BJP leaders may have demonized Bangladesh for sending illegal migrants in Indian election campaign, little realizing that the country born out of a bitter struggle against Pakistan army has no love lost for Islamabad.
Bangladesh has now done what Modi’s India cannot imagine – stop issuing visas to Pakistani nationals.
Diplomatic tension between Pakistan and Bangladesh is at an all-time high following Dhaka’s latest decision.
Foreign office sources in Dhaka told Northeast Now that since last Monday the visa section in the Bangladesh embassy in Islamabad has been closed down after Pakistan delayed renewal of the visa of one of its diplomats in Islamabad.
It’s believed that Pakistan has delayed the renewal of the visa after Dhaka refused to accept the nomination of the new high commissioner of Pakistan to Bangladesh for over a year.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry sent the nomination of its proposed envoy Saqlain Syedah to Bangladesh in March 2018. Bangladesh has yet to respond to the appointment.
Bangladesh information minister Hasan Mahmud told Northeast Now during his last visit to Calcutta that, ‘we have very good reasons not to accept Saqlain’s credentials as envoy’.
He did not elaborate but officials said she was possibly from the intelligence services or closely connected to them.
Bangladesh is very wary of ISI activities after reports that the Pakistani military intelligence service was connected with alleged attempts to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
It has often blamed ISI for backing Islamist militants which Bangladesh is trying to neutralize specially after the terror attack on a Dhaka bakery three years ago in which more than 20 people, mostly foreigners were killed.
Last year, the Bangladesh tribunal awarded death sentence for five war criminals charged with committing crimes against humanity and siding with Pakistani troops carrying out genocide during the Liberation War in 1971.
Pakistan’s Parliament has issued condemnations and passed resolutions against the hanging of these war criminals on several occasions, which Bangladesh considers this an interference in its internal affairs.
The war crime tribunal was established in 2010 to prosecute criminals who assisted the Pakistani army in suppressing the struggle for independence in Bangladesh.
In 1971, a civil war broke out in Pakistan, leading to its division, after West Pakistan launched a military operation in East Pakistan seeking independence. The death toll among Bangladeshi people at the time was estimated to be nearly three million lives.
Indian military intervention ordered by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi brought the war to an end and led to Bangladesh’s emergence as a free nation friendly to India.