Pak deeply saddened over execution of Jamaat leader

BD summons envoy, protests ‘interference’

Staff Reporter

Islamabad/Dhaka—Pakistan is “deeply saddened” over Bangladesh’s execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali for “alleged crimes committed before December 1971 through a flawed judicial process”, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said on Sunday.
“The act of suppressing the Opposition through flawed trials is completely against the spirit of democracy,” Zakaria said.
Ali is the last prominent JI leader to face execution. Five opposition leaders including four JI leaders have been executed for war crimes since 2013.“Ever since the beginning of the trials, several international organisations, human rights groups, and international legal figures have raised objections to the court proceedings, especially regarding fairness and transparency, as well as harassment of lawyers and witnesses representing the accused,” he said.
“The government of Bangladesh should uphold its commitment, as per the Tripartite Agreement of 1974, wherein it ‘decided not to proceed with the trials as an act of clemency’,” Zakaria said, adding that “recriminations for political gains are counter-productive”.
“Pakistan believes that matters should be addressed with a forward-looking approach in the noble spirit of reconciliation,” he said, adding that Pakistan offers its deepest condolences to the bereaved family members.
Mir Quasem Ali was said to be a key commander of the Al-Badr militia in the southern port city of Chittagong during the 1971 war, and later became a shipping and real estate tycoon.
Agencies add: Bangladesh on Sunday summoned Pakistan’s envoy to protest its “interference” in the country’s internal affairs after Islamabad said it was “deeply saddened” by Jamaat leader and 1971 war criminal Mir Quasem Ali’s execution.
Bangladesh additional foreign secretary for bilateral affairs Qamrul Ahsan summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Samina Mehtab and protested the reaction.
“The opinion that Pakistan gave over the execution of Mir Quasem Ali was entirely tantamount to interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs,” Ahsan said after the meeting.
Ahsan said he told the Pakistani envoy that Mir Quasem’s trial “took place in a very transparent manner, in front of everybody.”

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