PSF’s Exclusive Response To Bangladeshi English daily “The Daily Star” Report “Improving Bangladesh-Pakistan Ties: Apology is a must to heal wounds”

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Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan made a call on last Wednesday to Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina to discuss matters of mutual interest & to offer condolences on losses Bangladesh suffered due to recent floods.

PSF after complete research & analyzing can say that first this is a very childish behavior shown by Bangladesh by demanding an apology from Pakistan on 1971 War.

Pakistan appointed Imran Ahmad Siddiqui as Ambassador in Bangladesh recently. On his first meeting with the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh AK Abdul Momen. Bangladeshi FM again raised the issue of 1971 and demanded apology from Pakistan. Pakistan’s Ambassador didn’t comment on it which shows Pakistan has no intentions of apologizing from Dhaka on 1971 War.

Since after the clash between India and China in Galwan Valley, India’s relationships with almost all its neighbors are going cold including Nepal, Sri Lanka and even Bhutan. Under such scenario India’s behavior with Bangladesh has not been good either, be that on sharing water of common rivers or on border killings of Bangladeshis. Being surrounded by India from three sides, Bangladesh needs strong allies in the region who will deter this bullish attitude shown by India towards Bangladesh.

In this case, Pakistan is a critical factor (beside China of course, with whom BD already has strategic level relations). What Dhaka needs to understand is that maintaining relations with Pakistan serves their own national interest far more than that of Islamabad’s.

Pakistan can provide Bangladesh strategic level of deterrence that will ensure Bangladesh’s territorial integrity & this can only be achieved if Bangladesh keeps its relations with Islamabad warmer.

In return, other than trade, Dhaka cannot return that much of deterrence to Islamabad. Moreover, Pakistan also doesn’t want such support from Bangladesh but sadly this childish attitude by the Government of Bangladesh hampers relations between Pakistan & Bangladesh.

Bangladesh should understand that healthy relations with Pakistan is Bangladesh’s requirement not the other way around.

Yes, Prime Minister of Pakistan has taken the initiative because Pakistan and China both think that there should be a regional approach towards India’s hegemony & Bangladesh can play an important part just like Bhutan, Nepal & Sri Lanka.

These childish demands from Government of Bangladesh will only hamper Bangladesh’s interests and won’t bring fruitful results for Bangladesh in future.

We also understand that it won’t be easy for the current regime to simply back away from apology demand from Pakistan since Bengali Nationalism and anti-Pakistan sentiment has long been the tool of internal politics for the ruling party Bangladesh Awami League (BAL).

Keeping internal politics aside, if Bangladesh needs to secure its geostrategic interests in the region, they will have to move forward in diplomatic relations with Pakistan. Otherwise they will have to face Indian aggression & everyone knows Bangladesh Military does not stand a chance against Indian Military both in terms of manpower & equipment.

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