Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the atrocities Pakistani forces unleashed during its war of independence in 1971 are “unshakeable memories” for Bangladesh.
She made the remark when Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, the Pakistani high commissioner in Dhaka, saw her at the Ganabhaban on Thursday.
“Incidents of 1971 cannot be forgotten. The pain will remain forever,” she said, according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
The Pakistan Army swooped down on the unarmed innocent Bengalis on the night of Mar 25 that year to subjugate their struggle for freedom following 23 years of repression.
They carried out a genocide in the first hours of that night in Dhaka, codenaming the attack the ‘Operation Searchlight’.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, before being arrested by the Pakistani forces on that night, declared independence.
But, the undisputed leader of the Bengalis had effectively announced the nation’s independence at the historic Mar 7 rally at the Race Course grounds.
Bengalis defeated the Pakistanis on Dec 16 after nine months of Liberation War.
Hasina referred to the volumes of the book titled “Secret Documents of Intelligence Branch on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”, and said all can learn many historical facts between the years 1948 and 1971 from the books.
She also noted that the Urdu version of the book “Unfinished Memoirs” written by Bangabandhu is a best-seller in Pakistan. “It’s well read in Pakistan and other countries.”
High Commissioner Siddiqui conveyed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s greetings to Hasina.
The Pakistani diplomat said Khan advises his officials to learn from Bangladesh's quick development.
He sought Hasina’s support to strengthen communication between the foreign ministries but she said there was no obstacle to holding regular talks.
Siddiqui said his country wants to strengthen ties with Bangladesh. The prime minister referred to Bangladesh’s foreign policy - “friendship towards all, malice towards none” - and added she believes in regional cooperation.
The Pakistani high commissioner hailed Hasina for her leadership in the international arena.
Hasina offered full cooperation and support during her tenure.
Prime Minister's Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus and her Military Secretary Major General Naquib Ahmed Chowdhury, among others, were present.