Foreign Minister Dr. AK Abdul Momen has asked Pakistan to “seek apology publicly with a formal announcement” for the atrocities perpetrated against unarmed Bangalees in 1971.
He conveyed this to Pakistan State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar when they met in Sri Lanka on the sidelines of the Independence Day programme. Dr Momen was an honoured guest at the event.
Replying to a question, he said Pakistan wants to enhance relations with Bangladesh but he reminded that seeking apology publicly is the first thing to do.
“You first need to seek an apology publicly. Otherwise, it will be very difficult for me. I can’t do that. It’s pure and simple,” the foreign minister told reporters as he conveyed this to the Pakistan state minister.
He, however, said the Pakistan State Minister did not make any direct reply to his request but mentioned that they have some limitations.
“If there is an issue of improving relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan that must begin with working in the economic area,” he said, adding that he urged the Pakistan State Minister to withdraw the restrictions to make the trade relations balanced.
He also hoped that Bangladesh is expected to get back the money borrowed by Sri Lanka by September this year as the country's economic situation is improving.
“Sri Lanka is gradually doing better. They are recovering slowly. We have given them time till September," he said, about the repayment of the $200 million loan.
During the visit, the foreign minister met with the Sri Lankan President and the Prime Minister.