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Pakistan decries ‘baseless charges’ against its diplomat in Dhaka

“Miss Farina Arshad, second secretary at Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka was constantly being harassed by the Bangladeshi authorities,” said the FO. “The Government of Pakistan twice summoned the High Commissioner of Bangladesh and a strong protest was lodged against the treatment meted out to her.”

The FO decried an incessant and orchestrated media campaign lately launched against her on spurious charges linking the diplomat with so called terrorists, adding the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka issued a strong rebuttal against the baseless and fabricated charges against the diplomat.

“Following this protest, it was decided to withdraw her. She has since returned back,” read the statement.

With this, Pakistan once again urged the Bangladesh government to demonstrate the spirit of reconciliation and forward looking approach enshrined in the 1974 Tripartite Agreement.

Pakistan on Wednesday recalled one of its diplomats from Dhaka after she was named as allegedly having financed a suspected Islamic extremist on trial for espionage, a Bangladesh official said.

“The female second secretary of the high commission was sent back to Islamabad this afternoon, two days after Dhaka informally asked for her departure,” a senior official at the Bangladeshi foreign ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

The Pakistani High Commission did not immediately respond to an AFP query about the whereabouts of the diplomat, who has previously been named in press reports as Farina Arshad.

The move comes after Idris Sheikh, a suspected member of the banned Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh, told a Dhaka court about his ties to Arshad, saying he received funds of 30,000 taka ($380), according to police detectives.

After Sheikh’s claims against Arshad were widely reported in the Bangladeshi media, the Pakistani mission issued a statement dismissing what it called “utterly baseless media reports… maligning a female diplomat stationed in Dhaka”.

Bangladesh’s Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has said that the government would take action against Arshad if the allegations against her were proved, according to local news outlets.

Relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan have soured in recent months after Islamabad strongly protested against the execution of two Bangladeshi opposition leaders for war crimes during Dhaka’s independence struggle against Pakistan in 1971.

The two leaders hanged last month were accused of siding with Pakistan during the war and committed atrocities with help from Pakistani forces.



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