Pakistan has accused Bangladesh of “constantly harassing” its Second Secretary in Dhaka Farina Arshad, a day after Islamabad withdrew her over her alleged ties to terrorism.Islamabad in a statement on Thursday termed those charges “baseless” and said “an incessant and orchestrated media campaign was launched against her on spurious charges linking her with so called terrorists”.It referred to its High Commission in Dhaka’s “rebuttal” after the charges against Farina surfaced and said it was following that protest that it had decided to withdraw her.She left Dhaka for Pakistan on Wednesday.Fareena is the second official Pakistan has had to withdraw from Dhaka in a year. In January, Mazhar Khan had been expelled after Bangladesh intelligence accused him of funding Islamist radicals and peddling fake currency.Fareena’s link with the Jama’atul Majahideen Bangladesh (JMB) came to light when Idris Sheikh, one of the banned militant outfit’s members, gave a confessional statement at a Dhaka court.Sheikh, who was once involved in politics in Pakistan, claimed that he was in touch with Farina and had received Tk 30,000 from her.bdnews24.com ran a report on police findings on Dec 14. The High Commission refuted the charges two days later and said the Detective Branch of police leaked “the story” to media, a claim that the sleuths rejected.Bangladesh foreign ministry so far has not made any official comment on this.
Islamabad in Thursday’s statement said: “Miss Farina Arshad, Second Secretary at Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka was constantly being harassed by the Bangladeshi authorities.The Government of Pakistan twice summoned the High Commissioner of Bangladesh and a strong protest was lodged against the treatment meted out to her.”The latest diplomatic spat comes amidst what Dhaka says Islamabad’s “brazen interference” in Bangladesh’s war crimes trials.Bangladesh won independence from Pakistan in 1971 and, in 2010, it started trying those who committed crimes against humanity in the act of collaborating with the Pakistani occupation forces.But Pakistan has been expressing its displeasure about the tribunal’s verdicts and subsequent executions.Dhaka has protested against those statements after summoning its high commissioner. Islamabad has also summoned the Bangladesh high commissioner there. It had also called for reconciliation.On Thursday, it once again had urged Bangladesh government “to demonstrate the spirit of reconciliation and forward looking approach enshrined in the 1974 Tripartite Agreement”.