DHAKA, Bangladesh

In a rare move, Pakistan’s envoy to Bangladesh said on Thursday that the two countries will bolster bilateral ties.

The statement came following a meeting between Pakistani High Commissioner Imran Ahmed Siddiqui and Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence.

“The two sides agreed to further strengthen the existing fraternal relations between the two countries,” Siddiqui said.

The envoy conveyed the message of goodwill and friendship from Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Hasina which “she reciprocated with her greetings and good wishes for the leadership of Pakistan”.

Citing a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) news agency reported Hasina as saying Bangladesh cannot forget and forgive atrocities committed by Pakistan.

“Incidents of 1971 cannot be forgotten or forgiven,” she said.

Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan after a bloody nine-month war in 1971. Relations between the two South Asian states have since been patchy.

Upon the request of strengthening relations by the Pakistani side, Hasina referred to Bangladesh’s policy of “friendship to all, malice to none”, adding that she believes in “regional cooperation”.

*Writing by Burak Dag

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