Bangladesh, Pakistan plan PM level talks

November 2nd, 2010 - 2:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Pervez Musharraf Dhaka, Nov 2 (IANS) Bangladesh and Pakistan have agreed to give “fresh impetus” to their bilateral relationship and planned a prime ministerial-level dialogue by the end of 2011.

The foreign ministers of the two neighbours will meet in the next six months and their prime ministers by the end of next year, it was decided at an official-level talk in Islamabad, The Daily Star newspaper said Tuesday.

A commitment to give “fresh impetus” to the bilateral relations was made during the fifth round of consultation Monday between Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes and his Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir, the paper said.

The last consultation was held in Dhaka in 2007, when an un-elected caretaker government was in office here.

During the three-hour discussion Monday, the two sides reviewed bilateral relations over a range of issues, including politics, economy and trade, defence, cultural and educational ties.

Bangladesh was carved out of Pakistan after a bloody freedom struggle in 1971. Pakistan recognised the new nation in 1974 and diplomatic ties were established in 1975.

However, relations have been uneasy between the two countries. Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf visited Bangladesh once, but no Bangladeshi head of state has visited Islamabad so far.

The Daily Star quoting foreign office sources here said Islamabad did not officially comment on Bangladesh’s long-pending demands of Pakistan’s apology for the 1971 genocide, repatriation of stranded Pakistanis and sharing of assets.

Dhaka wants apology for the mass killings that took place during the freedom movement.

Islamabad is concerned about Dhaka’s current move to try Islamist leaders, called “war criminals”, who have been accused of killing civilians during the freedom movement. Dhaka claims three million people perished in 1971.

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