Pakistan slams Modi’s statement in Dhaka

Islamabad, June 9 (IANS) Pakistan on Tuesday slammed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s acknowledgement of his country’s involvement in the 1971 war, saying his statement confirms India’s negative role against a sovereign neighbouring state.

“Indian politicians not only indulge in actions that are in violation of the United Nations’ Charter but also take pride in recalling their interference in the internal affairs of other states,” Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi M. Khalilullah said in a statement here.

The spokesperson said Pakistan believed in peaceful co-existence and maintaining good neighbourly relations with India, and that characterisation of bilateral relations by Prime Minister Modi as “nuisance” was unfortunate.

“The people of Pakistan and Bangladesh are bound not only by the strong bonds of religious affinity but also by the history of their struggle for independence against colonial rule. Indian attempts to sow seeds of discord between the two brotherly nations of Pakistan and Bangladesh will not succeed,” he stressed.

The Foreign Office spokesperson urged the international community to take note of Indian acknowledgement of its interference in Bangladesh, which was then East Pakistan.

The statement was echoed by Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah of the Pakistan Peoples Party, who emphasised India still wants to create conditions to destabilise Pakistan.

“It appears that India has still not accepted the existence of Pakistan,” he said, while speaking on the floor of the National Assembly.

Shah said a resolution should be passed by the National Assembly condemning the Indian prime minister’s statement.

Modi made the statement on Sunday during his official visit to Bangladesh, which was East Pakistan before becoming a separate country after the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

The Indian prime minister recalled his participation in the Jana Sangh campaign backing the rebels in former East Pakistan as he accepted a “liberation war” honour on behalf of former Indian premier Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

He said the establishment of Bangladesh was a desire of every Indian citizen and that was why Indian forces fought along with the Mukti Bahini, thus creating a new country.

Modi said he was one of the young volunteers who came to Delhi in 1971 to participate in the satyagraha movement launched by Jana Sangh to garner support for the Mukti Bahini members.

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