Islamabad: Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan said the Pakistan government should officially apologise to the people of Bangladesh for atrocities allegedly committed by the Pakistan Army in the 1971 war.
Khan said this during a television show on Geo News and Geo Super TV channels yesterday while analysing the cricket match between Pakistan and West Indies played at Mirpur in Bangladesh.
The host of the show asked Khan about the expected behaviour of the Bangladeshi crowd in Mirpur and he said the Bangladeshis would support the Pakistani cricket team.
The host then asked Khan whether the time had come for the Pakistan government to apologise to the people of Bangladesh for the army operation of 1971.
Khan said he was previously of the opinion that the army operation was "a good thing" because there was no independent media in Pakistan in 1971.
Khan said when he went to Britain in 1971, his Bengali friends told him about the "reality" of the Pakistan Army operation in erstwhile East Pakistan.
He said army operations always created hatred and "we must apologise to the Bangladeshis".
He added: "We must learn lessons from our past mistakes and we should not repeat these mistakes in Balochistan and the tribal areas where we have started army operations on US pressure."
Khan said he had experienced the love and affection of Bangladeshis during an exhibition match in Mirpur in 1989.