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March 4, 2021

‘Pakistan, Bangladesh need to focus on future, not past’

National

March 4, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Dr Moonis Ahmar, Meritorious Professor, Department of International Relations, University of Karachi, has proposed a truth and reconciliation commission which can help overcome the bitterness of the past and also help in sanitising the historical literature on the events around 1971.

Dr Moonis was speaking at the second webinar in the series “Pakistan–Bangladesh Relations” organised here by Center for Research and Security Studies. He said that Pakistan is always the first to take initiatives for strengthening Pakistan-Bangladesh relations, but little reciprocity is shown by Bangladesh. He observed that it is high time for Pakistan and Bangladesh to let go of the past and work together for a progressive future.

He said that a flexible visa regime can help in enhancing people-to-people relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh. He continued that people of both the countries have enormous opportunities to mend economic, political and cultural relations. According to him, efforts should be made to promote academic cooperation between the educational institutes of both countries. This cannot be done unless there are leaders from both sides who are able to promote meaningful interaction between students from Pakistan and Bangladesh, he added.

Dr Sharin Shajahan Naomi, Gender Studies, Asian University for Women, Bangladesh, said that Pakistanis and Bangladeshis are happy with each other. In politics there is a binary view but people-to-people relations are good, despite the past trauma and unfortunate memories.

Currently there is a huge gap in the economic relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh. She suggested that a trade agreement could be a strong starting point to form good relations on a higher level and Bangladesh will be welcoming towards this stance since it wants good relations with all its neighbours including China, Pakistan and India.