New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In what could raise eyebrows in India, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan recently held a telephonic conversation with his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina and discussed several issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, said a media report.

According to a report by NDTV and news agency ANI, Imran Khan and Sheikh Hasina on July 22 held a telephonic conversation wherein they exchanged greetings and discussed about strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries and boosting regional cooperation through SAARC.

The two leaders reportedly also discussed about Jammu and Kashmir and the recent border clash between India and China in eastern Ladakh. According to ANI, Khan also stated his stance on issues with India and hoped for a peaceful resolution.

Bangladesh, however, in its statement, said that the two leaders discussed about the coronavirus crisis and the floods in Bangladesh. "He (Imran Khan) called to talk about COVID-19 and flood situations. It was nothing but a simple courtesy call. It is good if they (Pakistan) can improve relations with us," Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen was quoted as saying by ANI.  

He said that the country has not forgotten Pakistan's gruesome killing of some 30 lakh Bangladeshis and rape of hundreds of thousands of women during the Liberation War in 1971.

"However, Pakistan has not yet apologised for the genocide it committed during the 1971 Liberation War. We want to maintain friendship with everyone but how is that possible if they could not make an apology," Momen noted.

The recent telephonic call between Khan and Hasina could raise eyebrows in India, especially at a time when New Delhi is facing issues with Katmandu and Beijing. However, political pundits believe that improvement of bilateral ties between Islamabad and Dhaka is highly likely to happen given their past history.

The government, however, said that there’s ‘no cause for concern’ over Khan and Hasina’s telephonic conversation, adding that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter.

"Our relations with Bangladesh are time-tested and historic. We appreciate their consistent stand that Jammu and Kashmir and all its developments are India's internal matters. It's a stand they have always taken," said Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, as reported by NDTV.

The recent conversation between Khan and Hasina comes at a time when tensions between India and China escalated over the last few months over disputed borders. However, political pundits say while Islamabad may seem to be trying hard to smooth its relationship with Dhaka, it had recently adopted resolutions against the war crimes trial of Bangladesh wherein some major criminals were hanged for committing crimes against humanity in 1971.

(With inputs from ANI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma