Pakistan says all visa restrictions for Bangladeshis eliminated


Pakistan has lifted all restrictions on visas for Bangladeshi residents, a transfer being seen as an ice breaker within the frosty relations between the 2 Muslim-majority nations in South Asia.

“Pakistan has already eliminated all restrictions on Pakistani visas for Bangladeshi residents,” stated a press release by the Pakistan Excessive Fee in Bangladesh after a gathering between Pakistani Excessive Commissioner Imran Ahmed Siddiqui and Bangladesh’s State Minister for Overseas Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Thursday.

“The 2 sides agreed to accentuate bilateral contacts in any respect ranges,” the assertion added.

Talking to Anadolu Company after the assembly, Siddiqui stated Pakistan is ready for a similar response from the Bangladeshi aspect.

“Bangladesh’s restrictions on Pakistani nationals are nonetheless in place, and that’s the reason I knowledgeable the state minister that we’ve already lifted all bars from our aspect,” he stated.

Bangladesh, former East Pakistan, gained independence after a bloody warfare in 1971 over standard resentment in opposition to energy being concentrated in West Pakistan.

Bilateral relations between the 2 nations have remained tense since, however reached a peak in 2009 when Bangladesh established a tribunal to prosecute these accused of warfare crimes in 1971.

Through the liberation warfare, the nation’s largest Islamist celebration had sided with the Pakistani navy in a bid to stop the breakup of the nation.

India, Pakistan’s regional rival, had supported the Bangladeshi fighters for independence.

However analysts say Bangladesh started in search of nearer relations with Pakistan over India’s “partial angle” lately, together with monopoly management over shared rivers, killings of unarmed Bangladeshi civilians on the borders, and the passing of the controversial Citizenship Modification Act (CAA).

In July final 12 months, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan made a uncommon telephone name to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina as Dhaka declared pursuing a international coverage of “friendship to all and malice to none”.

On Thursday, the Pakistani envoy additionally referred to as on Hasina and Overseas Minister AK Abdul Momen in Dhaka and reportedly mentioned numerous bilateral points.

In a separate assertion by the Bangladesh international ministry, Minister Alam was quoted as saying: “We sit up for partaking with Pakistan.”

Each side agreed on the necessity to maintain long-pending international workplace consultations which have been final held in 2010, it added.

Alam additionally urged Pakistan to grant entry to extra Bangladeshi merchandise by utilising the present South Asia Free Commerce Settlement (SAFTA) provisions, stress-free the destructive checklist and eradicating commerce obstacles. “The present commerce steadiness tilts in the direction of Pakistan,” he stated.

Through the assembly, the Pakistani aspect emphasised addressing all non-trade obstacles to determine “productive industrial relations”.

Apology from Pakistan

Alam additionally urged Pakistan to supply an official apology “for the genocide dedicated within the Bangladesh Liberation Conflict of 1971”.

The Pakistani envoy additionally handed over a signed copy of the Tripartite Settlement of 1974 to the Bangladeshi state minister “which had addressed all of the excellent points between the 2 nations”.

“The settlement ought to function a basis for additional strengthening of the present fraternal relations,” the assertion quoted Pakistani Excessive Commissioner Siddiqui as saying.

The April 1974 settlement signed by Bangladesh, Pakistan and India in New Delhi says: “The Prime Minister of Pakistan had declared that he would go to Bangladesh in response to the invitation of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and appealed to the individuals of Bangladesh to forgive and neglect the errors of the previous, so as to promote reconciliation.

“Equally, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh had declared with regard to the atrocities and destruction dedicated in Bangladesh in 1971 that he wished the individuals to neglect the previous and to make a contemporary begin, stating that the individuals of Bangladesh knew how you can forgive.”

The settlement additionally stated Bangladesh “had determined to not proceed with the [1971 war] trials as an act of clemency” and that the prisoners of warfare “could also be repatriated to Pakistan”.

“The Ministers [the then foreign ministers of Bangladesh, Pakistan and India] expressed their conviction that the above agreements present a agency foundation for the decision of the humanitarian issues arising out of the battle of 1971,” stated the settlement.