DHAKA, Bangladesh

In a rare move, Pakistan’s top diplomat in Bangladesh on Friday praised the contributions of the Muslims of Bengal in the creation of Pakistan.

“Their efforts are very well documented both in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Today, we remembered all our leaders and prayed for their souls,” Imran Ahmed Siddiqui, Pakistan’s high commissioner in Dhaka, told Anadolu Agency while speaking on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day of the country.

Pakistan’s High Commission in Dhaka on Friday also celebrated the day through recitation from the Quran and raising the country’s national flag to the tune of the national anthem.

Due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic in Bangladesh, the program, however, was held with limited participation.

Pakistan got independence from the British on Aug. 14, 1947. Until 1971, Bangladesh was a part of Pakistan.

Recalling the struggles of the Muslims in the then Bengal province, Siddiqui added: “The leaders of Bengal – Nawab Sir Saleemullah, Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy, A. K Fazlul Haq, Moulvi Tamizuddin, among several others, are part of glorious history of our struggle for Pakistan.”

Referring to relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh, he added that both countries “share unbreakable bonds of history, religion and culture. I am sure these bonds will become even stronger in the days ahead.”

Frosty relations between Pakistan and Bangladesh have only recently begun thawing, with observers saying China has a role in mediation.

Last month, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan spoke to his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina over the phone.

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