Dhaka ready to respond to war criminals’ trial, if raised

Dhaka ready to respond to war criminals’ trial, if raised

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Dhaka: Bangladesh is likely to convey its ‘firm position’ on continuation of war criminals’ trials apart from conveying tougher stance against terrorism and violent extremism during the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to Bangladesh on Monday.
The government is ready to respond describing its position on the ‘people’s demand’ to continue the trials of war criminals ‘if the issue comes up for discussions’ at any stage, a diplomatic source told UNB on Saturday. UNB News Agency Reported.
“Let’s see what issues come up first apart from bilateral issues,” the source said without elaborating further.
In December 2013, Kerry had a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina before the execution of Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Molla.
Kerry’s visit also came up during Prime Minister’s press conference held at her official residence Ganobhaban on Saturday.
When a questioner wanted to know the purpose of Kerry’s visit she, “I’ll be able to let you know and I’ll tell you what issues he’ll discuss and what he’ll tell after (my) discussions (with him).”
She said there are laws and courts here for trying the war criminals and the trial of war criminals is people’s demand.
“I hope at least you’ll have that confidence in me. I hope you won’t forget I’m Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s daughter,” said the Prime Minister.
“My only identity is I’m daughter of the Father of the Nation. I think there is no need to answer further,” she responded to the questioner.
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court adjourned till August 28 the hearing on a plea of 1971 Al-Badr commander Mir Quasem Ali seeking review of the apex court judgment that upheld death for him for committing crimes against humanity.
On August 23, a group of United Nations human rights experts urged the government of Bangladesh to annul the death sentence against war criminal and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Mir Quasem Ali.
On April 28, 2013, former Law Minister Shafique Ahmed told Parliament that Quasem, chief of Chittagong Al-Badr, an infamous auxiliary force of the Pakistan army, had allegedly paid $25 million to an American lobby firm to carry out a smear campaign to make the war crimes trial controversial.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the visits of foreign guests to Bangladesh, including that of John Kerry and England cricket team. “It’s good news.” Earlier, the Prime Minister said the tougher position against the militants made it clear that Bangladesh is playing its any-militancy role very strongly and it will boost people’s confidence.
Bangladesh will also raise restoration of GSP facilities, duty- and quota-free access of Bangladeshi apparel to the US market and deportation of AM Rashed Chowdhury, a fugitive convicted killer in the Bangabandhu murder case, foreign ministry sources said.
Talking to UNB on Friday, US embassy spokesperson Nancy VanHorn said priority areas for the visit will include US’ growing cooperation on global issues, bilateral partnership on democracy, development, security and human rights.
A foreign ministry official quoting primary schedule of Kerry’s visit said, he will arrive at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 9:25am by a special flight on Monday. Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali will receive him.
Kerry is scheduled to leave Dhaka for New Delhi at about 6:40pm on the same day. Foreign Secretary will see him o9ff at the airport.

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