DHAKA: Bangladesh has demanded an apology from Pakistan, summoning Islamabad’s envoy in Dhaka over a video posted on its high commission’s Facebook page that claimed the country’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was not the one who declared its independence in 1971.
Secretary Kamrul Ahsan summoned Pakistani high commissioner Rafiuzzaman Siddiqui on Tuesday afternoon and handed him a “strongly worded protest note” warning that repeated breach of diplomatic norms by Pakistan would only stand to harm bilateral relations, a Foreign Office statement said.
“The Bangladesh government seeks a formal note of apology for this ill-motivated and misleading video post and calls for an immediate withdrawal of the footage from the Facebook page reportedly maintained by the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka,” it said.
The statement said Ahsan told the envoy that Dhaka deeply regretted that notwithstanding Bangladesh’s repeated overtures “the malicious campaign by Pakistan and its various agencies against Bangladesh has not come to a halt”.
The nearly 14-minute video had initially been posted on a Facebook page called Pakistan Affairs. It said Bangladesh’s military ruler and subsequent president “Ziaur Rahman, not Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, announced Bangladesh’s independence”.
The Pakistani mission in Dhaka shared the video on its Facebook page, sparking a controversy that prompted it to remove the post.
Ahsan said the Pakistani envoy “apologised” saying the incident was “unintentional”.