Bangladesh, Dhaka: On Wednesday, Bangladesh summoned Pakistan’s high commissioner to lodge a protest after a Bangladeshi official in Islamabad was detained for four hours, two Dhaka officials said, amid a worsening diplomatic row between the two countries. Weeks of rising tension in the relationship were sparked in late November by the executions in Bangladesh of two opposition leaders convicted of crimes against humanity during the 1971 war.
At the time, Pakistan’s foreign ministry had expressed deep concern and anguish at the executions, describing the trials of those involved in alleged atrocities during the conflict as flawed. The Pakistani high commissioner was summoned after the Bangladeshi official in Pakistan was detained for hours on Monday, hours after police in the Bangladeshi capital had detained an official of the Pakistan High Commission, citing his “suspicious movement”.
Both officials were released within a few hours. A senior official at the foreign ministry in Dhaka said, “We have summoned the Pakistan high commissioner to lodge the protests on the missing incident”. Last month, a Bangladeshi diplomat in Pakistan was expelled in what Dhaka officials called an act of retaliation after a Pakistani diplomat in Dhaka was expelled after being accused of spying. In late December, Pakistan withdrew Farina Arshad, a diplomat at its high commission in Dhaka, after Bangladeshi authorities accused her of spying and being involved in financing Islamist groups.