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Bangladesh Relations with Pakistan

Bangladeshs complicated relationship with Pakistan reflects the legacy of their shared history and the independence struggle. Landmarks in their reconciliation are:

  • An August 1973 agreement between Bangladesh and Pakistan on the repatriation of numerous individuals, including 90,000 Pakistani prisoners of war stranded in Bangladesh as a result of the 1971 conflict;
  • A February 1974 accord by Bangladesh and Pakistan on mutual recognition followed more than 2 years later by establishment of formal diplomatic relations;
  • The organization by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) of an airlift that moved almost 250,000 Bengalis from Pakistan to Bangladesh, and non-Bengalis from Bangladesh to Pakistan;
  • Exchanges of high-level visits, including a visit by Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to Bangladesh in 1989 and visits by Prime Minister Zia to Pakistan in 1992 and in 1995.
  • President Pervez Musharraf visited Bangladesh in 2002.
  • Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz visited Bangladesh in 2004.
  • Prime Minister Khaleda Zia visited Pakistan in 2006.
Still to be resolved are the division of assets from the pre-1971 period and the status of more than 250,000 non-Bengali Muslims (known as "Biharis") remaining in Bangladesh but seeking resettlement in Pakistan. Since the Awami League government took office in January 2009, relations have been strained over the issue of trials of war criminals from the 1971 war for independence.





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Page last modified: 05-05-2012 19:13:42 ZULU