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Bangladesh protests to Pakistan over remarks on executions

Bangladesh protested to Pakistan on Monday over what it said was interference in its internal affairs in comments about the hanging of two opposition leaders convicted of crimes against humanity during the 1971 war to break away from Pakistan.

Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid and Salauddin Quader Chowdhury were hanged on Sunday shortly after President Abdul Hamid rejected their appeals for clemency.

Pakistan’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs noted its “deep concern and anguish” at the “unfortunate” executions and condemned what it called “flawed trials”.

In a diplomatic rebuke, the Pakistani High Commissioner to Bangladesh was called in on Monday and Bangladesh’s acting foreign secretary, Mizanur Rahman, handed over a note of protest.

It said that by openly taking the side of those convicted, Pakistan had once again acknowledged its direct involvement and complicity in the mass crimes committed during the separation.

It said the comments were nothing less than brazen interference in the internal affairs of Bangladesh, which was unacceptable.

Bangladesh says the verdicts were handed down via an independent, sound, fair, impartial and transparent judicial process, and without any political interference.

“Pakistan should no way make biased, borrowed and unfounded comments about the independent judiciary of a sovereign country,” the note stated.

East Pakistan broke away to become independent Bangladesh after a war between India and Pakistan. About 3 million people were killed.

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