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Pak media blacks out Hasina’s comments on 1971 genocide

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina

Pakistan media blacked out Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s comments that Bangladesh will neither forget nor forgive the incidents of 1971. Hasina made these comments on December 3 when Pakistani High Commissioner Imran Ahmed Siddiqui called on her at the official residence Gono Bhaban.

An official statement released by the Press Wing of the Prime Minister's Office highlighted Hasina’s comments. "Incidents of 1971 cannot be forgotten or forgiven," Hasina told Siddiqui, as stated by the Press Wing. Apart from the Daily Star, other Bangladesh media which include Dhaka Tribune, bdnews24.com, and New Age, United News Bangladesh (UNB) among others highlighted Hasina’s statement, the Pakistan media opted to leave out the Prime Minister’s observation.

“The reports published in the Pakistani news outlets, including Dawn, The News and Geo News, among others, did not mention what she said about how Bangladesh perceives the war crimes committed by Pakistani forces in the 1971 Liberation War,” the Daily Star noted. The Pakistan media, under the influence of its Army and ISI, deliberately sidestepped remarks by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on atrocities in 1971 in erstwhile East Pakistan during her meeting with Pak envoy to Dhaka, the Economic Times reported.

While the Pakistan media conveniently ignored Hasina’s it just focused on the fact that the Bangladesh Prime Minister called for greater co-operation and strengthening of ties between the two countries. At the meeting with Siddiqui, Hasina extended her greetings to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying that “there was no bar to continuing diplomatic activities between the two countries following the usual norms.”

Hasina also told Siddiqui that the pain and trauma inflicted on Bangladesh in 1971 has motivated the country to highlight the atrocities of a genocide anywhere in the world and stress the need to end such heinous crimes across the globe. In 2017, Hasina had raised the issue of genocide even at the United Nations. In March 2017, the Bangladesh Parliament passed a resolution to observe March 25 as the Genocide Day.