ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Pakistan has asked Bangladesh to withdraw its senior diplomat Moushumi Rahman from the country in 48 hours, without citing any reason.
The move appears to be a counter-action from Islamabad following the withdrawal of its diplomat Farina Arshad from Dhaka on December 23 last year after she was accused of terror financing.
On Tuesday, the Pakistan foreign ministry summoned Bangladesh High Commissioner to Pakistan Suhrab Hossain in the afternoon and conveyed the message, according to the diplomatic source.
Moushumi is the counsellor (political) and head of Chancery at the Bangladesh mission in Islamabad.
Dhaka, however, will not bring her back and instead will send her to its diplomatic mission in another country.
A highly placed government source told this correspondent last night that Dhaka took the Islamabad action “very seriously” as it had not cited any allegation against Moushumi.
Also on Wednesday, Bangladesh’s highest court upheld the death sentence for Motiur Rahman Nizami, head of the country’s largest Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami.
Nizami was appealing against last year’s conviction for war crimes committed during the independence war against Pakistan in 1971.
The 72-year-old is accused of helping the Pakistani army identify and kill pro-independence activists. He was convicted on charges including genocide, murder, torture and rape.
Diplomatic ties between Dhaka and Islamabad have soured after Bangladesh started executing the war criminals who actively collaborated with the Pak army in the genocide of some three million Bangladeshis and the rape of no less than two lakh women during the 1971 Liberation War.
Following the execution of top Jamaat leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed and BNP leader Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, Pakistan summoned the Bangladeshi envoy there to lodge a formal protest on Nov 30.
It was Moushumi Rahman, acting high commissioner in Islamabad back then, who had met the Pakistan authorities.