Pakistan denies war crimes in Bangladesh

Updated 01 December 2015
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Pakistan denies war crimes in Bangladesh

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has denied committing war crimes during Bangladesh’s independence conflict in 1971, in what analysts said Tuesday was an unusually strong statement signalling worsening ties.
The move follows the executions in Bangladesh last week of senior opposition leaders convicted of war crimes during the conflict.
Pakistan has engaged in a war of words with its former eastern wing, which broke away in 1971 following the rise of a separatist movement and genocide as well as rape by Pakistani forces of Bangladeshi civilians.
In a statement by the foreign office on Monday, Islamabad “rejected insinuation of ‘complicity in committing crimes or war atrocities’.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” the statement added.
Badar Alam, editor of Pakistan’s Herald magazine, said the statement was a “stiffening of Islamabad’s stance” that marked a retreat from former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s 2002 statement of regret for “excesses committed during the unfortunate period.”
Bangladesh has been roiled by violence for much of the last three years since a domestic tribunal began delivering its verdicts on opposition figures accused of orchestrating massacres during the 1971 war.
Four people have so far been sent to the gallows in trials criticized by some groups for failing to reach international standards.
“Both countries have to cater to their internal gallery. If you look at the war crimes trials that are happening in Bangladesh, most observers are seeing them in the context of current domestic politics in that country,” Alam added.
“Pakistan is also playing to its own gallery. At this time Pakistan appears to be in conflict with every country in South Asia,” he told AFP Tuesday, noting worsening ties with Afghanistan and India.
Dhaka says the 1971 war left three million people dead, though independent researchers put the toll much lower.
Pakistan formally recognized Bangladesh’s independence in 1974, but has never issued an official apology for its actions during the war.
A 1972 Pakistani judicial inquiry said genocide had been committed, but its recommendations to try the generals responsible were never followed.


Migrants suspected of terrorism links, smuggling detained in Bosnia

Updated 19 February 2019
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Migrants suspected of terrorism links, smuggling detained in Bosnia

  • The suspects were captured in Sarajevo and Bihac
  • More than 25,000 migrants entered Bosnia since the beginning of 2018

SARAJEVO: Six Afghan migrants suspected of links to terrorism and people trafficking have been detained in Bosnia since the beginning of the year, the country's service for foreign affairs said on Tuesday.
The six are among more than 25,000 migrants and refugees, most from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran, who have entered Bosnia since January 2018 after other states, notably European Union members Hungary and Slovenia, sealed their borders.
Five of them are suspected of links to international terrorism and the sixth of migrant trafficking and organised crime, the agency said.
They represent "a threat to public order and security," the agency said in a statement, and will be expelled from the country.
The suspects were found in the capital, Sarajevo, and the northwestern town of Bihac, where more than 5,000 migrants have been stuck for months as the cold winter and Croatian police make it virtually impossible for them to continue their journey.
Bosnia was bypassed in 2015 and 2016 when more than a million migrants passed through the Balkans to western Europe, but since then it has become a major transit country.