Pakistan and Bangladesh were today involved in war of words over the execution of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami with both sides taking sharp digs at each other.
Pakistan first expressed its “deep sadness” over Nizami’s execution, saying his “only sin” was upholding the Constitution and laws of Pakistan.
“Pakistan is deeply saddened over the hanging of the Ameer of Jamat-e-Islami Bangladesh, Mr. Moti-ur-Rehman Nizami, for the alleged crimes committed before December, 1971,” the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement.
“His only sin was upholding the constitution and laws of Pakistan,” the statement said.
Bangladesh quickly hit back, saying the content of Pakistan’s statement reaffirmed Nizami’s role as a “traitor” who sided with Pakistani troops against “sovereign Bangladesh” in 1971.
“First of all, Islamabad’s statement is complete interference in Bangladesh’s internal affairs, which they have been repeating systematically,” Alam told PTI when asked about Pakistan foreign ministry’s statement after Nizami’s execution last night.
He said the content of Islamabad’s statement now made it clear that Nizami was a “traitor” by being the chief of the infamous Al-Badr militia force in 1971 when he sided with the Pakistani troops with weapons even after “Independent Bangladesh’s emergence on March 26, 1971 in line with the Proclamation of Independence of the Mujibnagar Government”.
“Their statement proved it again that Nizami was one of them (Pakistanis)...they could have taken him to Pakistan as a citizen if they are so worried about him,” Alam said.
The Pakistani statement said that “the act of suppressing the opposition by killing their leaders through flawed trials is completely against the spirit of democracy”.
“The execution is also unfortunate for the people of Bangladesh who had elected Mr. Nizami as their representative in the Parliament,” it said.
Pakistan said that the execution was against the Tripartite Agreement of 1974, involving Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, under which the Bangladesh “decided not to proceed with the trials as an act of clemency”.
Pakistani Parliament today also passed a unanimous resolution expressing “concern” and condemning Nizami’s hanging.
Alam accused Pakistan of “deliberate misinterpretation” of the Tripartite Agreement, saying the treaty allowed Pakistan to take back home 195 war criminals belonging to their army under a provision that they would be tried at home on their return.
“Nowhere in the agreement it is mentioned that Bangladesh could not try its nationals who committed crimes against humanity siding with the Pakistan troops during the Liberation War,” Alam said.
Three million people were killed during the nine-month long Liberation War against Pakistan.