Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has accused Pakistan of exporting terrorism and said that her country was "frustrated" with Islamabad. The 69-year-old is the latest leader to criticise Islamabad amid ongoing border tensions between India and Pakistan.
However, this was not the reason behind Dhaka's withdrawal from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) summit scheduled to be hosted by Pakistan in November. India first pulled out from the summit following the deadly attacks by militants at an Indian army base in Uri, Kashmir. Soon, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also decided to opt out of the summit.
"It was over the situation in Pakistan that we decided to pull out. Terror [from Pakistan] has gone everywhere, which is why many of us felt frustrated by Pakistan. India pulled out because of the [Uri attack], but for Bangladesh the reason is totally different," Hasina was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
The reason, she said, was because Bangladesh was hurt over Pakistan's harsh criticism of the war crime tribunal process in Dhaka in which nearly 24 Jamaat-e-Islami leaders – accused of violence against civilians during the liberation war in 1971 – were executed or prosecuted.
She added that she was under a lot of pressure to "cut of all diplomatic ties with Pakistan for their behaviour". However, she assured that the ties would continue to remain and that she would try to resolve any issues with Pakistan.
Hasina reiterated that her government had a "zero tolerance to terror policy" while speaking about the Dhaka cafe attack, in which 20 people were killed. She also stressed on a counter-terrorism programme that Bangladesh had adopted, which according to her was yielding results.
Although Bangladesh has voiced its support for India in the past, Hasina remained neutral when she was asked about her opinion on India's decision of launching a cross-border surgical strike, post the Uri attack.
"Both the countries should maintain the sanctity of the LoC [Line of Control- India-Pakistan border] and that can bring peace," she said.
On 28 September, India had carried out a surgical strike across its border in Pakistan-administered-Kashmir killing many militants.