‘We are frustrated with Pak’
Staff Correspondent: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, attempting to draw a distinction between supporting India on terrorism after the Uri attacks and supporting the subsequent cross-LoC strikes says that Bangladesh feels “frustrated” with Pakistan over its export of terror, but Dhaka’s reasons for pulling out of the SAARC summit in Islamabad were “different from India’s.”
“It was over the situation in Pakistan that we had decided to pull out. Terror has gone everywhere, which is why many of us felt disappointed by Pakistan. India pulled out because of the [Uri attack], but for Bangladesh the reason is wholly different,” Ms Hasina said.
She was speaking to The Hindu in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview at her official ‘Ganabhaban’ residence in Dhaka ahead of her visit to India to attend the BRICS- BIMSTEC outreach, involving nations surrounding the Bay of Bengal in Goa on October 15 and 16.
She also said that one of the other main reasons for her government’s SAARC pullout was the hurt felt over Pakistan’s strident criticism of the war crimes tribunal process in Bangladesh in which a dozen Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, accused of brutalities during the liberation war in 1971, have been hanged or indicted.
“There is a lot of pressure on me to cut off all diplomatic ties with Pakistan for their behaviour. But I have said the relations will remain, and we will have to overcome our problems. The fact is, we won our liberation war from Pakistan, and they were a defeated force,” Ms. Hasina said, adding that she appreciated India’s support during the war and later.