Bangladesh on Saturday night executed Jamaat-e-Islami leader and media tycoon Mir Quasem Ali for war crimes committed during 1971 Liberation War.
In its sharp reaction, Pakistan said that it was “deeply saddened” by Bangladesh’s execution of Ali alleging that he was hanged after a conviction “through a flawed judicial process.”
Pakistan’s reaction came just an hour after the hanging of 63-year-old media tycoon, the sixth person to be executed for war crimes committed during Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation movement.
“Pakistan is deeply saddened over the execution of the prominent leader of Jamat-e-Islami, Bangladesh, Mir Quasem Ali, for the alleged crimes committed before December 1971, through a flawed judicial process,” a Pakistan Foreign Office statement said.
“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 organisations, 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 said.
Pakistan also called upon the Bangladeshi government to uphold its commitment, as per the Tripartite Agreement of 1974, wherein it was “decided not to proceed with the trials as an act of clemency”.
“Recriminations for political gains are counter productive. Pakistan believes that matters should be addressed with a forward looking approach in the noble spirit of reconciliation,” the statement said.
It said Pakistan offers deepest condolences to the bereaved family members.
Bangladesh’s Supreme Court on Tuesday had upheld the death sentence it handed down to Ali for committing war crimes during the country’s 1971 Liberation War against Pakistan.
The five-member bench headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha pronounced a single-word judgement in the court room. “Rejected,” said top judge, who is the first Hindu to occupy the post in the Muslim-majority country, about 64-year-old Ali’s appeal.
Although Ali had the option to seek presidential clemency, he had refused to do so.
Ali was considered the key-financier of Jamaat, which was opposed to Bangladesh’s 1971 independence from Pakistan. In his brief comments after the verdict, attorney general Mahbubey Alam had told reporters that Ali could now seek presidential clemency as his last resort to save himself from the gallows.
“He now could be (sent) to (the) gallows anytime if he does not seek clemency or his mercy petition is rejected,” Alam said.
(With PTI inputs)