Bangladesh seeks apology from Pakistan over 'misleading' FB post

The 13.45-minute video had initially been posted on the Facebook Page -- Pakistan Affairs.
Bangladesh seeks apology from Pakistan over 'misleading' FB post
Bangladesh seeks apology from Pakistan over 'misleading' FB post
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Bangladesh has sought a formal apology from Islamabad over an "ill-motivated and misleading" social media post by the High Commission of Pakistan here, which claimed that 'Ziaur Rahman, not Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, announced Bangladesh's independence'.

Dhaka has called for immediate removal of the video post on the Facebook page maintained by the Pakistan mission, bdnews24 reported.

The 13.45-minute video had initially been posted on the Facebook Page -- Pakistan Affairs. 

Bangladesh media outlets reported that the High Commission of Pakistan in Dhaka shared the video on its Facebook page. It was removed from the mission's Facebook page after it sparked controversy.

Pakistani High Commissioner Rafiuzzaman Siddiqui was summoned by the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday where a strong protest was lodged and a warning issued against the distortion of history.

The envoy met Foreign Secretary (Bilateral and Consular) Kamrul Ahsan on Tuesday.

"We told him that if this continues it will harm the relations between the two countries. History is history. One cannot divert it by spreading propaganda," Ahsan said.

The Pakistan envoy apologised, saying the incident was "unintentional" and that they had not "understood the situation", according to Secretary Ahsan.

The Foreign Ministry later said in a statement that the envoy was warned over "repeated breach of diplomatic norms by Pakistan only stands to harm bilateral relations between the two countries".

"The government deeply regrets that notwithstanding Bangladesh's repeated overtures the malicious campaign by Pakistan and its various agencies against Bangladesh has not come to a halt," it said.

Siddiqui was told that for the sake of adherence to established diplomatic norms; in future, the High Commission of Pakistan in Dhaka as well as the Pakistan authorities would act responsibly and refrain from any such uncalled for and provocative activities against the interest of Bangladesh.

The Pakistan envoy was also told to bring the matter to the notice of appropriate authorities in Pakistan and that Bangladesh seeks a "formal note of apology" over the video post.

The video also also claimed that Bangabandhu had not wanted Bangladesh's independence and had sought autonomy for the Bengali-majority East Pakistan.

"The Government of Bangladesh strongly rebuts such baseless and unfounded narratives," the demarche handed to Pakistan read.

Secretary Ahsan described it as an "instance of purposeful abuse of social media by the High Commission of Pakistan in Dhaka".

"Such breach of diplomatic norms and practices and deliberate propaganda to spread shameless lies shall not only jeopardize bilateral relations, but would render a great disservice to succeeding generations of historians, intelligentsia as well as common people who champion the cause of truth and justice."

"Nothing can be farthest from the truth than claiming that the architect of independent Bangladesh and Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman did not want Bangladesh's independence or that Bangladesh's independence was declared by anybody other than the Great Leader himself," according to the diplomatic note.

"Any such misadventure from Pakistan or for that matter any quarters in Pakistan would threaten normal ties."

The Pakistan envoy was told that Bangladesh's long freedom movement culminated in the declaration of independence by Bangabandhu on March 26, 1971, and Pakistan's subsequent surrender at Dhaka on December 16 that year.

The government also informed the Pakistani High Commissioner that "such utterly undiplomatic practices hurt the sentiments of the people of Bangladesh particularly the families of the three million martyrs and around half million violated women".

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