Violation of 1974 accord: Pakistan vows to move UN on Bangladesh executions

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan pledged on Friday to raise the issue of executions of Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) leaders in Bangladesh at appropriate United Nations forums, including its Human Rights Council (UNHRC), besides vowing to take the matter up at diplomatic level with other countries.

Members of the Senate were given details in this regard by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Condemning the Bangladesh executions, he asked Bangladesh to reconsider its policy “not just in the interest of other Muslim countries, but also its own”.

Terming executions of political opponents by Bangladesh government victimisation, he said that not only the Muslim world but the entire international community was expressing concerns in this regard.

Urging the international community to take notice of human rights violation in Bangladesh, Aziz said that the hangings were “in sheer violation of a 1974 agreement between Pakistan, India and Bangladesh”.

Earlier, Senators Nehal Hashmi, Hamza, Chaudhary Tanvir Khan and Mushahidullah Khan praised Turkey for recalling its envoy from Bangladesh in protest and recommended that Pakistan should follow suit.Senator Hashmi paid tribute to the fallen political leaders, including Matiur Rehman Nizami, saying that Nizami had served as a parliamentarian and minister in Bangladesh.

He also said that the tribunal headed by Sheikh Hasina Wajid had executed JI leaders whose “only crime was their loyalty to Pakistan and the two-nation theory”.

Reminding lawmakers that Prof Ghulam Azam and Salahuddin Chaudhary were among those who met a similar fate, he said that their crime had not been established and they were not given a fair deal. “International organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch had deemed the decision (to hang JI leaders) unacceptable,” he added.

Senator Abdul Qayyum criticised what he termed ‘kangaroo courts’ which awarded death sentences to the leaders of JI’s Bangladesh chapter and said the act amounted “to back-stabbing Pakistan as traitors”.

He said if East Pakistan had “not become Bangladesh, such gallows would not have existed”.

Senator Mushahidullah pointed out that Bangladesh’s vast majority was Muslim and said that maybe the “regime in Dhaka or people with such a mindset could be against Pakistan, but it was impossible for an entire population to be against any one country”.

Responding on a call-attention notice moved by Senator Kulsoom Parveen on the killing of a teenage girl in Abbottabad on ‘orders’ of a jirga, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shaikh Aftab Ahmed said both the federal and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa governments had taken strict notice of the ‘heinous incident’.

Senator Perveen condemned the girl’s murder for just supporting elopement and urged the government to take prompt action against the culprits.

“Is there a law that allows such killing … Is there a law that allows such courts?” she asked.

Condemning the murder, Senator Mohsin Leghari pointed out that a bill moved by former Senator Sughra Imam and passed by the Senate, had lapsed during the previous government. He said that this issue had not been taken up during the joint parliamentary sittings.

He asked the law minister to look into the matter and urged the government to formulate new legislation if they could not work with the existing bill.

He said that urgent remedial measures were needed on the part of the federal and provincial governments.

Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq said that Muslim countries should join hands and stop the executions of political opponents in Bangladesh.

Members of the Opposition continued their boycott of the Senate session against what they termed the Prime Minister’s delaying tactics over appearing before the House.

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