Pakistan asks Bangladeshi diplomat to leave country


ISLAMABAD, Jan. 6 (Xinhua)– Pakistan has ordered a senior Bangladeshi diplomat to leave the country in what appears to a tit-for-tat move nearly two weeks after Bangladesh had asked Pakistan to withdraw a diplomat.

Sources said Wednesday that Pakistan had asked Bangladesh to recall Moushumi Rahman, the counsellor and head of chancery at the Bangladesh mission in Islamabad.

Bangladesh had earlier asked Pakistan to withdraw its diplomat Farina Arshad on Dec. 23 after the Bangladeshi authorities accused her of terror financing.

Arshad was the second secretary at the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka. Pakistan had rejected the allegation and claimed harassment of its diplomat.

Sources said the Pakistan Foreign Office summoned Bangladesh High Commissioner to Pakistan Suhrab Hossain on Tuesday and informed him of the decision.

Media in Bangladesh reported that Pakistan had not cited any reason for the expulsion.

Relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh have been tense for some time over the execution of leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami for the alleged war crimes during the country’s war of independence in 1971.

Pakistan had opposed the executions and insists that the “1974 tripartite agreement involving Pakistan, Bangladesh and India was the bedrock of relations between the two countries and as part of the agreement, Bangladesh had decided not to proceed with the trials as an act of clemency.”

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