NEW DELHI: Bangladesh information minister came out strongly in support of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticizing Pakistan Foreign Office statement that India interfered in the affairs of other state during the 1971 political turmoil in East Pakistan.
Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanal Haq Inu asserted this a day after the foreign ministry’s statement referring to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks during his Dhaka trip that India had supported Bangladesh’s freedom movement. The ministry criticised Modi’s acknowledgement of Indian involvement in the 1971 war and said his statement confirmed India’s negative role in the affairs of a sovereign neighbouring state.
Bangladeshi minister said, “The Indian PM said that India supported the 1971 war of liberation. But this is not tantamount to interference in Pakistan, as New Delhi, as a friendly neighbor, stood by Bangladesh whose independence was proclaimed on March 26, 1971. Therefore, it was support from one country to the other against its fight with a third country (Pakistan),” Bangladesh Information Minister Hasanal Haq Inu said in a statement published in Indian paper.
Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Qazi M Khalilullah had said in statement “Indian politicians not only indulge in actions that are in violation of the United Nations’ Charter, but also take pride in recalling their interference in the internal affairs of other states.”
Bangladesh minister claimed that after the March 1971 declaration of independence, the Sheikh Mujib government was recognized by other countries of South Asia as well. He said the then Indian government had stood by the newly formed regime of Bangladesh and, therefore, the question of intervention does not arise.
Inu also alleged that Pakistan’s intelligence service had encouraged and supported growth of radical forces and terror groups in Bangladesh, putting security of the region at peril.
“The Hasina government has several and concrete evidence that Pakistan’s spy agency had propped up groups with support of Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh. Several of these elements participated in the Afghan war and then returned to foment trouble. The groups prospered under the regime of Khaleda Zia between 2001 and 2006. And the erstwhile Khaleda government was waging a proxy war against India on behalf of Pakistan,” he claimed.
The minister pointed out that after Sheikh Hasina returned to power in 2008, she had taken tough steps to eliminate and control radical elements and groups in Bangladesh. It is no secret that Hasina also fulfilled a long-standing demand by deporting several insurgent leaders from the north east and dismantled their infrastructure, setting a new example in counter-terror cooperation.
Inu reiterated Bangladesh demand that Pakistan should own up to atrocities committed against the Bangla-speaking people and tender an unconditional apology.