Bangladesh Foreign Office grills Pakistan High Commissioner in Dhaka

Bangladesh Foreign Office grills Pakistan High Commissioner in Dhaka

DHAKA - The Bangladeshi foreign ministry has lodged a strong protest and warned Pakistan against distorting history after its High Commission in Dhaka posted a video on country’s independence, reported on Tuesday.

The foreign ministry had summoned the Pakistan high commissioner to its offices after the High Commission’s Facebook page shared the video in which Pakistan said the then Major Ziaur Rahman declared independence in 1971 and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman did not want to wage war against Pakistan.

High Commissioner of Pakistan Rafiuzzaman Siddiqui answered the summons at a meeting with Foreign Secretary (Bilateral and Consular) Quamrul Ahsan on Tuesday, officials said.

The 13:45-minute video had initially been posted on a Facebook Page - Pakistan Affairs. The video said that ‘Ziaur Rahman, not Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, announced Bangladesh’s independence’.

Several Bangladesh media outlets have reported that the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka shared the video on its Facebook page. It was removed from the high commission’s Facebook page after it sparked controversy. The high commissioner made no comment after emerging from the meeting.

Bangladesh has warned Pakistan against distorting history, Secretary Ahsan said. “We told him that if this continues it will harm the relations between the two countries. History is history. One cannot divert it by spreading propaganda.”

The Pakistan high commissioner apologised, saying the incident had been ‘unintentional’ and that they had not ‘understood the situation’, Ahsan said.