Mir Quasem Ali’s execution: B’desh protests Pakistan’s interference
Bangladesh on Sunday summoned Pakistan’s envoy to protest its interference in the country’s internal affairs after Islamabad said it was ‘deeply saddened’ by Jamaat leader and 1971 war criminal Mir Quasem Ali’s execution.
Pakistan alleged that Mir Quasem Ali was hanged after his conviction “through a flawed judicial process”. Pakistan’s reaction came just an hour after the hanging of 63-year-old media tycoon, the sixth Islamist to be executed for war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War.
A Pakistan Foreign Office statement said, “Pakistan is deeply saddened over the execution of Bangladesh’s prominent leader of Jamat-e-Islami Mir Quasem Ali for the alleged crimes committed before December 1971, through a flawed judicial process.”
“The act of suppressing the Opposition, through flawed trials, is completely against the spirit of democracy. Ever since the beginning of the trials, several international organizations, human rights groups, and international legal figures have raised objections to the court proceedings, especially regarding fairness and transparency, as well as harassment of lawyers and witnesses representing the accused,” it added.
Pakistan also called upon the Bangladeshi government to uphold its commitment, as per the Tripartite Agreement of 1974, where it was “decided not to proceed with the trials as an act of clemency”.
“Recriminations for political gains are counterproductive. Pakistan believes that matters should be addressed with a forward looking approach in the noble spirit of reconciliation,” the statement said.
Mir Quasem Ali was sentenced to death two years ago. He had been convicted of offences including murder and torture. He was hanged at a high-security prison outside Dhaka on Saturday evening.
Mir Quasem Ali was arrested in 2010 and convicted in 2014. He declined to seek a presidential pardon, which would have required an admission of guilt.
An ambulance carrying Ali's body emerged from the jail on Sunday and took it to his home village in Manikganj for burial. Ali's wife Khandker Ayesha Khatun told reporters at the jail that the family wanted to bury him in Dhaka, but this request was refused by the authorities.
His execution follows several attacks by Islamist militants in Bangladesh, including an assault on a Dhaka cafe in July in which 20 hostages, most of them foreigners, were killed.