the Indian FS was scheduled to be in Dhaka on a brief visit on April 20.

Diplomatic sources indicate that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India is planned early July after the conclusion of the neighbouring country's national election, which is the world's largest democratic exercise, spanning seven phases from April 19 to June 1, with the vote count set for June 4.

Pre-election surveys suggest a strong showing for the coalition led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is widely anticipated to secure re-election.

"Prime Minister's (Sheikh Hasina) India visit will definitely take place. However, it will take place after the election in India," FM Hasan said recently.

He said it is not yet discussed at the official level when the visit will exactly take place.

In January, Modi extended warm congratulations to PM Hasina on her electoral victory, expressing hopes for the continued strengthening of the historically close ties between India and Bangladesh.

The last bilateral engagement between the two prime ministers occurred during the G-20 Leaders Summit in September 2023, where Bangladesh was the guest country.

PM Modi is expected to extend invitations to South Asian and BIMSTEC country leaders for his swearing-in ceremony, fostering regional cooperation.

The government of India in March extended Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra's tenure by six months.

Kwatra assumed charge as India's foreign secretary on 1 May, 2022 and joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1988.