No pressure from Arab nations on war crimes trial: Bangladesh
Dhaka: Bangladesh has denied reports that it is under pressure from Gulf nations, where millions of its people work, to call off the trial of those who killed unarmed civilians in the run-up to the freedom movement in 1971.
A minister on Thursday sought to quash reports that the supposed pressures have slowed down the intake of workers and hit the country's exports to the Arab nations.
Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, Minister for Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment, maintained that the government's initiatives for the trial of 1971 "war crimes" did not affect the manpower export to the Middle East countries, especially Saudi Arabia, the main destination of Bangladeshi workers.
He claimed that there was no pressure from the Arab states on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government to call off the trial, expected to begin by year-end.
An unspecified number of people are sought to be brought before the law for being activists of Islamist outfits who killed and looted at the behest of the then East Pakistan regime.
Among the political targets are the top leaders of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, the country's largest Islamist party.
"The move for trial of war crimes has neither affected the country's export to the Middle East countries nor are they creating any pressure on the government against the trial," the minister was quoted as saying in The Daily Star.
Bangladesh's freedom, which meant the vivisection of Pakistan, was disapproved by the Muslim nations, as also the US and China, which took long to recognise the new nation and establish ties.