Bangladesh and Pakistan Talk 1971 War Crimes

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It’s been more than 38 years since the war between two main regions of Pakistan, East and West, resulted in the political birth of East Pakistan Bangladesh. The memories of destruction and horror have not been sent to oblivion by the Bangladeshi government and people. And once again, Bangladesh is turning to prosecuting war criminals involved in murder, rape, and arson committed in 1971.

The new government of Bangladesh has talked to Mirza Zia Ispahani, President Asif Ali Zardari’s special envoy to Bangladesh, about Pakistan’s cooperation in prosecuting the suspected war criminals involved in the 1971 war. But Mr. Ispahani, speaking on behalf of Pakistan’s government, has rejected this call, saying that what has passed better be forgotten. Instead, he added, that the two countries should now focus on a better future.

Earlier, the Bangladeshi police caught two men suspected of war crimes in the 1971 war – the first ones to be arrested in Bangladesh after the 1975 pardon granted to thousands of war criminals. But the return to punishing war criminals follows, almost immediately, the election of Sheikh Hasina as Bangladesh’s new prime minister. During the elections, in December 2008, punishing war criminals drummed up people’s interest toward voting for candidates who prioritized the conviction of 1971 war criminals.

A report tells that over 1700 people are enlisted as war criminals and Bangladesh’s new government appears to further its public popularity by pursuing the issue of punishing war criminals involved in the 1971 tragedy.

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