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Bangladesh; Pakistan: Bilateral Consultations Conducted

(Dec. 3, 2010) On November 1, 2010, Bangladesh and Pakistan conducted consultations at the foreign secretary level concerning a number of longstanding bilateral issues. The two nations established diplomatic relations in 1976. Outstanding issues between the countries include Bangladesh's demands for:

  • an apology from Pakistan for the killing of Bangladeshis by Pakistani forces in 1971;
  • the repatriation of Pakistan loyalists in Bangladeshi refugee camps;
  • sharing by Pakistan of pre-separation-period state assets with Bangladesh;
  • the transfer by Pakistan of foreign aid it had pledged to Bangladesh for victims of the 1970 cyclone disaster; and
  • payment of damages incurred during Bangladesh war of independence from Pakistan.

The November 1 consultations reportedly did not result in commitments by Pakistan on these longstanding issues. Pakistan did, however, agree to redouble efforts to achieve a US$1 billion target amount of bilateral trade and to address issues of market access, trade facilitation, and the removal of tariffs. Both sides agreed to ease visa procedures and enhance shipping and airline flights between the two countries. (No Promises from Pakistan: Meeting of Foreign Secys Stalls on Genocide Apology, Stranded Pakistani Repatriation, Asset Sharing, THE DAILY STAR (Nov. 3, 2010),