Pakistani Excessive Commissioner Imran Ahmed Siddiqui meets Sheikh Hasina as they pledge to enhance bilateral relations.

Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistan’s Excessive Commissioner to Bangladesh has met with that nation’s prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, with either side pledging to enhance bilateral relations, in keeping with separate statements, an extra signal of a thaw in an in any other case frosty relationship.

Hasina met with Imran Ahmed Siddiqui within the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on Thursday.

“The 2 sides agreed to additional strengthen the present fraternal relations between the 2 international locations,” mentioned a Pakistani international workplace assertion launched following the assembly.

A Bangladeshi assertion on the assembly quoted Hasina as saying that there was “no bar” to reactivating bilateral cooperation mechanisms which have largely remained frozen for a number of years.

“The PM additionally mentioned she believes in regional cooperation referring to the Bangladesh international coverage ‘friendship to all, malice to none’,” reported the Bangladeshi state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) information company on the assembly.

I’d not say there was important change within the relationship, however definitely some ice has been damaged

Zahid Hussain, an Islamabad-based analyst

Whereas Pakistan’s assertion was marked by its deal with bettering bilateral ties, the Bangladeshi assertion was extra guarded in its tone, referring prominently to the nation’s warfare of independence in opposition to Pakistan in 1971.

“Incidents of 1971 can’t be forgotten. The ache will stay endlessly,” BSS quoted Hasina as telling the Pakistani envoy.

Credible stories of warfare crimes

Bangladesh, then often called East Pakistan, fought a warfare for independence from Pakistan in 1971, and can mark 50 years since independence subsequent yr.

India, Pakistan’s regional rival, supported the Bangladeshi fighters for independence.

There have been credible stories of warfare crimes dedicated by Pakistani forces and their allies throughout that war, though some historians and Pakistani officers dispute these accounts.

Since 2009, Bangladesh has tried and sentenced quite a lot of residents on warfare crimes fees associated to the nine-month warfare by way of a particular tribunal.

Relations between the 2 international locations have remained strained lately. In July, nonetheless, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke along with his Bangladeshi counterpart by phone, a uncommon thaw.

Analysts say they don’t imagine relations might be restored throughout the board, however that some enhancements could also be forthcoming.

“I’d not say there was important change within the relationship, however definitely some ice has been damaged,” says Zahid Hussain, an Islamabad-based analyst and journalist.

“There was virtually an entire cool off in every kind of relations, so we are able to say there was some motion, however not that they’re now warming up.”

Hussain mentioned he believed ties might start to extend when it comes to commerce and funding, however different progress was unlikely.

Imtiaz Ahmed, Professor of Worldwide Relations at Dhaka College, instructed Al Jazeera that the advance in bilateral ties between Islamabad and Dhaka is extremely unlikely till Pakistan gives an official apology for the alleged warfare crimes throughout the 1971 warfare.

“The ball is now of their courtroom. They’ve to vary their stance on that warfare,” he mentioned.

On the financial entrance, Ahmed mentioned that there was room to spice up commerce between the 2 international locations. “The 2 international locations have a bilateral commerce of some $500m. I imagine there may be scope to extend that commerce.”

Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim. Faisal Mahmud contributed to this report from Dhaka


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