The state minister for foreign affairs, at a meeting with Pakistani envoy, emphasizes issues regarding stranded Pakistanis and asset division
Pakistan should offer an official apology to Bangladesh for the genocide committed in 1971, Dhaka told Islamabad on Thursday.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam reiterated Bangladesh's stance during a meeting with Pakistan High Commissioner in Dhaka Imran Ahmed Siddiqui at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He also spoke about the importance of resolving outstanding bilateral issues with Islamabad, including completion of the repatriation of Pakistanis stranded in Bangladesh and settling the issue of the division of assets, according to a press statement by the ministry.
The statement, however, did not provide any replies from the Pakistan envoy with respect to the above-mentioned issues.
Shahriar also urged Pakistan to grant access to more Bangladeshi products by utilizing the existing Safta provisions, relaxing the negative list and removing trade barriers. The current trade balance tilts towards Pakistan.
He highlighted that enhancing relations with all neighbouring countries was a foreign policy priority of the government.
In line with that spirit, Bangladesh looks forward to engaging with Pakistan, he added.
High Commissioner Siddiqui conveyed the very best wishes of the people and the government of Pakistan to the state minister and said he would give due diligence to advancing bilateral relations in every possible area of cooperation.
Both sides agreed on the need to hold the long-pending Foreign Office Consultations, which was last held in 2010.
Meanwhile, a press release issued by the High Commission of Pakistan to Bangladesh said that envoy Imran Ahmed Siddiqui handed over a signed copy of the Tripartite Agreement of 1974, which had addressed all the outstanding issues between the two countries, to the state minister.
The agreement should serve as a foundation for further strengthening of the existing fraternal relations.
The high commissioner further underlined that in order to establish productive commercial relations, there was a need to address all non-trade barriers, and efforts need to be made to facilitate frequent interaction between the business sectors of the two countries.
In this connection, he further informed the state minister that Pakistan had already removed all restrictions on Pakistani visa for Bangladeshi citizens.
The two sides discussed issues of mutual interest and agreed to work further for promotion of bilateral relations.